I now have -0.87p in my account and no overdraft facility. All hail next Tuesday when my child benefit will rescue me. Back in the days when child benefit was guaranteed til the child was 18, it was well worth having an extra child for the £50 a month it provided.
Now only Bea seems worth hanging on to. As she was the first baby she is worth more in child benefit terms and now she remains the only child in good health. When I had pneumonia both boys had successive days at the Doctor for penicillin and now a mere 3 weeks on George is back on the hard stuff for yet another double ear infection. Ted remains loyal to his sick bug which is viral so can't be cured by anything more hardcore than time which means the washing machine and tumble dryer are having to work triple shifts. Sunday night's excitement and subsequent glasses of wine were a massive mistake - heady from the thrill of it all, I went to sleep at gone 11. The children then took it in turns from 12 to 6 to wake me every hour. Last night fared no better as Ted is incredibly angry at the milk ban and can scream louder than I had previously assumed lungs allowed and George had fallen asleep post Doctors at 4pm yesterday so awoke at 3.50am fully refreshed and feeling miles better. Mercifully he is a very easy going child and was happy to drink milk, sing to himself and play with the iPhone with only occasional need for attention. During one of Ted's more furious screaming episodes I could clearly hear G singing Frere Jacques word perfect from my bed with the 'ping' of the labyrinth app as accompaniment. Another surreal 5.30am moment.
There is something about those night hours. They change a person. In the warm comforting air of a playgroup with friends laughing and a hot cup of tea in one's hands it is impossible to see how you managed to descend into such madness. And yet when you are in the thick of it and it is 3am and you have been in and out of the bed at least five times already, looking over and seeing a snoring person who agreed to raise these children with you through thick and thin and yet is blissfully ignorant of the hell I am suffering, makes you want to put the pillow over his head and wait until the steady rise and fall of his chest ceases. I have never actually even started the process I hasten to add - I couldn't bare the children to see him in the morning - but the snoring! That is just rubbing salt in the wound.
I have been eating to combat the tiredness. Most of the rest of the roast pork from Sunday's lunch and the pack of open chocolate chips are now slowly digesting in my stomach before it deposits itself in fat cells around my sizeable middle. I still have that post baby jelly belly tummy. I wonder if it will EVER go. It always makes me chuckle when you read 'celebrity' post birth stories. They ask them how they got their figure back so quickly (6 weeks must be the longest you can reasonably leave it as a celebrity and still hold your head up high) and they always say breastfeeding and running around after the baby. I don't know about other mothers but all my babies came out totally unable to walk or in fact move from a fixed spot and really what they most wanted me to do was to sit on my big fat arse and either stick a boob in their mouth or sit motionless whilst they had a lovely warm sleep. At NO point did I find myself darting from room to room in a blind panic of motion endlessly burning calories. And they also never elude to the overwhelming tiredness of those first few months - most people reach for simple high calorie food, not only to help with milk production but to give them a boost to get through the day, especially if it's not your first and there are other demanding children who get very cross if you should close your eyes (even very temporarily) in the middle of the day. So, what they should say is 'actually I only eat berries for breakfast washed down with seaweed as my stylist has told me it burns fat, I eat poached salmon with dry salad for lunch and then by supper I am shouting at my husband and handing the baby over to the nanny with a bottle so I can nip to the gym and burn more calories before my cous cous supper'. Now that would be a reason to buy OK! magazine.
Toodley pip! x