By MeOhMy Founder and Editor Siobhan (@meohmymum)
Today started out normal enough. Our toddler woke at some ungodly hour (i.e. 5.30am – which, pre-kids, I would have considered a perfectly appropriate time to get up and do some form of exercise. These days, not so much. Exercise is done while the kids have a quick nap at some point during the day AFTER I’ve had coffee. If the kids manage to sleep past 5.30am, I soak it up. 6am is a ‘lie in’).
Anyway, I digress. Toddler woke, I occupied him with a cup of milk and some Play School while I returned to bed to lie there for a few more minutes, groaning in agony from a sore tooth and the previous day’s carting of a toddler and a baby around (because Toddler would not walk, and I stupidly thought that I didn’t need the pram as it was a ‘short trip’. Rookie mistake).
We got ready, both kids fed well and I’d even had a coffee (that my amazing husband had raced down the road to get for me before he headed off for a loooonnnng work trip, sensing I was desperately in need). I even managed to brush my hair and put on a bit of makeup, having finally retrieved my concealer and hairbrush from the shower where Toddler had hidden them. WINNING.
That was the end of my joyous run.
We are away in Melbourne for my husband's work. We left the house, on a mission to find the so-called ‘disabled-friendly’ tram that manages to get double prams onto it. I walked, pushing my 20kg plus of children (plus the weight of the pram). And I walked. And I walked. Said pram stop was not as close as it was promised. Sigh.
I got to the stop finally, sweat seeping through my grey t-shirt. On a muggy and overcast but not-very-warm day. Everyone else was in jackets. Here I was in jeans, a t-shirt, thongs (as yesterday’s heel blisters were still too angry to tolerate shoes just yet – because SOMEONE had thought it was a great idea to wear her new Adidas kicks sans-socks having not had time to grab some in the toddler havoc – then having done a lot more walking than anyone should do in new shoes sans socks). And I was still sweating.
A kind old lady then wandered up to politely tell me there was no way I was going to get my pram on the tram. The new ‘disabled-friendly’ trams did not run on this line, even though the platform was disabled and pram-friendly as promised. She said I’d have to go back the way I came, and over a handful of blocks or so, to get one of the new ones. And even then I would have to get someone to help me lift the huge-ass pram onto the tram. Great.
See, I knew that pram line existed. It was quite close to where we were staying. But I’d avoided it, instead opting to walk further to the promised-holy-grail-for-prams stop. Why? Because I HATE putting people out. I couldn’t bring myself to ask someone to help me lift the pram on. I’m just that scared I guess, or embarrassed. Or just stupid. Who knows.
So we headed back. But halfway to our new destination I figured out I’d been walking for 1.5hours, which meant it was 10.15am and there was no chance we could get into the city and back before the kids had to go down for a nap at 12.
Now, I’m a stickler for this nap. Namely, because Toddler will actually sleep in his bed at home. If we’re out, he does not sleep. And, as any mum would know, putting up with a cranky toddler all afternoon until bedtime is NOT FUN IN THE SLIGHTEST.
So I thought I’d turn this day right around. We’d grab a coffee and juice, and head to the park instead. Brilliant. Except as soon as we got to the park it started to rain. Six-month-old getting soaked. And there was no shelter. And ‘someone’ had forgotten the rain cover for the pram. Just GREAT.
The rain stopped. Hallelujah. Toddler got to play. He was happy. It was short-lived. He then fell over and smacked his head. Pretty standard occurrence with him really, but this time he really cracked it (emotionally, not actually cracked his head open). Like, lying on the floor tantie-worming. Not because he was hurt. Because I’d been busy tending to his sister when he fell. So it was my fault. Of course. Sigh.
We head home via a shop to get a friend’s daughter a 2nd birthday present. Toddler literally tears the shop apart. I have to pay for two things that he managed to dent in the short space of time that we were there, while I was temporarily distracted by shiny girly gifts.
Toddler then decided he would not walk home. But I physically could not get him in the pram – he’d made himself as stiff as a board and was screaming. I HATE causing a scene. I had people looking at me from all directions. So I pick him up, all 14kg, and push the double pram laden with gear all the way home. Another 2kms or so. Hello, agonisingly sore bicep.
Lunch was a fail for him, as it usually is. Well-behaved dream baby girl was just that, lovely in every way.
Nap time. I spent an hour trying to convince the toddler not to get up out of bed and open the door, racing into the living room to ‘help’ me work (i.e. delete all my documents when I’m not fast enough to stop him tapping away on the keyboard).
Finally, he’s down. I get one blissful hour’s ‘break’ from them – which I spend cleaning the kitchen, emptying the dishwasher, sterilising bottles and prepping dinner. Oh, and slamming down some lunch.
The afternoon will be better, right? Wrong. It rained. We had just two or three toys in the house, as we’re just here short term. Cue The Wiggles on repeat and mummy trying to make up games with plastic cups, which Toddler turned his nose up at. Instead, he wanted to stain the cushions, tip the lamps over and climb the dangerous stools. The joys of being in a lovely Air BnB that, while very kid friendly, is just not as toddler-proof as our house. Ugh.
Toddler would not eat dinner. He would not stop whining about wanting the TV. Is this my fault? Have I let him watch too much? Cue the mum guilt.
THEN he bit me. Twice. He hit his sister. I screamed like a mad woman. I’m sure the whole street heard me. See, it’s not just the first time he’s done it. There’s a history here. No matter what sort of discipline I try, nothing works.
I went to a dark place. The one where there was no more 'Mrs Nice Mum'. I was yelling. Loudly. Now, I’m ashamed. I know that’s not the way to behave. But I was just at my wits end, you know?
Bedtime. 99% of the time I’m doing it alone. It’s a juggle and the worst part of my day. And then I realised I'd run out of wine and had neglected to get the ingredients to make myself some semblance of a proper meal.
But then Toddler gave me butterfly kisses and, and the point where I was on all fours taking deep breaths, he stroked my back and my hair.
That’s my nice wee man. That’s the boy I’ve raised. The lovely one. The one with a heart of gold. He’s there somewhere. He just gets temporarily possessed by the ‘No Monster' and becomes a super opinionated ‘it’s all about me’ and ‘I want it and I don’t want to wait’ SHITHEAD.
I know, I know, it’s not politically correct to call your toddler that. But gee, it feels good saying it in your head!
When I finally collapse into bed after eggs on toast, I reflect on the few lovely moments. It could have been much worse I guess.
And tomorrow is a new day :)