David Coveney

Three and a Half Weeks of Kolya

I’m sitting here in the lounge, at 6am, with my laptop open. Two things to note here – once upon a time 6am was more of a going to bed time than a getting out of bed time, and actually it’s really like 7am because the clocks went back an hour last night. But I’ve been up for an hour anyway.

So, three weeks after the birth of Kolya, we’re starting to find something of a rhythm. It’s different to around the same stage with Conrad, but not in the way Kolya is, but how we are. In fact it’s remarkable looking at my notes from Conrad at the same age it feels identical. Constant feeding, a fussy period (which I assume is the digestive system settling down) which is now waning, a tired mother, and a tired father. But the big big difference is that he’s our second child.

I’m biased, but I’ll say he’s beautiful.

And that’s massive, because suddenly there’s very little spare capacity. The first few days especially were tricky because we came home on the Friday, meaning that we had two days where we had both a toddler and a newborn to deal with. The change unsettled Conrad, and Kolya is just like newborns always are – no sense of day and night, and constantly hungry. So Kolya would wake, cry loudly, and then Conrad would react with concern and a surprising desire to help. He couldn’t, of course, and that just led to tears from him also.

Once that first weekend was over, we were able to drop Conrad off at nursery which meant that daytimes were just like 17 months ago. In the evening and night it was a touch trickier, I’d collect Conrad, bring him home and, essentially be like a single parent for the night. I would feed Conrad, play with him, bathe him, put him to bed, calm him down if he woke in the night, get up before him if possible to shower and dress, feed him breakfast, play again, then take him to nursery. In effect this pattern is mostly the same a few weeks later – the difference is I’m back at work, so after dropping off Conrad I go to work. Although I don’t usually pick him up, once I’m home I’m mostly kept busy dealing with him until he’s asleep. Then I have about 1.5hrs before bed which is mostly domestic duties and jobs and supporting Romana and Kolya.

No Complaints!

That may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not.  I’m sharing because it’s stuff nobody tells you about before you have children, and what it all means is that suddenly you put great store by being organised.  Spending five minutes looking for your keys isn’t really a problem when you live alone.  Spending five minutes looking for your keys when you have a crying child in hand really is a problem.

Of course, with tiredness, mistakes happen.  On the second weekend I’d left the car door’s unlocked overnight and an opportunist helped himself to our satnav.  I didn’t need it and that, coupled with a few stressful incidents in the days following left me drained and misanthropic.  In the end, while Conrad was at nursery I retired to the garage, got the power drill up, and put up some shelfs, reorganised the comms cabinet, and generally got some pent up testosterone out of my system.

The Main Course

But I know that many of you don’t visit to read my tales – you visit to see pictures of the babies!

Here’s a set from the past couple of weeks, including an afternoon where quite a few friends dropped in to see Kolya for the first time.  Enjoy!