I spent a lot of Leo’s early life on the couch. He spent most of his day either breastfeeding, bottle-feeding or asleep on me. Jeff would leave for work and I’d be on the couch, and then he’d come home and I’d still be on the couch.
Jeff was much better at being stuck on the couch than me. He always seemed to manage to have a snack in his hand and his laptop nearby.
I always managed to be busting to go to the toilet or thirsty or hungry (or all three) but I didn’t want to move in case I woke Leo.
Looking back at photos from that time I have made an inventory of all the stuff I can see in the photos. It was like my office and I had a good set-up going on.
Glasses of water
Pillows covered in blankets and towels
Cloths for wiping up baby vomit
Motillium (to increase my milk supply)
Phone (landline – didn’t have a smart phone yet)
A toothbrush (a lactation consultant said that stimulating the breast with an electric toothbrush could help my supply)
A notebook and pen to write down the times of all his feeds
For those of you who are new to our blog, the reason we are writing about all this stuff is that we have written a picture book for new parents to remind them how great they are doing. It is the book that we wish had when Leo was little. You can read more about our rough-around-the-edges look at early parenting here.
We have been working on it for years (in our heads), and actually did the writing and illustrating over the past year. The book is finished! We will be launching a crowdfunding campaign on the 2nd of August so we can print a small run of board books. We would love your support – more on that soon.
This is is one of the spreads from the book. Our brown couch from this era has a supporting role.
We are loving this project a lot. It is like our third child. Both Jeff and I have been working on it full-time (with many, many breaks to look after our actual children and Jeff doing paid work) for five months and counting.
If this book is successful I dream of also doing You’re Doing Great, Kid and You’re Doing Great, Toddler. Jeff wisely tells me to take one thing at a time.
But just say that I was thinking a little bit about You’re Doing Great, Kid. I might think of a list of things I see differently after having a kid, for example…
Hiding vegetables – gives a great sense of satisfaction
Bribery – happens. Also called ‘negotiations’
Hummus – makes vegies palatable
Buying in bulk – it’s like I am permanently getting ready for the apocalypse
Kids eating in the car – I used to think ‘why would you do that?!’
Messy, gross cars – see above
Mini vacs – self explanatory
Toys I didn’t play with as a kid because they were ‘boys’ toys’: Lego, paper planes, trains, cars – are actually super fun
Sushi train – food as soon as you walk in the door and it’s like an outing (bonus!)
Whenever I am taking parenting too seriously I think about this poem and it never fails to give me a smile. There is something charming and disarming about rhyme. I hope that our book (with its rhyme and all) contains some of the humourous spirit of Larkin’s poem.