Dear Frankie, Month 5

Dear Frankie,

Hello monkeynuts, how are you my angel? This is the lowdown of what’s been happening with you recently…

The majority of your fifth month was spent in South Africa. We flew out on the 22nd Feb and you whimpered not during the 12 hour flight there nor the flight back. That’s generally what they call ‘unheard of’. Literally. We were bulkheading next to another couple who had a one and a half year old. She screamed and cried a lot whilst we mostly sat polishing your halo.

Your growth stats as at 18th March:

Height: 63 cms
Weight: 7.7kgs (1 stone 3 pounds)(let’s keep it metric, right)
Therefore BMI = 19.4 (normal)

So what did we do in South Africa? Drove from Cape Town via a luxurious hotel treat in Swellendam to your maternal grandparents SA residence in Plettenberg Bay where we were looked after outrageously well. We spent most days playing in the pool together at some point. Every time I lowered you in, for the first 30 seconds as you acclimatised to the cool water temperature you looked petrified and struggled for breath, then as you sat properly in your inflatable, you smiled, relaxed and started guzzling at the water like it was your home. You spent some good time getting to know Uncle Chris and Nicky w ho came up from NZ and have now flown on to Thailand. You stroked an elephant. Every beer bottle I held at the same time as holding you became a teething ring. You spent time getting a little sun on you which has lightened your hair and given a lovely glow to your skin. Uncle Edd also joined us out there and he continues to rate you almost as highly as we do. Then the last couple of days you got to meet our mates Terry and Anna back in Cape Town. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying that just you being you brought genuine, bona fide tears of joy to Terry’s eyes. You can have that effect on people my love.

This month has been one of many firsts and some relatively large changes in your lifestyle:

  • 22nd Feb: 1st flight (not including the ones to Barcelona and Sudan when you were in your gestation station)
  • 22nd Feb: 1st country visited, South Africa
  • 23rd Feb: 1st swim
  • 27th Feb: Last breastfeed, consider yourself weaned
  • 7th March: 1st grape
  • 8th March: 1st banana
  • 9th March: 1st avocado
  • 15th March: In your cot in your own room

You took all of these fairly monumental changes without blinking an eyelid. There seems to be some kind of recognition with the new tastes however, then the rabid grabbing at the bottle or spoon to get as much in your mouth as quickly as you can. I have no idea where that trait may have come from.

Nail cutting continues to be the worst part of parenting, due to the risk of cutting you so your nails don’t get clipped as often as they should do. You let us know your displeasure at this by scratching and gouging divets out of your face. Self-harming at 5 months. Oh bollocks. Mea culpa.

Some points that other new parents may be interested to know:

  • Pampers make your wet pantaloons smell of Marmite soldiers
  • The books and web sites about babies and parenting generally paint a worst case scenario. We happen to have a best case scenario.
  • A two-man nappy change makes life so much easier. Not only because one of the tag team can hold your legs while the other sorts out the business end, but also it makes light of an otherwise horrendous situation. Jeez you can stink sometimes Frankie.
  • For fathers, the ability to take part in feeding really is a priviledge. Holding your baby so you can see her being salvaged from malnutrition is a wonderful thing.

And finally, you often sleep with your eyelids slightly ajar. This is excellent. It lets us know that you have adopted to your surrounds. Living in London’s ‘hard-knocks’ eastend is tough so keeping your eyes peeled 24hrs in case of any hint of trouble is highly intelligent and well developed. I can sleep soundly knowing that you are ready to jump into action at any moment.

You are the best thing ever Frankie and you have two fully smitten, doting, besotted parents.

Love,

Daddy x

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