After eight hours in the hospital jettisoned into the outside world, newborn in one hand, exhausted and stitched up fiancé in the other. The only other thing missing was an instruction manual.
We eventually mastered 0-6 months, admittedly turbulently, tired and poorer, but survived nonetheless. Quickly learning nappies have sticky flaps, so after one back to front error, it's pretty plain sailing and no matter how well done up, poop explosions are inevitable. One theory would suggest, the tighter the nappy the less chance of an explosion, but actually it just increases the pressure of the escaping mustard river. Bottles luckily have teats on one end, so no real complications there. Although forget the blue insert of a Dr Browns bottle at 3am and the kitchen quickly turns into a swear pit whilst you stand there milk soaked. I guess it's fresh milk rather than regurgitated stomach milk - every cloud.
You will often hear parents wandering round saying 'I just don't know where the times gone' which is strange for the increased amount of extra hours you're awake and how long the days feel, but never the less, a common phase. I was one of those parents, before I knew it; it was time to think about weaning.
First starting point was Google. It had confused me in the past, but this time, like when you date an ex, I had approached it wiser, with less expectations and in the knowledge inevitably I'd end up staring blankly while thinking it was better before.
However, I was safe in the knowledge, this would be a doddle. Add milk to the powdered porridge, place said porridge in humans mouth, weaning complete. Raffy is a unit so he welcomed it, making it easier - well until he sneezed with a mouth full. Then all those years of getting called 4 eyes and a speccy twat paid off. How does that porridge feel in your eyes now bitches?
I wasn't expecting him to master that quite so quickly and still hadn't really got my head around how much are you meant to give them? (until they puke?) When do you move onto 3 times a day? How much do you reduce the milk consumption by? Maybe baby led weaning was better? And all the other sensible parent questions, but most importantly when can I give him a Rusk? Every baby loves rusks!
Ditching my internet searching I headed to the shops. In a supermarket sweep style fashion I swept a shelf into the trolley, but not before putting the Rusks in first obviously - damn my excitement from subliminal TV marketing and memories of my youth.
I bought various makes of oddly flavoured sludge (which has joined the bogey club as something that triggers my gag reflex) and a fancy steamer / blender type contraption, because after all that's we really needed, another bloody machine. Admittedly, it's been pretty awesome, but just let me have a moan - I have a man cold, I'm tired, writing this on a busy train and pretty sure some of the guys sneeze in front of me went in my mouth.
My shopping technique did have some strategy because women being women I knew the safe bet was to buy everything and spread my bets. Surely one of them had to be right? Each brand was revealed from the shopping bag and met with silence, no words, just either a straight faced nod or continued silence which might as well of been accompanied by a Xfactor buzzer and some kind of trap door where she could lower me into a pit of crocodiles. I saved the Rusks till last, and combined the reveal with a "taaadaaar" to help get it through the intense judgment stage. It worked!
While I said to leave the shopping to me, sourcing a high chair was her job, which deep down I knew was a bad decision. I've spotted a trend in Tash's research and buying. The most expensive one is always the one that conveniently comes out on top, so I knew as suitable as it may have been the IKEA £9 pound high chair wasn't going to make the cut.
It was rusk time. I was excited, he was excited. But, something nervously was in the back of my mind. In the early days my friend Tom said 'wait till they choke' when we were discussing weaning all those months ago.
I broke a bit off placed it into his chubby little fingers and waited patiently. Once he had finished putting it in his eye, ear, nose and on the floor, he located his mouth. He looked pleased - for the first 45 seconds - then began the crying. Turns out him teething meant biting down on a sharp risk was just too painful. The Rusk dream was now on hold, at least he didn't gag himself I guess.
I decided to try something softer so I placed a small piece of banana in his hand where it was then thrust into his mouth. Gasping and looking on anxiously for what felt like hours, "he loved it!" for 3 seconds, cue choking and it coming back out "maybe not" Even though I was prepared, what a terrifying moment.
Is it too over the top to tie cotton to everything and should choking happen I can give the string a yank?
The weaning of life continues.......