Well, we're back on to food, following some handy advice... by which I mean I let him put his hands in it, which appears to make it more tasty - this following a recommendation from a friend as well as a kindly comment on this blog. He's eating really well in fact. Favourites are stewed pear, sweetcorn and butternut squash. Separately, you understand. He also wolfs down broccolli and carrots. I am taking photographs for when he's 5 and refusing to eat his veg.
My goal now is to get him onto three regular meals a day and some sort of routine in time for his first venture into the wild world of child-minding so that I in turn can venture back into the wild world of work two days a week. Apart from the fact that this is causing me several different kinds of worry ranging from 'what if he hates it' to 'what if he loves her more than me' to 'what if she kills him?', it's also meant that I have to provide the child-minder with an outline of his schedule plus all his needs for the day. This, in turn has given me two new kinds of stress. Firstly, that of bringing him onto a schedule and then the additional stress of trying, obviously, to be a better Mum than the Mum of the other baby she looks after on alternate days.
It doesn't help that this Mum delivers the baby to the minder every day complete with two 6oz bottles of expressed milk. TWO six ounce bottles of expressed milk EVERY DAY and the baby is nine months old!!! OK, so perhaps on the days where he is with the minder I may be able to moo out enough to keep up but now I am agog with curiosity to know what else this Supermum packs her baby off with. Only the knowledge that I have a freezer full of hand-made organic veggie purees (I took a workshop)(god that's so middle class) makes me feel I can even step into this game of keepy-uppy-Mummy.
The extra work involved in packing my darling off to the minder every day is another mind-bender. Today I kept track of everything he ate, wore or weed into between 8 and 6 and it looks as though I'm going to be sending him off with 2 wardrobes, 4 nappies plus one for luck, 4 bottles (2 boob, 2 formula) and 6 portions of food. This means that I have to have a nice bag to pack it all into which every night I have to unpack and clean and every morning I have to repack. Given that I am a morning brinksman and have never in my life had a spare moment in the time between waking and leaving the house, I am quailing ever-so-slightly in my slippers.
Ultimately, it's only two days a week and I'm sure we'll both be fine. I know it doesn't matter a toot what I send him off with so long as it's enough and I don't really give a toot what the other Mum does either, it's just that it's a step into the blue and rather than think sensibly about it, I am once again indulging in diversion tactics to take my mind off what is actually about to happen, to whit, that I am going to be separated from Charlie for two days a week and I know that it's going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt him. It's like him moving into his own room, only this time I won't have a monitor or the option of whisking him back on the spur of the moment and he's too young for me to be able to ring him every five minutes to ask him how he's doing. And the child-minder would probably quit if I rang her that often.
The consolation prize is that my other baby is now sitting under it's tarp in the motorcycle parking bay across the street, ready to ferry me to work at a moment's notice - and I don't have to pump anything except petrol to keep it happy.