So far I feel like the transition from one to two children is going rather well (!) and dare I even say easier than I expected. Rufus is so much more chilled out than Winston was at his age and I am so much more confident when a decision has to be made.
Looking back on our first few weeks with Winston I have realised so many things. I have realised that Winston actually wasn’t a very good feeder so he never slept for long, because he wasn’t ever completely full. Rufus quickly reached his birth weight again whereas Winston lost nearly a whole pound. I’ve realised how splendid it is to have a baby that is a fast and efficient feeder – R takes 10-15 minutes whereas W used to take 40-60 mins – I feel like I have so much more time to myself (even though in reality I don’t) and he is full so sleeps for longer.
I remember as a new mum reading a book that suggested waking your baby to be fed if they were sleeping…if only that ever happened! Winston always seemed to be awake and screaming an hour before he was due his next feed. Rufus has to be woken for every single feed during the day which is such a welcome difference! plus it also means Winston and I can play together most of the day, then Rufus and I have time together after 7pm- even if he can be windy and unsettled, I really don’t mind. I am loving it! I have even managed to go the gym three times this week – as long as I’ve expressed some milk just in case I am good to go. This would have been unheard of first time around. I am so enjoying having the time to myself at the gym and feeling fit once more. Funnily enough it is Winston that is throwing out all the new situations – he is the one pushing the boundaries, challenging right and wrong, not listening an awful lot and testing our parental skills – a newborn is ground we have covered before. I feel like I am enjoying a newborn a million times more second time around because I don’t see him as a stressful, unknown being that demands anything and everything at random intervals. Winston completely wore us out as there seemed to be no sense of routine and no two days were the same…but maybe it’s because we weren’t looking for a routine. As soon as Rufus was born I started noting his natural routine so I knew when to expect him to sleep or to be hungry, so now I’m trying to gently nudge him into a more sociable routine bit by bit each day. Today I planned a shopping trip when I knew both of them would sleep – words cannot describe how happy it makes me feel inside when both are asleep and I get to take my time without somebody shouting words like: ‘blueberries’, ‘more’, ‘water’, ‘cracker’, ‘chocolate’, ‘food now’ etc.
I can’t help feeling a tad guilty that we didn’t enjoy Winston as much as newborn as we could have done, but we just had no idea what were were doing. The arrival of Rufus has brought so many special memories back and has made us appreciate how beautiful it is to have such a new person in our lives. Somebody so perfect that they just want you to love them and don’t ever get tired of being cuddled. We’d forgotten the excessive way newborns jump from the slightest noise, the way their eyes don’t focus well for the first few weeks, the animal noises they make when they stretch, how sometimes when you look at them they just have such a look of sadness and vulnerability about them that makes you want to squash them (not literally) and how they are so tense and curled up. The definition of a miracle.
Winston still isn’t acknowledging Rufus much but I’d rather it be this way. I really don’t feel comfortable about pressurising Winston into noticing his brother – I find people ask Winston often enough what he thinks of his brother, so he can do without me piping up too. He has started to cuddle him and kiss him which is lovely, but he also feels the need to steal him blanket on occasion. The main thing I get concerned about is how difficult it can be to pay equal attention to them both…as one of them usually misses out. Today it was Winston who missed out. Jared was out working tonight – Rufus got fussy around bedtime which meant I didn’t have chance to properly settle Winston to bed and he got really upset. It was an impossible situation because I couldn’t stay with him. It is hard not to feel guilty about fulfilling all of their needs. I’m this will work itself out over time. I am also feeling a tiny bit guilty about how excited I am for Rufus to grow up so I can discover the similarities and differences between the two of them.
…if only I had known what I knew now first time around! I hope after publishing this post Rufus doesn’t turn into a nightmare baby. If he does, I’m sure you’ll hear about it. For now the consensus in the Hancock household is: ‘so far, so good’!
p.s. Winston, Rufus and I had a family bath the other day but it was quickly vacated after Rufus did a giant neon yellow poo. Such a glam life.