And Baby Makes Three

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Dimitri was pottering around the kitchen. He'd been back at work for a month since their son Ivan had arrived, but it felt like he hardly ever saw his wife anymore.

He'd taken the first two weeks off to help out and settle in together as a family. Initially Rose had loved having him at home to help her with the new baby. She had no experience with infants, whereas Dimitri knew a thing or two thanks to helping Karolina with his nephew, Paul. However by the time the end of the fortnight came around, Rose was getting sick of Dimitri's well-meaning advice and corrections on how to do things. So he'd returned to work as Christian's Guardian.

To say Rose was finding it hard was an understatement. Which was fine, but she was determined to do everything 'right.' At first, Ivan had struggled to settle into a day/night sleeping pattern. For two weeks after Dimitri's return to work, Rose had been a nervous wreck; sleeping while Dimitri was on shift and then awake all night trying to settle Ivan while Dimitri rested. Once that had been resolved, Ivan had gone through a growth spurt that saw Rose up numerous times overnight trying to keep up with his feeding demands. As often as not, Dimitri would come home after a shift to find a cranky wife, an irritable baby, a filthy house and a kitchen entirely bereft of food.

Things had finally settled down; however, Rose was now so worried about changing anything in Ivan's routine Dimitri barely got to see his boy, and Rose was in bed every evening almost as soon as their son was. Dimitri didn't like to admit it, but so far fatherhood had been a lonely experience. Instead of feeling like part of an exciting new phase in their lives together, Dimitri had begun to feel like an inconvenience. One more thing for a strung out Rose to try and fit in.

He loved his son very much, but it felt like he only ever got to glimpse him from the doorway as he slept. And Roza was so busy looking after Ivan, sometimes Dimitri felt like he could be standing in the kitchen on fire and Rose would be too preoccupied or tired to notice. Something had to give, so Dimitri had confided in Christian that they were struggling, and asked for an extra day off so he could have Friday and Saturday to spoil his wife and spend time with his son.

Knowing Rose and Ivan had their six-week checkups with the Obstetrician and Pediatrician respectively, and were then meeting up to spend the afternoon with Mia, Dimitri thought Friday was the perfect opportunity to get things fixed at home. He'd dressed in the morning as though he were headed for his shift with Christian, in reality heading to the grocery store. He wandered around for an hour buying fresh produce and replenishing their sadly depleted pantry stores. Waiting to make sure Rose and Ivan had left the house, he returned home, opening up all the windows to air the place out, putting away the groceries and starting his endeavors.

First stop was the kitchen. There was literally no food in the house, anything quick or easy having already been consumed. Chopping and dicing, Dimitri set to work making several bulk meals to freeze. He also pre-prepared tubs of fruit salad, raw veggies, and dip and other healthy snack options for the fridge.

Satisfied everything was underway in the kitchen, Dimitri moved through the rest of the house, changing their sheets and towels, collecting the washing and straightening as he went. The washing machine running, he loaded the dishwasher, did the vacuuming, wiped down the surfaces and dusted a little, popping back and forth to check on everything in the kitchen. By lunchtime, their house looked like a home again, and Dimitri sat down to have his first balanced meal in weeks before ladling meals into plastic containers and leaving them on the counter to cool before loading up the freezer.

His afternoon was spent doing much of the same, finally restocking all the supplies in the nursery and packing an overnight bag. Half an hour before Rose was due home, Dimitri looked around in satisfaction; the house was spotless, and a delicious meal was bubbling away on the stove ready for his wife's arrival.

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