Monday, 31 January 2011

For the second time in as many months, Kate has gone to Dallas for the best part of a week.

She says it's for work, but I'm not convinced. I strongly suspect these enforced breaks from our darling daughter are a breath of fresh air, and that it's crocodile tears she sheds on departure.

Either way, I'm definitely reclaiming the 'primary carer' mantel.

(Even if the in-laws are coming down to help out in a couple of days).

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sunny side up

Just before heading to bed last night, we popped in to check on the Smidge, only to find her asleep on her front.
Fearing another 5.30am kick-off to the day (which is proving to be a largely unsustainable model of early morning parenting) I managed to flip her onto her back without waking her up.
Lo and behold, 5.30am came and went without a squawk (not counting Kate's bathroom pit-stop...)
And it wasn't until a full hour later that Maddy started to rev up on the screaming front. So in I went and sure enough, she was on her front again.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Birthday preparations (Part 2)

So, not exactly happier. But we're getting there.

How hard can it be?

Sadly, our uninterrupted 12 hour kipper is no longer so dependably sleep-prone.

For the last couple of days, Maddy has woken up at about 5.30am, by flipping herself onto her belly, and not being able to roll over onto her back. Much neighbourhood-rousing squawking ensues.

Kate says babies normally work out how to right themselves at about 4 months.

Loud and stoopid. Where's the receipt?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The new working schedule

Ironically, I'm spending more time with Maddy now that Kate has gone back to work, than I was before Christmas when she was still on maternity leave.

Maybe that's not at all ironic, and to be expected given Kate was shouldering much of the childcare duties while she was off - the 'primary carer' as she (mistakenly) likes to call herself. But I was expecting these New Year changes to our schedule to be drawn out and painful, and they haven't been. Yet.

My self-enforced leaving work at 5.15pm twice a week seems to be going smoothly - Kate doesn't shout at me for being late on those nights that I'm not supposed to be back on time - and I get to give Maddy a bath and put her to bed twice during the week, every week, as opposed to about once a fortnight, which was what was happening towards the end of last year.

Long may it last.

Birthday preparations

We've got Maddy in training to look really happy when people sing songs and give her loads of presents on her birthday in March:

Still some work to do.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Prezzies for newbies

Awesome set-up called The Bump Company who make 'bouquets' out of baby clothes, blankets etc.
I think it's a great gift for new little people. Kate's not so convinced: "style over substance".
I tell you, she's really changed since going back to work. Humourless, hard-nosed, critical. Not the woman I thought I knew.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Mac vs PC

Kate has decided she doesn't want to lug her laptop back and forth from work.

It's big.

It's heavy.

She has 3 handbags already.

And often a baby to boot.

So we're now looking to buy one for home, and the age old Mac vs PC question has reared its head.

We're both PC users by upbringing, but have always dreamed of getting a Mac because, well, it's a Mac, right? Lots of features we'll never use but very, VERY nice to look at.

Sadly, dreams looked to be shattered when we started looking at cost, and pragmatic Kate instantly reverted to the PC option.

But with an uncharacteristic display of canny wife outmanoeuvrement this morning, I explained that Maddy would herself be using a computer before too long, and that it'd be in our interest to get a more intuitive machine, so that even if we're not going to start mixing music and editing feature-length films, at least she could.

And you know what? Kate bought it.

I knew that baby would come in handy one day.

Day 2 of 2

Kate has just left home for the second of her two days work this week.
That's not really officially a 'working mum' yet in my book, whatever she says.
(But McCann have been awesome with the staggered start: 2 weeks at 2 days, 2 weeks at 3 days, then up to 4 days for a new life as a 'part-time employee' according to her contract).
Needless to say, the 'part-timer' label is a particularly sharp arrow in my quiver of future slants. I just need to use it sparingly.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Kate went back to work today and her new email address is Kate.Roskill
I didn't even have to ask her to do that. Which is all the more surprising given the whole holding onto the maiden name thing was such a bone of contention after our (glorious, happiest day of my life, blah blah) wedding.
My eradication of the Harris name is almost complete.

A new day, a new dawn

So, today is Kate's first day back at work for 10 months.
She's remarkably calm about it all and Maddy is decidedly unphased by the whole thing. In fact she just sat on the bed this morning laughing. Kate, that is... I mean Maddy.
Charlene, our new super nanny, turned up much to Maddy's delight and the two of us headed off to work. Of course, it's helped that we've had Charlene doing a few hours a day for the last fortnight. And Maddy's now far more excited about new people turning up than she is about seeing her own parents. We're trying not to take it personally.
My colleagues have found it highly amusing that I'm needing to leave work early a couple of days a week in order to 'release the nanny', as it were.
Let's see how the new routine goes, and just how much pressure our marriage is put under in the coming weeks. Oh yes, I'm all about those half full glasses.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

You've been framed

The Holy Trinity of baby milestones:
1. Standing unaided (blink and you'll miss it)
2. Waving goodbye on cue (albeit prompted)
3. Laughing (or 'cough cackling' in Maddy's case)
All on the one piece of film:
(Spot the nervous parent jumping in at the end)

Comic timing

It's a must. Funny people go places.
(Which goes some way to explain why both Kate and I are languishing in careers in advertising, and if it isn't in the genes, it shouldn't really be a surprise that Maddy's thus far shown a distinct lack of it, much to our chagrin).
Her latest trick is to emit a distinctly fake, but very loud half-cough-half-laugh (a 'cough cackle'?) as normal people go about their normal routines around her; for no other reason than the butcher is cutting a joint of meat, or a waitress is clearing away our plates:

It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fact it makes Kate and I collapse into fits of laughter too, which in turn makes said normal person feel like we're all laughing at them.
Local shops and restaurants are starting to close their doors to the Roskill family.

The January self-purge

It would appear that even Maddy is affected by the New Year self-loathing that drives so many of us to sign-up for a gym membership we'll use three times over over the next 12 months, or start a diet that we'll have given up by the end of January.
A case in point:
Maddy yesterday morning (pre make-up) looking like a once cute starlet whose star has most definitely waned since she started binging on junk food (which she ordered on her iPhone) and wearing her unflattering pink pyjamas all day:

And then later that same day, looking serene and drinking a raw juice at Wagamama's having finally mastered the art of the straw:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Now that's forward planning

What with our childcare routine about to get a whole lot more complicated - traipsing across Kensal Green to and from Amy & Martin's house for nanny share duties - Kate has foreseen the regular leaving behind of Maddy's favourite soft toy.

So a new Raffy the Rabbit arrived today (otherwise known as a Just Jellycat Bashful Bunny).

We still can't bring ourselves to wash the original (it STINKS) but the new one has thus far gone unnoticed with her Madesty.

Sadly, despite this exemplary forward planning from Kate, I don't actually think Maddy gives two hoots about her 'favourite' toy. I'm increasingly convinced it's parental imposition. She merely picks up the nearest toy in her cot and conks out. This ease with which Maddy can channel and re-channel her interest does not bode well. I believe it's known as being fickle in older folk.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

I think I'm getting the Black Lung, Pop

My claim on the Favourite Parent title is in real jeapordy, having recently passed a very unpleasant lurgy onto Maddy.

The poor mite kept waking herself up last night with a nasty cough; one not entirely dissimilar to Derek Zoolander's self-diagnosed bout of the Black Lung.

Happily though, she seemed to put illness aside and wriggle as excitedly as ever when I popped in to check on her. Although with the benefit of hindsight, I think that was more in anticipation of Calpol's sugary, throat-coating sweetness, than at the prospect of a cuddle from her guilt-ridden Pop.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Awight guvnor?

Somehow the Del Boy coat wasn't quite enough. We needed some accessories to help get the down and dirty look we've been cultivating.
Cut to a greasy spoon in North London and Maddy's first bacon butty. Laaaaverly.

(Okay, it was Queen's Park Farmers' Market and an organic lamb burger, but still...)