I’m 19 months deep and learning every day, and one of the most relentless lessons I learn is that no matter how many times you think you’ve cracked it/got your sh*t together/can do this standing on your head…there will pop up an occasion to remind you that there is no preparing for life with a toddler.
A few predicaments that I have recently found myself in that hammer home the point that life is not pinterest perfect, I am not a multi-taking whiz and that chaos reigns are as follows… (please note I sacrifice myself upon the altar of humiliation for the greater good of mom-kind here, I would have appreciated knowing I’m not alone in these moments so my hope is that someone else can benefit from the solidarity/empathy I’m attempting to express).
- Toileting with an audience – This is a fun one that many parents know well. If you’re alone with your child they generally follow you around so I find that privacy is a luxury of the past when Daddy is out and I recently found myself in the following horrific situation… my relief that Harry had grown bored of staring me out whilst I was perched on the loo spun quickly to horror as he toddled back past the door waving crayons in his hand above his head and a crazed look in his eye, he then stopped and gave me a purposeful grin that said “I. am. mischief’ then sprinted off in the direction of the living room squealing with delight… this didn’t end well for my walls or for his mood as I prized the offending crayon from his tightly closed (and adorably pudgy) fist while he screamed at me angrily for ruining his fun.
- Leakages and nappy related disasters – these usually happen in places and at times that you are the most ill prepared to handle them. Today, after spending the entire morning crying, Harry had an ‘accident’ which leaked through his clothes and went everywhere just as he was about to be placed into his car seat for the journey to nursery. Excellent timing for my commute to work, and of course this occurred in our communal underground car park… I found myself flapping like a crazy person; shutting the car door with him inside in my panicked frenzy as I remembered that “thank god, there are nappies and wipes in my boot” that I had been too lazy to go back to the car for after the weekly shop (THANK YOU lazy past me!) Harry took full advantage of this opportunity to crawl said accident through my car as he made his way to the front seat and the steering wheel for a joyous attempt at faux driving. The backseat nappy change (we live in an apartment building and going back up to the 7th floor was not an option) that followed was not quite so joyous, cue more crying.
- Generally looking unhinged and ungroomed – unless it is a very special occasion I tend to look like a
less polishedless attractive version of my former self these days. One with dark circles, messier brows, unmanicured hands, the list goes on. Everything in my life is a rush, I am never ready on time and I usually have to break up getting ready with regular ‘let’s stand and cuddle’ intervals to keep my son happy. I wouldn’t change this for the world but I do wonder what it would be like not to dread bumping into anyone you know as you shuffle around the supermarket looking like a nutter with a dirty topknot and the first clean garments in the washing pile haphazardly thrown together in a purely practical effort to cover your nakedness. I have friends who seem to handle work, motherhood and life in general and still look immaculate and well rested… and I would like to be like them one day when I grow up.
I’m sure that I’m not alone in finding comedy in these moments, and from the conversations I have with my friends who have kids the chaos seems to be a fairly common thing for us all. I remind myself during these moments of stress that I’m the luckiest of people to have such a funny, happy little boy and even if he is producing an unholy amount of waste material, creating a Jackson Pollock reproduction on my living room wall or making things awkward with a staring match when I would rather my trip to the loo be a solo affair – he’s also fully hilarious in the process and being tired, flustered and worried that I’m not very good at being an adult are just part of life.