Just for the record

Just for the record (because I know that a month from now, I’ll forget when this all happened), a few very recent changes in B:

  • Not every nappy is full of poo. There are now several nappies a day which are merely moist.
  • He’s paying lots of attention to the world, and faces in particular.
  • He can lift his head up to a 90 degree angle for quite a long time.

What a wonderful day!

What a wonderful day! We needed to drop off some papers at the doctor’s surgery, so we bundled B up into his pram, and took off into the outside world. It was actually sunny and warm today, and the walk was a pleasant one.

While we were out, we also stopped by the two nurseries at the Gilmerton Crossroads: the Mother Goose, and the Little Drummer. Both looked like fantastic, intensely stimulating places for us to leave B, and both were run by highly competent and genuinely interested people. However, we both came away from the visits feeling that the Mother Goose was the one for us. The space they have is not as airy and open as the Little Drummer, but we got a better vibe from them. Also, for older kids, they have a French teacher who comes in to teach, and they do all sorts of other activities, like music and swimming lessons.

Now the real question will be whether we can get a place!

After the nursery visits, we trundled on down to Safeway. On our way we ran into someone from Abi’s antenatal class–a new mother who had come in to answer questions at the breatsfeeding workshop. She lives just round the corner from us, and we’re going to try to keep in touch.

(Her little son, Daniel, is only four months old, but he looked huge in his pram! It’s hard to believe that B will be that size eventually. I don’t want him to grow up! I want him to stay just as small and cute as he is!)

In Safeway, we sat down for some lunch in the cafe, and Abi was able to breastfeed without any problem. (As usual, while we were standing at the food counter deciding what to eat, B was doing his “chick magnet” act. He seems to attract the attention of every female in the area. Go B!) Then, with a more sedate B in tow, we trundled around the shop, and walked back home, still enjoying the glorious sunshine.

The day seemed magical and peaceful. I wish they could all be like that.

Last day with the car

On our last day with the car, we took a trip down to Kelso this afternoon. It was lovely and warm when the sun came out, and Kelso is a lovely little town to wander around in. We stopped off at a tiny little tearoom, and B got hovered over and adored by all the women–as usual. He’s just a wee chick magnet.

We also stopped by the new Borders bookstore at Fort Kinnaird on our way back. As expected, we bought a whole heap of books, including Jill Murphy’s wonderful The Last Noo-Noo for B.

Earlier this week (I think it was Wednesday, but time is a bit of a blur right now…) I finally got the rest of the garage cleaned out and finished. The remaining wall is panelled; all the junk is now on our wonderful Ikea shelving; the old wood and other junk has been taken to the dump; and the old carpet from our living room is now in place to create a rather cozy little environment.

The whole purpose of it all is, of course, to allow me to set up my drum kit again now that B has kicked me out of his room 🙂

Sluggy Freelance

Looks like I’ve got another web cartoon to add to my list of daily funnies: Sluggy Freelance

Another busy day today. We had our first visit from the Health Visitor, who turns out to be the only male Health Visitor in the Lothian region. A charming and friendly guy, we had a good long chat about what happens next in the whole baby thing (immunisations, developmental stages, checkups, etc.).

We also had our last midwife visit, from the similarly charming Maureen Benson, who has seen us through the whole pregnancy. Maureen had been on holiday last week, so it was a different community midwife who saw us at home initially, but Maureen took over today. She seemed genuinely delighted to see that we’re getting on so well, and that everything is working out for us.

Either we’ve totally lucked out in the selection of healthcare workers presented to us, or the NHS is filled with totally lovely, hardworking, and caring people. I prefer to think it’s the latter, but maybe my cynical and bitter old heart is being turned all mushy by being a father.

I also took a couple of trips to the dump to recycle/get rid of several years of accumulated files, papers, magazines and other junk. Then I ripped apart an old bookcase that has been with us since Dickson Street, and turned it into a two-piece server rack and storage shelves for our kitchen cupboard.

Cool! With a little imagination we can now claim to have a house with a library (semi-floored attic filled with 2000-odd boxed-up books) and a server room (cum pantry). Sounds much bigger than a three-bedroom semi-detached, doesn’t it?

Bad Temptation. Bad!

Once again, we’ve fought off the temptation to buy a car.

We’ve had a rental car for about a week and a half now, and it has been fantasticaly useful during these first days of new parenthood. So useful, that we started thinking it would be good to have one of our own…

So we got the car magazines, looked through Auto Trader, checked the various web sites, and pretty much got caught up in the idea. On Friday evening we went to see an n-th hand Volvo 440 (listed at £800), but that turned out to be too rough for comfort. On Saturday, we trawled round the car dealerships at Seafield with my parents, and saw a rather tasty Fiat Marea for £5k. We were all ready to head over to a dealiership in Dunfermline on Sunday, on a tip from Mum & Dad’s tame BMW salesman, but Abi and I both caught a severe bout of twitchiness yesterday evening.

So we lay in bed (while feeding B), and tossed the numbers around again. And for the price of that Fiat Marea (depreciated over three years), and taking into account road tax, insurance, MOT, and maintenance (not even looking at the petrol costs), it turns out that we can actually rent a car for a three-day weekend every other weekend.

The thought of having a car is attractive. But for doing shopping, it is just as easy for me to take home bits & pieces on my way back from work. We can plan large shopping trips for the times when we have a rental car. The thought of using the car for taking off into the Borders on a whim is pretty cool, but that’s what we thought we would do when we had the Sunpig, and that never happened, either. Realistically, we would only do stuff like that on a weekend anyway, at which point we’re back into rental territory.

Plus, a rental car is always new, never needs cleaning, and never needs taken in to the garage for a service–this is all done for us in the background.

We may think differently in a few months’ time, after we’ve spent some time with B but without a car; but there will still be a second-hand car market at that point. If we really need one, we’ll be able to get one.

Being a dad is strange.

It’s so easy to slip into the physical routine of changing nappies, disrupted sleep patterns, and the constant hum of the washing machine and tumble drier. It’s so difficult to focus on the emotional facts of having a son, and the fact that he will grow up to be a whole new person, without coming over all dizzy.

I suppose we just have to take it an hour and a day at a time. (Kind of hard, though, when B seems to be changing and growing so much on a daily basis!)

Today he was spending a lot of time playing with his favourite new toy: neck muscles. Lift head up—bonk back down again. Lift head up–bonk down. Then rest for a while, floppy-necked, while he gathers his strength again. I worry about him hurting his little face, but he doesn’t seem to have suffered any adverse effects so far…