My day in a pie chart
Because stats are fun
I literally spent most of yesterday doing one (or all) of four things. It started off with trying to persuade my 2.5-year-old to participate in her baby ballet lesson. The more high-pitched and upbeat and ‘excited’ (patronising, irritating, shrill) my voice became, the less interested in Good Toes Naughty Toes she became. So she just ran around the hall laughing manically. Or insisted on being carried.
Then there was the preparing of food. Always the preparing of food. And the feeding of food and the forcing of food and the wiping up of spilled food and the cleaning it away. And then making more food when the original offering was deemed unfit for purpose. By the time the 4.5-year-old came home from school and the predictable instant starvation ensued, I might as well have set up camp in the kitchen with all the to-ing and fro-ing.
And of course there was tea. Lots of tea. Because we were woken very early yesterday morning by them both for various non-reasons (‘I can’t find Snuggle! Oh, there he is!’; ‘Can you put my blanket over me?’; ‘Why is it dark?’; ‘I can hear myself breathing’). And because tea.
But most of the day was spent on my hands and knees or squatting in various uncomfortable positions on a hard floor with my daughter, who is mid toilet training. At one point we had both spent so long in the toilet waiting for her to poo, my feet actually went numb and I realised she had fallen asleep on me.
I totally forgot about (blanked out) the faff of toilet training. The chasing, wiping, star-charting, chocolate bribery, pissy pants, more wiping, chasing on your knees as she rips the nappy off and runs away, carpet-cleaning, more wiping. Constant teasers that she needs the toilet NOW and a poo is coming, so you’re hastily pulling down trousers and manhandling her onto the toilet seat, only for it to be a false alarm (which you can NEVER ignore, even when you know they’re doing it as a procrastination technique at bedtime – because you just know that the one time you ignore it…).
So yeah. That about sums it up. My day in a pie-shaped nutshell (is that even possible? Let’s say yes). Here endeth today’s Maths Of Motherhood lesson.
As discussed in 10 Things Kids Love That Parents Hate Part 1, we do a lot of things to keep our offspring happy (and give us a precious half an hour to trawl Instagram, er, clean the house and get the dinner on). Keeping the young'uns amused and busy with any engrossing activity that tears them away from their best friend The iPad for a few moments makes us feel good about parenting. Plus look at that happy little face! So why wouldn't we want to provide them with things that make them smile? Because some of those things make life for us Hell On Earth. That's why...
Sadly, the things that bring our kids joy just... don't do it for us
My first child was a boy. At my 20-week scan with baby number two, we discovered we were having a girl, and after a couple of years of boy clothes and toys - despite having some seriously lovely clothes and toys for my son - the temptation to go out and buy something unashamedly girlie was intense. But once I'd got a few pink items out of my system, I was quite determined that she wasn't going to be a floaty pastel cliche of girldom. And whenever a family member would buy her a pink outfit or shoes, despite whether I liked it or not, I almost felt embarrassed putting her in it. It seemed so obvious and blatant and, well, standard
... from holidaying with the kids. As we've just returned from a nine-day break in the South of France with our two Small Ones, I thought I'd scare, er, share with you the valuable insights I've gleaned from our little jaunt. Sharing is caring, after all, and if it allows you to feel more prepared for your own holiday en famille - or at the very least provides you with the reassurance that it's Not Just You - then my work here is done.