Rufus is away for a week so I have spent a lot of time quietly saluting single parents everywhere.
I am so very tired. Lola broke her promising streak of five-hour nighttime stretches and is now waking every two or three hours, and feeding for up to 40 minutes. She’s ravenous. And even though Rufus doesn’t help much at night, when it’s just Lola, me and my boobs, he plays with her in the morning, changes that first nappy, bathes her when he can make it home from work on time, and gives me lots of hugs and attention in between. I miss him, and feel slightly wimpy for missing him so much.
But there it is. Having Lola has made me softer, more needy, more appreciative of the “here and now”, and much, much less concerned with my career. I need Rufus more. I need my friends more. And I need my own mum and dad more. Even though they’re thousands of miles away over the oceans, I love being able to talk to them on skype and let them watch Lola’s newest antics.
My days are arranged into bite-sized sections – there’s waking up with Lola, with music, games, nappy changes, the obligatory tour of the house and garden to open curtains, smell the flowers and stare out the window. Then morning nap, when I check my emails, maybe watch a sneaky episode (or half-ep) of trashy tv. Then more play. Then a big walk to anywhere at all to lull her to sleep again. Then more play and chat. Then a late sprint to the park to see the other babies. Then the stroll home, stretching out the waking hours as long as possible before bathtime/bedtime, silently praying that she’ll go down for that mystical six-hour stretch.
Lately I’ve been trying to introduce some work on a personal project, and revamping of CV into that mix. And the finishing of her citizenship papers. But for the life of me I can’t get any of it done.
When Rufus or a friend takes her for a half hour, or even, bless, an hour-long walk, all of my dreams of productivity fly away and I have an overwhelming urge to just … nap.
The dread at the thought of going back to work is building slowly but steadily.