Felix and I touched down in the UK a week ago today. He seemed happy when I first brought him home, but in the few days that followed he seemed a little unsettled. He never became a full-on cry baby, but I could tell he was different which upset me a bit.
I tried to keep him busy. I took him out in the stroller every day, nowhere exciting, just around Leytonstone (our local area). I have to say, that first stroll was a wakeup call for me too. I was still in Texan-mode, which meant being used to big roads, big people and a big dose of southern hospitality! Well when I entered Leytonstone town centre I was greeted by the thumping sounds of British hip hop blasting from a car and a skinny woman spitting on the street as she walked past. Oh how I missed the smooth sounds of country music and women in shopping malls telling me my baby was ‘purdy’.
I was more concerned with little one though. It’s a long way from the Gulf of Mexico to the River Thames. I knew he was really feeling the change in environment. He’d swapped the humidity of the Texan air for the bite of an English breeze. A busy bungalow filled with children’s laughter and affectionate women had been exchanged for an East London terraced house with quiet men. What a daunting change for a little boy new to this world.
The best I could do was to write him a prescription for unlimited cuddles. He and granddad got along well too, so between us we brought him round and by the weekend he was back to smiling like the Felix we know and love.
That Saturday I invited a few friends round to meet him. It was a really lovely day! He was held by one person after another in a pass-the-parcel game of cuteness-induced squeals and cackles (and that’s just me), but he wasn’t fazed at all. He sat there content the whole way through and only got a little cranky at the end when gave the kind of cry that said “Show’s over folks.”
Since then I’ve been meeting up with different friends here and there whenever I have time. I’ve really been surprised at the level of interest a baby brings. As I’ve said in the past, I have a few friends and I like to party. Well I always assumed that when I had my baby I’d be branded with a scarlet letter and sent off into the wilderness, destined for a life of loneliness without a gay bar in sight. I’d already prepared to befriend the Real Housewives of Leytonstone and meet for mundane chats about useless husbands, gluten-free muffin recipes and baby yoga. But that’s not it at all! So many people have been in touch to say how much they want to meet Felix - and when they meet him they love him, which warms my heart because I love him too!
Oh and I think Felix is developing. Stand by, I’m about to go all parent-y on you! Well he’s obviously grown a bit, as they do at this age, but he’s also started to make loud noises. It’s really hard to explain but it’s kind of like yelling, or the sound you’d make if you were saying “Hey! Over here!” but without the words.
You know what this means? It means my baby is communicating with us! He wants to talk to us! And he’s doing it the only way he knows how - with yells which sound almost like words. It’s actually pretty hilarious to listen to. My dad thinks he sounds like a chimpanzee, but I think it’s more like a seagull.
Also he sleeps through the night now! Well sort of – it’s more like 4 or 5 hours of continuous sleep, but my dad had him in his room last night and said he slept for EIGHT HOURS! Trust me this is music to your ears when the bags under your eyes are huge like mine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still exhausted when he wakes me up, but I have to say there’s no better way to wake up than to see your favourite little person smiling at you, beckoning you to play with him. OK so maybe I’m not so receptive when he first yells for me – I grab the dummy and pop it in his mouth, and then pop it in again the second time he yells a few minutes later, and the third time… Oh OK I use the dummy as I would the snooze function on my iPhone, but when I finally do prize my eyes open, the happy look on his face is priceless! It’s like a laugh but a silent one. I pick him out of the Moses basket and lay him in the bed next to me, enjoying staring at his adorable face until I’m finally awake enough to start the day.
These long sleeps will go down well when I go back to work. Ah yes… work! Tomorrow is a big day, folks. I start back in the office and I’m dreading it. I’ve just ironed my shirt. That was super depressing and I’m not even I the office yet!
Flying back to the UK with Felix was the end of an era, but I’ve always thought about work as the final frontier, the time where the bubble bursts and the fairy-tale becomes real life. But I’m not ready to start real life! I like being a lady of pleasure whilst still getting paid! But any, it’s gotta be done I suppose.