M O R N I N G S O F M O T H E R H O O D
No need to set an alarm as either I’ll be woken by a screaming baby or a toddler inches from my face asking for her iPad and breakfast pleeeeeeease. No time to finish the dream about weird but quite satisfying sex with Greg Davies. I usually deal with quite a lot of literal shit before 7:30am. I make a mental note that Simple soap isn’t going to cut it anymore. I need the hospital-grade stuff. Possibly disposable gloves.
For a solid two and half minutes I coo over my perfect baby in bed whilst he has his milk. My husband usually offers to help at this point but no chance he’s stealing my golden moment. Glug glug glug glug, soft warm and relaxed baby bod drinking his milk happily on my tummy. Never mind mindfulness THIS should be a subscription service. But the moment the milk is finished he starts whinging and so it’s straight for the shower. It’s distracting having a baby writhing around on the floor next to you whilst you try and tidy the bikini line. I wonder if these images will be burnt into his retina. I try and shield him from it but I need the good light from the window he’s sat in front of.
I can usually go from dripping wet to bone dry and dressed in four minutes flat. I think the skill is gifted to you in the delivery ward. I used to moisturise but that hasn’t happened since 2014 unless I get that spray stuff by Vaseline which is black magic and definitely on my list to buy every new parent.
My baby son is usually bored of the sight of my face at this point so I rope in reinforcements – my three year old daughter. She brings in all the baby toys to my bedroom and then tries to prevent my son from playing with any of them. There’s a series of arguments between the two of them, some tears and me interjecting with unhelpful yells to ‘SHAAAAARE!’. My daughter runs to her room and slams the door. The baby starts crying.
Once I’m dressed head to toe in black and having applied five coats of mascara to my three eyelashes I make for the kitchen. I boil the most bland porridge imaginable because for some reason I try to restrict sugar and wheat – the two ingredients that make anything palatable. The porridge always tastes a bit like dirty water. Everyone knows not to bother complaining.
Time to get the kids dressed out of their pyjamas. Sometimes I bad-Mum it so much that I’ve already dress my son in his day clothes the night before and I silently snigger when it comes to the morning and he’s basically set to go. My daughter however requires a full fashion viewing. We don’t have time for this! Wait! You’re wearing orange and pink. You can’t go out like that! Clothes fly over my sons head as does the mother-daughter bickering.
The next fifteen minutes are the worst. I realise we are on count down if we are going to leave the house on time for 8:30am. All so that we will arrive at nursery on time and I will not be breathless. Instead I will look like a responsible and in control parent. I will arrive dressed and not in my pajama top, I shall even be wearing a bra and have brushed hair. For bonus points I will remember my daughter’s hat and gloves. The teachers will be in awe of my powers of forethought and my noticeable bra straps. So now the timer is counting down in my head, I’m a mother possessed…..
Brush Lumen’s teeth, brush her hair, put her swathes of Russian hair into some sort of hair style to make it look like she hasn’t been interrogated this morning. I stop the baby from eating the plastic bag on the bin, wipe baby vomit of the carpet, change another dirty nappy. 5 x bonus points for grabbing a pen and writing on the fridge ‘more porridge and nappies…..and ANTIBAC soap x 3’ I go wild and also write ‘BREAD’, the troops need it.
I grab Lumen’s jackets and a million blankets for the baby as it’s minus 15 outside (ok, it’s 6 degrees, but it’s Arctic and I don’t own a proper coat because I refuse to be an adult and it’s not my fault Zara faux fur isn’t as warm as it might suggest). I strap down the baby in the car seat, one out of two kids tethered isn’t bad and it’s 8:29 so I’m on track to be on time….I’m winning this morning……
The baby takes a moment to realised he’s restrained and then commences screaming
….I turn around to see that Lumen has just kicked off her shoes, she’s now wearing wellies to nursery, with no socks. I scream (inside my head), we were so close…. I run around the house looking for appropriate toddler footwear, where has she hidden her damn shoes? I throw some footwear in the car…. I realise I haven’t brushed my teeth. I contemplate a stick of gum but instead I brush them over the kitchen sink rocking the baby car seat with my foot whilst my daughter wonders why I’m not ready and starts to take all her toys out her room. I look at the oven clock. 8:35am? Shit shit shit WE’RE LATE. We’re ALWAYS late…..
As I spit out foamy toothpaste onto all our dirty breakfast bowls I look at the crusted porridge and think they really need emptying if they’re not to turn to glue. I look to my side at the nappy bin basically full of human poo and which is starting to stink out the kitchen….and I say just very quietly to my daughter, who is now undoing the plaits I’d laboriously put in her hair only moments earlier….
….’Darling? (pregnant pause)
…’do you think you could just get in the car?’
And I don’t mean to, but I spit out the last two words because it is signalling that I am, for these last moments, a rational human being, and yet at the same time daring her to question my authority as the clock announces we are now officially late…
So I say