I occasionally think I should update more often but more often than not more important things get in the way.
The last twelve months have been tumultuous in many ways but the most distracting thing has been the addition of Rudi Ising to our family.
Maybe he didn't look so bonnie when he first squeezed out but at the time biology took over and he looked just fine to me, even the hint of ginger that could have just been a bit bloody seemed to turn blonde, or even invisible.
It wasn't long before he got simply adorable.
He was teeny-totie when he arrived. 6 pounds 10 ounces (3kgs) which was a fraction smaller than Isaac was at birth but Rudi was a couple of weeks earlier. He did take us quite by surprise but didn't take long to emerge once the pushing started.
Even the tiny baby clothes seemed to hang off him. Changing his nappy was a delicate operation: he resembled a baby bird who had fallen from the nest. By contrast, changing Isaac's nappy became a revelation at how big he had grown. Gripping his ankles I had the feeling that he was more like a teenager than a toddler and was time he abandoned the nappies altogether. A journey we have commenced this week.
Rudi's fontanelle was quite pronounced, more so than Isaac's. I wondered if Rudi was, indeed, a Mason.
Rudi was also born with this weird left foot which splayed all the way back to the shin. His Mumma assures me this was the foot that was stuck into her ribs for the last few months of his incubation. His feet are fine by the way, I haven't tested whether or not he still has this unique flexibility.
He did, and still does, sleep soundly for long stretches. Neither Mumma nor I remember Isaac complying so peacefully.
From the beginning Rudi seemed studious in his demeanour. Isaac was a very alert and wise looking baby, but Rudi has always been a little more serious.
Except, of course, when he's hungry. Which is probably as much as any newborn except that, in contrast to Isaac (who we swaddled and did a kind of 'controlled crying'), Rudi is 'on the boob' nearly 24/7.
Again, this has resulted in a more content and studious/serious baby.
The other thing this 24/7 suckling has mean for me as a father is a level of disconnect I don't recall having with Isaac. Rudi has a bond with his Mumma that is a beautiful thing, however there has been less 'Daddy-time' and sometimes I'm frustrated that he doesn't settle as easily with me. I feel like an outsider in his life, especially because I am now more responsible for Isaac's attention than ever, but it means that the time I get with Rudi is very special. Now that he has started smiling it is an amazing rush to be able to make him smile. We've got this thing, Rudi and I, where I puck a kiss on his lips and he starts to laugh. Very nearly makes me cry.
Isaac was a very colicky (sp?) baby. Because his stomach was so small he was hungry all the time and cried inconsolably for close on six months. Rudi, possibly because of his 24/7 boobage, hasn't exhibited the same symptoms. Indeed Rudi has pretty much doubled his birth weight at six weeks. He's a right wee chubster. Very cute with it. His thighs have a lot more meat on them than Isaac ever did. I look at Isaac's early photos and, whilst he was and remains a gorgeous child, there was a certain skinny rat-like quality to his face which of course we were blind to at the time. Rudi is a lot more baby-like.
It's taken until the last couple of weeks before Rudi has blessed us with smiles. Sure most of them are probably wind related, but there is every reason to believe that our second-born son has a similar happy disposition to his older brother.
In this final (for now) picture you can see the ginger peeking out. I really think we've got ourselves another keeper. Apart from the colouring and the healthy weight Rudi is the spitting image of his older brother at the same age.
I guess we'll see where we are at the next update which, hopefully, won't be in another twelve months. One thing is for certain, there won't be another brother or sister to gloat about.
Love to you all always.
Craig D. Ising Esq etc.