16 days of Isabelle has been…amazing, wonderful, euphoric and I’ll be honest VERY hard work! Possibly the hardest thing I have done, nothing really prepares you for it. I have cried, loved, and cried again. Firstly it was the hormones and overwhelming feelings of love, followed by crying with sheer exhaustion and sleep deprivation. One of my crying episodes wouldn’t have looked out of place in a soap opera. You know you are sleep deprived when you try to plug your breast pump into the baby monitor and nearly whisk gravy with the bottlebrush.
We went to all the NCT classes which were brilliant and I read so many books pre-Izzy but in all honesty I think the best training I have had for looking after baby Isabelle is when I was about 19 years old and I had a cyber pet (mini computer pet – for the benefit of those that aren’t in the know and were probably living their lives at 19). Anyway, I had to walk it, feed it, stroke it, make sure it slept etc…every few hours to keep it alive. I am not sure what happened to the cyber pet. She is possibly in pixel heaven but Isabelle I can assure you, you are in safe hands, really you are. I am fully committed to your needs and I am aware there is no reboot or restart button.
So this week I am undergoing some practical training with my husband hanging back in the shadows. Basically, the thought of doing a supermarket shop, visit to the local post office, or simple village walk with pram or baby carrier, feels incredibly daunting as a solo mission. There are so many ‘what ifs?’ What if my pram doesn’t fit in the doorway? What if Isabelle has a massive baby strop in the co-op queue, or even worse, what if I do?
Today we ticked off the post office trip and the supermarket. I pretend I am on my own and my husband hangs back incase I get into any difficulties, so I have his support. So far so good, although he did mark me down when I ploughed my trolley into a wet floor cone in Morrisons. There’s a blind spot on the trolley with a car seat on top – I am contesting the fallen mark.
It’s a really useful exercise as I now feel fully equipped to carry out a solo supermarket mission, knowing where the baby changer is, where the store supervisor stands, and where the wine isle is incase it all goes wrong!
In other news Isabelle seems to favour the cheeky little monkey on the play mat, perhaps that’s because she is one!