Apart from this year.
To my lovely friends, whom I don't see that much anymore; I miss you. I'm still here, I just have this other love in my life now. He's not even 70cm tall, weighs less than 17lbs, but he's taken over my world, my heart, my thoughts.
My evenings are not like they used to be, I don't have the flexibility to pop out or even have people pop round in the same way...evenings are tricky, Harry has a certain dislike for sleep. It's not particularly enjoyable for me and Scott, so you'd enjoy it even less. It takes team work, determination, patience, frequent visits up and down the stairs, unfinished cups of tea, unfinished conversations. But, if you feel like giving it a try one evening, I'm here...I'm always here you see; I can count the number of times in the last five months I have been out in the evening. Five. So if you do feel like hunkering down on the sofa and seeing me every few minutes, or bearing with me while I listen out for his cries, panicking if he does choose to sleep, I'm here.
After the initial interest when Harry was born, it's a sad truth that the visits slow down. Seeing a five month old who doesn't particularly like strangers is not as appealing as the squidgy new born who is happy to be cuddled by anyone with a heartbeat. I understand though. He's the love of my life, and at times I could happily put him on EBay...free postage! My whole day is about Harry, so yep, that means your WhatsApp will be spammed with photos of him! There's just not a lot else to show you...
But, I'm still here, I'm still me. I do remember (just) how to stop talking in sing song voices and I do know there are other songs in the world other than the wheels on the bus, I still love Champagne, I just can't drink it by the bottle like I used to because of breastfeeding and hangovers are just unbearable to even think about. I still love chocolate, popcorn, crap movies and like to pretend I will run 5k again one day. I still like to bore people with stories (good and bad) about being a step-parent, I like to boast when I hit 10,000 steps and I still like to indulge in a Twiathlon (it just takes a few weeks rather than hours due to the constant interruptions). I can still eat a large pizza in one sitting and no, I haven't learned to cook. I'm still interested in you, your work, your day, your family.
It's just that I also have this gorgeous, gummy, dribbly, smelly little boy in my life now. He's all consuming and I switch from tears of pure joy to tears of sadness for my old life. The thing is, one day he will need me a little less...one day I'll feed him for the last time, one day he'll go off to bed without so much as a glance back at me, one day he'll be out in the evenings leaving me alone with all the hot cups of tea I can manage. Until then, he needs me.
Just the other day I went for a belated birthday afternoon tea, it was wonderful, but then my Mum called as Harry had decided he no longer wanted to take expressed milk from a bottle. He wouldn't feed. We had to rush back....the next day Scott & I had to cancel our plans as we couldn't risk it happening again. I've never been so needed. It's stressful, can feel a little restrictive, but also makes me feel kinda powerful and it's nice to be needed in that way.
So it seems I'm breaking all the rules now. I'm putting a guy first before my friends, I'm cancelling plans, I'm a little rubbish at keeping in touch. It seems I'm going to have to rewrite the rules. Will you bear with me? Will you still be there to watch the crap movies that Scott refuses to watch with me? When I'm ready, will you post drunken Facebook updates with me once more?
When Harry needs me just a little less, will you be my Valentine once again?