Friday, June 6, 2008

Daddy & Drew

I forgot to tell you...

Bank Holiday weekend, I was supposed to go to London for the weekend to stay with my friend. It was to be my first weekend away from Drew. Jerry's first weekend with Drew...on his own.

As this weekend had been planned for some months, I tried to prepare Jerry for this 2-day event and made sure he knew about Drew's pureed solid food in the freezer, how long to defrost it, warm it up, the amount of milk she now required and when to give it to her.

I don't think it had dawned on Jerry exactly what was involved, but as the days got closer and
closer, he asked for everything to be written down. So 'Daddy's Plan' was created.

I used the dry-wipe board in our kitchen and laid out what food/milk Drew needed and gave approximate times.

I explained to Jerry that Drew would stay awake for no longer than 2hrs at a time and if he kept a mental note of when she woke, fed, played and slept, he could potentially predict what was needed before it happened. You still with me?

Of course, this was too much for Jerry. He needed it ALL written down. So I added a table on which he could write the times Drew woke, fed, played and slept.

Even though our friends thought I was being a bit over-the-top and Jerry would do his 'I don't know why Julie has gone to these lengths?' performance, secretly, this was a great source of comfort for Jerry. On his dress rehearsal days (he had a few), he was forever referring to his 'Daddy's Plan' and filling in the table with the times things happened. It worked really well.

However, Jerry couldn't work out when he would have time to do the other things. You know...like...showering, having breakfast and lunch and WHOA!...don't ask him to do the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning AND walk the dog! On a few occasions, Jerry would still be in MY dressing gown after midday as he didn't know when he could incorporate a shower!!!

As the days drew nearer to my two days off, Jerry was getting a bit nervous. Drew's routine was not always spot on and she would not want to sleep when we thought she ought to. Then we'd get an overtired baby who would be due to feed, but was SO tired, she would miss a feed to catch up on some sleep...but how long she slept for was anyone's guess. Sometimes 3hrs, sometimes 30minutes.

On the Thursday before I was due to go, I was struck down with a rotten cough. This turned into a horrible cough and cold and by Saturday, it was at its worst. It was such a pain, but I had to cancel my weekend seeing my friend. I spent the whole weekend either in bed sleeping or led on the sofa under a blanket.

Not only did Jerry still have to do his parenting duties that weekend, but he had to look after me too. He did a great job and there was a only a handful of occasions when he came to my 'germ pit' to ask why she was crying and what he should do. It wasn't the best weekend for Jerry really...Drew had also caught my germs and was coughing so her mood wasn't the best. It was hard for Jerry to determine what she wanted. Drew strayed from her schedule the whole weekend and I did my best to help out where I could.

Come Tuesday, Jerry went back to work and although I wasn't better, I had to look after Drew.

When you're not feeling well, but you still have a baby to look after all day, the baby comes first. Germs come second. And that's hard. I dosed myself up on ALL the cold and cough remedies I could find, but I SO wanted to just get a good nights sleep...that was the hardest thing. I would keep myself awake (and Jerry!) coughing and Drew would do the same.

Jerry made some little whiny noises about feeling unwell when he went back to work, but I think that was just an attention thing as it never turned into anything. However, it was a turning point for us both really. Jerry said he had never really appreciated how much time, work and energy went into looking after a baby ALL DAY and couldn't work out how I managed to fit in all the other household chores that have to be done AND go out! That made me feel good.

On the same note, it made me appreciate Jerry more for taking on the 'single parent' challenge and surviving when it was a tough time for Drew.

Since that weekend, Drew's feeding, sleeping and playing plan never went back to how it was. She's a clever little so-and-so and without us really noticing, Drew is now having 3 meals a day and 3 milk feeds a day. Breakkie, Lunch and Tea. Admittedly, it means Drew is awake for longer periods now. 3-4hours at a time, so that's filled with new and exciting stuff everyday (meeting up with the Ante-natal girls, dog-walking and trips to Asda - what fun!).

Drew is also thriving with her solids and hasn't screwed her face up to anything. I've now introduced chicken and mincemeat as well as veggies (which she loves!) and we're slowly making the consistency lumpier and lumpier. And as a result...can you guess?...no...no photos this time. Don't worry.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Drew Jessica Hartell - first word

It happened on 31st May 2008.

Drew said "DADDA".

And now she won't stop saying it. Jerry thinks he's the 'bees knees' as Drew says it all the time. Fortunately for me, Drew woke up this morning saying "Dadda" again. When I looked at Jerry, he had this smug look on his face, so I told him she must be calling him and he should get up and see to her...and he did!

Oh I hope she keeps this up for a long time yet before "Mamma" comes along!

See the short clip below