Since we got home, the Boy has been breastfed. He gets an expressed bottle about once a day -partly so my husband gets to feed him, partly so we don't have any issues with using bottles when I need to go back to work. But apart from that, it's all me.
There's loads of benefits to breastfeeding and I don't particularly want to list them here. But one of the odd things about it, that I hadn't thought about before I did it, is that you're always on the clock.
Consequently, the Boy and I are together the vast majority of the time. Sometimes I run the odd errant when he's having his daytime nap. Or I've given a babysitter - my Mum or sister - a bottle of milk in case he wakes up, so we can have a little couple time. About two or three times, I've gone out in the evening - popping to the shop, usually - leaving my husband with him. Evening time is usually when the Boy does a lot of eating. I always feel a bit apprehensive leaving him, but I've always come back to find the Boy and my husband contented.
Which they should be, really. There's loads of spare milk in the freezer, and I always leave at least 130 mls fresh before I go out. And there's even an emergency carton of formula.
That should mean the Boy is never hungry. You'd think.
I'd gone to a function tonight - because I think it's a bit unhealthy all round if I never leave the Boy, and my husband never gets to look after him alone, and besides which, it's nice to have a little bit of adult conversation. I fed the Boy just before I left. I got on the train, went to the event, excused myself at bang on when I was meant to leave, and quickly walked back to get the train. I was away for less than three hours.
When I got on the train back, I called my husband to let him know I was on my way. He said that the Boy had drunk all the fresh milk he'd been given. For some reason my husband had waited until the fresh milk was totally finished before he took the frozen stuff out the freezer. In the half hour between finishing the fresh bottle and getting the frozen milk defrosted, the Boy had screamed. Then he had refused the bottle, screamed some more and fallen asleep.
The train journey took around five minutes - I didn't go far. It was the longest five minutes of my life. I kept imagining the Boy's little face all twisted up and making his hungry cries, which are particularly piercing.
You know, rationally, that you're not going to get investigated by Social Services for your baby not having a bottle ready immediately when he wants it. And that the Boy is not going to say in his wedding speech "...and I'd like to thank my Mum, even although she once went out, leaving me with my Dad, who didn't feed me straight away when I was hungry when I was 11 weeks old." But I felt like a complete cow for going out, and like the whole episode was a big black mark against me as a parent.
The journey was made even longer by a tremendously irritating chap sitting across from me. The conversation went something like this:
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, I'm fine. I'm just tired."
"Oh, right. It was just you looked a bit worried."
"I'm fine, thanks." I started playing with my phone. Because I was a bit worried about the Boy not being fed and I didn't want to share this with a random bloke on the train.
"Oh, you were miles away, miles away. You must have been thinking about something."
I mean, who does this? I don't mind talking to random people on the train, but why keep going on at someone who is so obviously preoccupied that it's the first thing you can think to talk to them about? Why? Why?
Mercifully, the bloke's mobile went off at this point. He had the conversation and then said,
"Oh, aye. I was just on the phone. I was just on the phone, you see!"
And then it got to my stop. By this point, I just wanted to sprint to the house to feed the Boy. But the annoying twat started walking really slowly up the stairs in front of me. The stairs are too narrow for more than two to walk abreast, and another woman was passing him so I had to wait for her to get by. But it was like going on the train was some sort of special occasion for him and he had the wring the maximum enjoyment and social opportunities from using public transport. He started talking inane gubbins to her as well;
"Oh, you're going faster than me! You're passing me!"
And I had to stop myself from attempting to hurl him bodily onto the tracks.
Anyway, I burst into the flat to discover the Boy in my husband's arms, gulping on the bottle he'd initially refused. So I hopped impatiently about the living room, waiting for him to finish. He was still hungry, despite having had the two bottles. And as soon as he'd had enough, he went back to his usual easygoing self.
So, all sorts of lessons were learned. Don't rely on my husband to be organised enough to defrost milk in advance. Remember the Boy can put away an incredible amount of milk in the evening. And beware of mentalists on the train.