I loved the consistency of my morning! Radio shows, table settings,rashers and sausages at the weekend, yoghurt and cereal through the week. Mr Paper would finish cow milking at ten on the weekends and we would eat and plan the day. Mid week, I drove to work, hit the staffroom at eight thirty, coffee, yoghurt, a chat, a giggle. All quite gentle activity! Becoming a Mam of one meant some alterations to this solid morning structure. The staffroom chat was a little shorter. The breakfast at home may be eaten with a little one on the knee. A feeding took place before a shower. Dressing whilst cooing at the cherub in the crib.Achievable? Yes!Having another baby? Making morning a whole new ballgame.
Little Betsy is amazing. The new madness is nothing to do with her. I am being an honest Mammy here! Chance only makes her the second little Paper. She would happily coo as I dress. This is now added to with an interactive almost two year old chanting (albeit adorably) ‘brush teeth Mammy’!’ ‘ go now Mammy!’. ‘Bye bye!’. Really, I am thinking bye bye shower. Bye bye carefully chosen outfit! Add bye bye lazily savoured breakfast! Relaxed mornings are officially on hiatus!
Mornings have now become the most unpredictable part of the day. Since the new baby arrived, waiting for our standard routine to start the day to even itself out is like waiting for Godot. It has been tricky to say the least. These little girls seem to have a gene like that of twins. If one is awake, although she is quiet, the other will begin to mooch, cough or even wake despite being in another room! I see all on the monitor and am amazed by this. Originally I thought it must be coincidence. It happens too often however. It makes me realise! I may have something akin to twins here.
I think I almost qualify for the official title of ‘Mammy of Irish twins’ as our girls were born within eighteen months of each other. Really, Irish twins need to be born within the year, but I will defend my title regardless! These little women are so in tune with each other. I can hardly believe it.
We had our routine with little Gigi to a fine art. Our house is two storey, with a winding stair. Beautiful when originally designed but hard on the feet when carrying a taller than average little lass down the stairs (who is a late walker)and when you are heavily pregnant.
Nonetheless, it worked! Gigi would eat breakfast and depending on the day we we would drive to crèche or depending on the morning have a buggy stroll. If it were raining, as often here, a little drive to one of our Nanas’ homes would happen. No cartoons required and Gigi didn’t know or care about the all consuming telly-box in the corner. The little blessing that is Betsy arrived approximately two months after Gigi became a confident walker…just in time! Betsy brings so much joy and so many changes. Naturally my worries were that Gigi would handle the changes badly or that I would not be able give her the same close attention. Morning time has handed me the heaviest challenges but we are getting there!
Betsy sleeps in a crib in our room. Gigi has a larger cot in her own room. They both sleep well. I found dealing with it in the first few months easier than now for some mad reason. That reason is probably fatigue! I expected night feedings. I was fine with midnight nappies. All was ok. Betsy then gave us the gift of sleeping through the night. Suddenly, my body feels it is fully entitled to a night’s rest and oh my God I cannot BELIEVE I must get up and feed my little doll if she needs an erratic midnight feast! This is tongue in cheek. I am mocking myself as you might guess. However, morning comes and with it, great uncertainty. There is no surety that food will be eaten. Toilets visited. Showers had! Hair kept on head!
Cartoons are now my new best friend. When Mr Paper is busy, and it is just us three in the morning, sit down breakfast has become up and down breakfast. This we can handle. Just about! Add illness to the mix? Now you are bringing trouble. Gigi has had several bad bugs recently. If Peppa Pig wasn’t around, I cannot imagine how we would have gotten through. Myself and my other Mother friends joke (but then nod seriously) that sleep, Calpol and Peppa Pig is the cure for all ailments. TV guilt now lives in my house! Peppa has allowed me coffee. Toast. Even a toilet break. I thank that little pig! Mornings may have changed around here, but adding the muddy puddles make them a tad easier.
I have not returned to work yet. I don’t know how the morning will work then. I feel trepidation and fear! I do know one thing. We managed every thing else. We can surely manage this. One morning, in probably the near future, all the Papers will be sitting to a casual breakfast. I will remember the madness that has gone before. Possibly fondly! A tear will come to the eye. The girls might roll their own navy blue eyes as I patter on about the baby years. As the emotions of struggle fades, I am sure that, besides the tough times that come with it, I will become nostalgic for muddy puddle mornings x