We’ve had a few heat waves already this year. Our house does not currently have air con, ceiling fans or even adequate air flow and if you combine this with the non existent insulation it’s often warmer inside than it is outside. Fun times. On another note, I sometimes question my life decisions, like, why did I move to a country known for it’s extremely hot summers when I don’t even handle the season in the UK very well?
Anyway, during these heatwaves you normally get one night that’s still in the thirties. Naturally we choose to torture ourselves by shutting up the house and trying to hog the small pedestal fans that just blow warm air at you. I worry about the girls overheating in their room so check on them obsessively throughout the evening. I don’t really worry about Little Man because he’s often in a starfish position and snoring loudly by the time I go to bed. The reality is I shouldn’t really be overly concerned about the girls because they don’t tend to sleep much during the hot nights, often they don’t go down for very long, instead choosing to watch Breaking Bad with Hubby and I (can’t really blame them!) then after the dream feed around 10pm they might sleep for a few hours before screaming the house down. As I said, fun times.
The reason this post is starting to become a novel is because I’m trying to explain that Tuesday was one of those nights. That evening, I talked up going to the “big shops” (for the air con) on Wednesday to LM and so that morning when he asked when we were leaving I couldn’t bear to tell him we were staying at home because I’d been up since 3:30am with an unsettled baby, was sweating from my eyeballs and was struggling to get any energy to do, well, anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. He was so excited and I knew my decision could have the potential to make the day a yay or a nay, and so I took a cold shower, made several trips to the car because of the amount of stuff we need to take with us and we went to the shops.
Now, I don’t go out with all the three kids by myself. What a lot of people don’t realise is that when the girls were younger and unable to hold their own bottles it could take me up to forty minutes to feed both. I couldn’t do this at a cafe, casually having a drink with LM, because if he needed the toilet then I’d have to stop feeding, pack up and leave so it just becomes a bit of an ordeal – especially because you can bet your life it’ll be just as the order arrives. (In Australia cafes don’t tend to have toilets or you may have to request a key and go on a mission to find it. At shopping centers you have to use the general public bathrooms). And yes, I do take him regularly even when he says he doesn’t need to go but it’s just something young kids do. The other option of sitting in a parents room for that length of time does not appeal to me and so I always ventured out with my bigger kid or the tiny twosome.
We got there at 9am but it felt more like lunch time. I told LM that we would have a look around the shops and then maybe get a milkshake before a play in the kids area of the center. Of course he needed the toilet immediately after placing our drink order but the girls were holding their bottles in their pram, feeding themselves, and so I just let the staff know I’d be right back. After we had finished, we saw the midwife who had stopped my labour days before I had the girls and who had done a shift during their stay in the nursery. I asked if she got stopped regularly and she said no, but she remembers us because of our hair (we are a bit unforgettable because we’re like a tiny redhead gang!). Meeting her again was a pretty special moment for me.
Then we saw our good friends (in the bathroom, where else?) who asked if we were seeing The Octonauts show. I had no idea a show was even due to be on but we tagged along anyway and managed to score a spare place. Then we all went and had sushi together. LM was beyond happy at having a dance in a tiny mosh pit with Captain Barnacles whilst being with one of his BFF’s and I got to eat my meal with both hands free – a rarity!
We got to the car after lunch and it was forty degrees (I know, right?!) but the afternoon was supposed to cool down significantly so I looked forward to that instead of getting all stroppy with the sun. We got home, I fed the girls their bottles and put them down for their afternoon naps and the boy and I watched a film and cuddled on the sofa.
Hubby was pretty late home due to a big bush fire and admittedly on some days that would have sent me into a spiral. I would have been stressed out with clingy babies, LM asking for anything and everything and just feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. But I just kept calm and carried on.
I was so proud of myself for actually getting out of the house with all three children for a whole morning. I was happy that I had spent time with friends and that the stars aligned so that I ran into people who my clingy girls feel comfortable being held by. I was calm and content from spending such a pleasant day with my son, complete with no tantrums. I coped. I smiled. I laughed. I was patient and I genuinely enjoyed my day. This was not a momentary post natal depression high, this was simply life, my life, and it was lovely.