Three months of cuddles

Dear Julius,

You rolled over for the first time this evening. Front to back. You were lying on your playmat, wearing only your diaper after your bath. I’d just finally got around to combing out your cradle cap. So you were lying on your tummy, tipping further and further over, and whoosh, you did it. You looked a little shocked and started to cry. Michael and I were both watching. I picked you up and cuddled you, and we both said ‘Well done Julius, good job!’ And you bobbed your little head and threw Michael a smile.

There. A milestone recorded. I’m afraid you won’t have so many of these written down as your big brother has, but neither does your sister. That’s just the way of it. But if it’s any consolation, you have twice as much adoration directed your way, as all four of us are fairly smitten with you. Whenever we go anywhere with your siblings, everyone always tells them how lucky they are to have a little brother like you, and it is true.

On Tuesday you were 13 weeks and precisely three months old. You had some vaccinations on Wednesday so I even have stats – 7.3kg, 65.5cm, so you’ve grown ten centimetres and just over three kilograms since you were born. You are a cheerful, cuddly, friendly little thing. You love to gaze in our eyes and tell us stories. You love to sleep in the wrap. You’ve just started cheekily hiding your face in my shoulder when people look at you, then peeping back out at them and grinning. You did it with Michael the other night, over and over, laughing ‘Heh!’ each time. If you’ve been crying and I begin to feed you, you utter a sigh of relief – ‘hoooh!’ before getting down to business.

We mostly call you Juju. We sing ‘Hey Jude’ to you. Felix has a funny little rhyme that goes ‘Juju is fast, he needs a bath.’ Darling boy, we love you so.

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These three

We’re a week into the kids’ summer holidays. I must admit I was a little apprehensive (and it has had its moments) but it has been truly lovely to spend some proper time with these guys. Julius is a cheerful little thing who’s happy to fit in as long as he gets lots of cuddles. He loves to look deeply into your eyes and coo and smile, but it’s difficult to photograph his smile as he distrusts phones and cameras… Antonia is her delightful, energetic, engaging self. She says she’d like to do summer holidays on her own soon. ‘What would you do if you had holidays on your own?’ I asked her. ‘Take a walk in the forest. Climb a tree.’ Felix spends most of his down time building lego. He made a ‘music shop’ this morning, complete with a piano. And last night he was dancing, very creatively, by himself for half an hour, to Rick Astley’s ‘Never gonna give you up’, which he specially requested Michael to put on. I took the photo above just after he’d finished, his face flushed and hair tousled with exertion… These little beings are ridiculously hard work and ridiculously amazing.

Sunsets

I’m looking out at the red sunset over the fjord. I meant to go to bed early but suddenly it’s 11 already. Baby J will wake soon, I guess, you never know, and demand some milk. With his arrival it feels like so much is shifting. Sometimes I feel I’m floundering around with little to hold on to, but right now, looking out upon the water, it feels like our house is a big ship, travelling in the right direction, and I’m sailing.

My Mum is here and she is so amazing. It’s meant these past two and a half weeks have been so much smoother than they would have been without her. For the first ten days I did not feel up to much, and did not leave the house or get out of my pyjamas. And then suddenly I felt better, so I have been trialling things. Laundry. Cooking dinner. Picking the kids up from barnehage. I’ve only done that last one once, on Friday last week, and Mum was with me.

We’d just been grocery shopping with Julius. He seemed quite happy so I thought it would be ok, and was looking forward to introducing him to Antonia’s carers. But as soon as we arrived, he started fussing, so I had to take him out of the pram. I carried him into Antonia’s class, and all the little kids rushed to have a look at him, and her carer cooed – oh, she looks like Antonia! But he was crying and wanted milk, so we went out to the hallway, where I perched next to Antonia’s spot, breastfeeding. Meanwhile my Mum had rounded up Felix, who had been around the back outside. He was edgy and tired and wanted to leave immediately. Mum started gathering up some of Antonia’s stuff that I wanted to take home. Then Antonia needed the toilet, so I handed Julius, who started fussing again immediately, to Mum, and went with Antonia back inside. When we came out to the hallway again Felix was complaining loudly about us taking so long. He’d knocked over the neat pile of Antonia’s stuff that Mum had made on the ground. I found a bag to put it all in, and in my enthusiasm accidentally stuffed in another kid’s shoes. (They were the same design as Antonia’s previous pair, and her current pair had been left at home as she’d peed on them yesterday by mistake.) Finally we were ready to leave, and Felix started wailing about how he never got to sit next to Julius in the car, and it wasn’t fair, and I had to threaten to take away the ipad for the evening in order to get him in the car. He then started begging for sweeties, and instead I promised them both an iceblock for when we got home (it was hot). So, yeah. If Mum hadn’t been there to hold the squalling baby it would have been even less pretty.

Today we went the birthday party of a friend of Felix, the son of one of my closest friends. It was at a play-centre a forty minute drive away, and I was quite pleased with myself that I had managed to arrive (I thought) exactly on time. Michael reminded us to take the presents with us (I’d forgotten them when we went to a different kids’ party the week before, and had had to turn around to pick them up). But I had remembered the times wrong and we were AN HOUR LATE! It all turned out ok and Felix was in time for cake and my friends were understanding, but I felt so silly. For a moment I felt like bursting into tears but thankfully I didn’t.

So. Stormy waters now and then. But sailing.