I’ve always loved Christmas. But as you are rather dramatically told (after you have had a baby – nobody tells you this before) that you will at some point during those early weeks and months, ‘mourn your old life’ – well that definitely hit home for me during last Christmas. Although it was of course, so incredibly special as it was Rafe’s first Christmas, I must admit I did feel rather sorry for myself too. Don’t get me wrong – I knew how incredibly lucky I was. But there was a lot going on inside my little head (I understand more about that now) and Rafe was only a few months old and I really didn't (and still don’t) know if I was doing anything right at all. And for me, before Rafe, Christmas had of course been about being home and being with my family and friends. But honestly – without sounding like a plonky – it was also a time where there would be a merry amount of booze consumed. Especially when I was younger and didn’t have crow’s feet and saggy boobs, Christmas Eve in Whitley Bay was like the best night ever. Starting in Weatherspoon’s, drinking a jug of woo woo and dancing to Christmas songs all night was at the time – pretty fabulous. And a few years ago, I loved going out on Boxing Day for a ‘few’ drinks (and shots of tequila) with my friends. And I remember last year, sitting upstairs while my family all chinked their prosecco glasses while I was trying to get Rafe to latch on and I felt a mixture of guilt because I had my little boy and was so lucky – but also aware that I wasn’t going to be drinking tequila and singing Mariah Carey and I felt well - a bit pump. And it wasn’t about the boozing that I was missing – I guess it just hit home that my ‘carefree’ life where I could pretty much go out anytime I wanted, wherever I wanted, at the drop of a hat with a shot of tequila – well that was over. And I wasn’t ‘mourning’ the jugs of woo woo, I just realised the ‘old’ me had become the Ghost of Christmas past. But you know what? What is even more special? MORE SPECIAL THAN GETTING DRUNK TO MARIAH CAREY? You ask. Seeing Rafe’s face light up when he sees the Christmas tree for the first time after his mum and dad tried quietly to put it up – without killing each other the night before. Although he still doesn’t really have a clue what is going on, it just feels even more magical. Like real magic. And I love Christmas even more than I ever did. And in years to come, when Rafe believes in Santa – he can leave him a couple of shots of tequila and a jug of woo woo out for Rudolph….
Like I said last week, I’ve been a bit poorly which hasn’t been overly fun and juat as I was thinking, it's been almost two weeks of no nursery germs...Rafe has literally just come down with another cough and cold. Last night was particularly rough as he was so blocked up, coughing and teething. His big bad boy teeth are coming in (think that's the right term) so he is really not happy. Poor lad. Amen to Calpol and baby Bonjela.
Literally counting down the days until the Christmas holidays – it will be the first chunk of time I have had with Rafe since maternity leave. And my husband is home so just looking forward to family time – and having Chris do everything. Jokes…Although his Christmas leave will be a bit bittersweet as early January he is going away for a couple of months so not overly excited about that. He’s been away since we had Rafe, but not for such a long stint where he won’t get to come home at all and contact might not be great. So although he’s not around normally during the week, we’ve been lucky for a while that he’s been home most weekends. But we will survive, just always the thought of it and those first few days that are really hard. Will just have to stock up on the chocolate and make sure I have plans to keep us busy every weekend and fingers crossed it will fly by.
Rafe’s not walking yet – and some days just doesn’t seem bothered to try at all. At first I was starting to worry as I was comparing him to other babies of the same age who had been walking for a while – but I need to not do that. And remember he will walk when he is ready. I remember the health visitor saying some babies don’t walk till 16-18 months and that’s normal. He just loves whizzing around crawling at the moment. We try and encourage him best we can but at the end of the day, Chris and I are incredibly stubborn and like us, if Rafe doesn’t want to do something. He simply won’t! So will see. Would be nice to think he will be wobbling around over Christmas – but equally I’m not going to stress about it if he doesn’t. He’s at such a special age at the moment that I am just loving seeing how he is developing his little personality every day. The way he chats away (no idea what he is saying!) to himself in the morning, to how he loves to share his food/stuff it in your face and how he finds it hilarious if you jump out and give him a shock. I’ve been watching Babies, Their Wonderful World on BBC 2 (highly recommend) which looks at the incredible changes in the first two years of life and it is just fascinating. You don’t actually realise how much babies are taking in at such a young age. So best start curbing the ‘what the fuck are you doing?’ conversations with my husband….
Until next week,
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.