Wow, can you believe it. Just like that we have a teenager in the house. Tom – my oldest (of course) turned 13 on Saturday! To be honest I can’t believe I have managed to keep him alive for that long.
It was a rough start for him. He nearly starved to death because our “community nurse” told me “You will ALWAYS have enough breast milk”. So I thought all was going very smoothly. Sure he was skinny, but we didn’t really have anything to compare him too. We had him down in Dubbo in NSW and then headed back to the station after a few weeks. So once back on the station I also didn’t really have much contact with anyone. We thought he was so cute and he was such a good little boy -slept really well and didn’t complain. Turns out he probably didn’t have the energy to complain, poor little bugger. I can’t even look at those photos from when he was starving, the ones where we thought he was so cute. Oh my god, he is so skinny, it is just awful.
It wasn’t until we took him in for a normal check up that alarm bells rang. They didn’t say straight out that he was starving but they did suggest I give him a top up feed of formula after each drink and also gave me a diet to follow so I could increase my breast milk. If I followed those instructions all I would be doing is feeding myself and the baby, I thought. The nurse then said that she had only seen one case worse than this and that we would have to bring him up every week to be weighed. We were lucky they didn’t send us straight to hospital. I feel so bad when I look back at those photos.
So we did what we were told, we gave him a bottle and my goodness, you have never seen anything like it. He skulled that 60ml of formula in around 5 seconds flat. That was it – bugger this breast feeding that I never really wanted to do anyway (was only going to do it if it worked out and not beat myself up if it didn’t…..). So we put him on the bottle and BAM – he put on 700g in the first week. After one day you could see his little cheeks filling out. Oh we felt so terrible. But he was super happy. He then turned into a gorgeous chubby happy little baby.
Turns out it hasn’t affected him, he is ok. Big strong 13 year old now. A smart, kind, hard working country boy.
So the moral of this story BREAST IS NOT ALWAYS BEST and don’t listen to those breast feeding nazi’s. If you want to bottle feed just do it. I bottle fed all of my babies, after that. Harry and Clancy went straight onto the bottle and we all loved it – they sleep really well too!!! The nurses were all really supportive, none of them made me feel guilty. They are all very healthy, smart little boys. Actually come to think of it, Clancy was on Devondale UHT by 10 months old and he has turned out perfectly ok – well kind of, ha ha ha. No seriously, they make such a song and dance about it all don’t they.
Anyway… here we are with a 13 year old. I look at him and think – wow, he has turned out just fine. He sure does know how to push my buttons and make me wild. It has only taken me 13 years to realise that this is his pastime and he loves to rev me up. Now I just tell him bluntly to stop being a dickhead and he pulls his head in. He knows. He is always the first one to come up and give me a hug if he notices that I am down.
Oh and what about the fact that he has already finished one year at boarding school! How can that be? It feels like we only just dropped him off. He has had the best year. So basically our kids leave home at 12 years old… that is it. Gone! Just back for holidays. I can notice a difference in him after just one year. He has grown and matured.
You know what else… I have realised that maybe, just maybe he isn’t going to be scarred for life from all of the yelling I have done over the past 13 years. He and I were having dinner down in Brisbane a few months back, just the two of us. We were just chatting and I said… “Yeah, you have a pretty psycho Mum don’t you? Always yelling and going bat shit crazy….”. To which he replied “No, you’re ok, I have realised that when you yell at us it is for a reason”…. O DEAR LORD… my work here is done. I have spent the past 13 years feeling so guilty, guilty that I am such a bad Mum, guilty that I can’t ride a horse and take them riding, guilty that I am not really an outdoorsy Mum, guilty that I am a cranky Mum… SO MUCH GUILT. But guess what – he is ok and can actually ride a horse – really well. I think, after a year at boarding school, he has realised that he doesn’t have it so bad after all. He has had a taste of the big bad world and been exposed to other people, other families. Turns out his is ok. Who’d have thought?
We spent the day on Saturday chilling out in the air-con or in the pool. It was a very relaxed day, there was bad food, lollies, cob loaf dip and chicken chippee’s! Definitely not an Instagrammable birthday party but a very enjoyable day. He wanted a Pavlova as his Birthday Cake but to date we have been too full to have it… so it still sits on our bench waiting to be topped with cream and eaten. But he doesn’t care. He got the present he wanted – a G-Shock watch so he is one very happy boy.
Now he is back out in the 44 degree heat fencing with his Dad and he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Do you have a Christmas Baby?
Did you bottle feed too?
Do you have a Teenager in the house?