Always ask for hamsters when Mum is weak

So the toddlers have been on a campaign. Mostly to get a dog. This is where the clever part happens. They lie quietly in wait. See their opportunity and strike. We’ve explained to them that a dog can’t happen right now. It’s not fair on anyone for a big furry to join us. I’d love a dog, but not until the kids (even the bump!) are at school. I’m a realist, for once, and realise that I’d be the one caring for it and walking several times a day, once their enthusiasm had long gone. With 3 kids under 5, I don’t believe that to be realistic for any of us. A hamster, on the other hand, is not quite so taxing and relatives don’t mind babysitting quite so much when the pet won’t chew their carpet (unless she escapes!).

So, yesterday, I made the rookie decision to allow us to go to the pet shop, after the sickness bug had subsided. The boys campaigned pretty hard, even though the eldest was sad that “pet-shops didn’t sell dogs”. We decided to adopt a gorgeous little grey and white syrian hamster, who has been christened Sophie by the eldest even thought that’s what husband wanted to call bump

I’ve had to oil her wheel and there was much excitement last night, when she ventured out of her (already chewed) temporary house from the pet shop. It takes me back to being a kid myself.

I remember once, I’d brought a friend from school home to meet my hamster, Eva. Sadly, after being with us quite a long time, the Eva the hamster chose that very day to pass away to the hamster wheel of the sky. Myself, aged about 8, was devastated. A very helpful Uncle told me she was just hibernating. Unfortunately for him, we had already buried her under a tree in the big garden. Much to my parents’ alarm, I then wanted to perform an exhumation. It led to some important conversations about death.

I think that having a creature to see, care for and understand its life cycle is good for children. Even though it will be me cleaning her tray and looking after her. The kid in me can’t wait.

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The dangerous nesting visit to Ikea

Today was the day. In fact it’s the second time I’ve been this pregnancy. I thought that the nesting instinct would get less intense with each pregnancy. Wrong!

I seem to be trying to organise everything. Things like ironing newborn clothes have long gone out of the window (that stopped with my first born), but buying accessories and rugs? I was there today. Somewhere between the aisle of despair and ecstasy, I picked up a load of stuff which we all obviously needed. Hmm.

The really good bit was, that I went solo, unlike last time. Last time I nearly lost two children in the bed department (they rigorously tested each one), much to my husband’s dismay. I also tried to put the eldest into Smaland crèche, which resulted in delayed tears from him, so a retrieval phone call by the time I’d even entered the kiddie section upstairs. So, in comparison, today was good.

One tired pregnant woman tonight but feel like a small time shopping genius, with coordinated bins and toothbrush holders… The three men in my life think I’m vaguely bonkers. Never mind, I’m off to recycle/bin the old stuff I’ve replaced in the morning. Nesting -it’s a compulsion!

My definition of “getting organised”

Being pregnant is lovely. It’s privileged and I don’t wish to moan about it and its many random foibles (much, anyway).

One thing I do find though, is that I seem to be awake half of the whole night, every night. This isn’t fun when you know that, at around 6.30am, two very enthusiastic toddlers will want your attention and to play houses/monkeys on the bed or similar. Still, awake I am (like now, at 3.54am).

There is an upshot though. This has become my own time. I use it to plan for baby number 3’s arrival. I order random things online. I torture myself with images from Pinterest and laugh at funny posts online. It’s part of the reason I’ve started this blog, when I realised that I have no real record of the boys growing up, except in my mind. It’s my time to plan what to do next, what the next week holds or how I’m going to try to cope with 3 children under the age of five in a few weeks.

Being awake at this time has its benefits in other ways, despite my husband complaining and blaming my iPhone for keeping me up with its glare or my latest Kindle obsession. It’s my own time, my selfish time, my “I don’t feel guilty for being online time”. For now. In a few weeks, I hope a lovely newborn will be joining me. If she’s anything like the last two, then I will be googling all the things I’m not sure about, from cradle cap to growth spurts, as they crop up, reading books and trying not to fall asleep feeding. It’s a lovely time, the middle of the night. In its own way.

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