Little mini Converse. The kind of baby items that make your ovaries shake. The frequency of shoe buying for my son has increased tenfold in the last week, because it is a) freezing outside and b) I miss the little bugger.
Things continue to be bleak in the face of life.
The Brit and I had an excruciating snot extraction session at dawn's crack this morning, involving ear buds, a squirming and screaming Sebastian, and me, battling to hold in a vomit because I abhor snot on every conceivable level.
Pooh, vomit, fine; snot, please help me.
At the moment, this phase - for I remind myself that everything, but everything is a phase when it comes to rearing a child - feels like the dark and heavy early days. When he was born. And wouldn't stop crying from between 4pm and 10pm at night. The Colic Phase. The one that haunts my dreams and makes me ask myself whether I would ever be able to handle that again should I impregnate with another child.
Incessant wailing for the first two months of his life, and for no real reason at all. Scrolling through hundreds of websites and mummy forums trying to find anything to stop it, anything to help, getting on the phone to a charity called 'Crysis' to implore what else I can be doing to soothe my boy. All the while crying endless myself, as the shock that I hadn't bought home my baby girl sunk in, as well as new mummy desperation which held me by the throat.
That was grim times.
Now, I feel we are kind of back to that. Work is fine. I am actually enjoying being back at work. The coffee is fresh, the food is exceptional, and I am starting to remember what my actual job used to entail. I'm talking to journalists, banterising with workmates and typing ferociously into a keyboard.
I'm going to gym and for the first time in a year, there's an area in my arm that feels like it might even contain some muscle.
However, the morning and nights pale in comparison to my carefree, diarised, orderly, systematic days.
And we reached a real tipping point this morning when we found both his nostrils clogged with snot; not unlike green tile grouting. Which we had to chip away at, much to Sebastian's disdain.
Despite the weight loss, incessant crying, overtired temper tantrums, separation anxiety, streaming nose and cough, he has now also lost his voice so when he cries it sounds like the terrifying whine of a dog.
We lie awake dreading the middle-of-the-night wake up (thanks to being ill, he now wakes up in the night too. He hasn't done this in months and months), and the terrifying whining crying that inevitably comes.
It doesn't help that it is -1 outside, and when I collect him it is dark and painfully cold outside, and that I have to dress him 8 layers of clothing, which he doesn't fancy either. It's dark pretty much whenever I see him.
My only solace is two things;
1) he will be used to this in a few months. Being constantly sick and being with strangers in a room full of noise and activities will be normal.
2) he will be bigger. Each month he gets stronger, his immunity will get better and he won't be the youngest child in the group anymore.
In fact, in two months time my little baby boy is going to be a one year old.
So. As we trudge along amongst the trenches, my beacon of hope is the same as with everything that's happened in my life. Nothing stays the same.
I also start therapy next week. So this has to be a sliver of silver in a somewhat vacuous lining.
And tomorrow is Friday. Which means I get to have my boy, all to myself, for three days.*
*Oh. The Brit is going to America for work for a week. Er, fuck? I am going to be a single working mum for a while. Apparently this is an incredibly tough gig. If I make it out alive - alongside this settling-in phase and all - consider me a fucking superhero.
Oh, and more shoes. Tweed booties, in fact. For toasty toes in this abhorrent time.