The prelude to this post is that I have recently ruined my life by introducing my nearly 2 year old to a “big girl bed”. In non public forums I am referring to it by a slightly longer, less family-friendly name involving all the swear words.
Remember what Valentine’s Day used to be like? Wake up to a breakfast cooked just the way I liked it, a romantic card, thoughtful present and a bit of alone time. This year it’s a Saturday, there were 2 games of rugby on, we’d have headed to the pub to watch them, end the session sozzled, going in search of food and then more booze and dancing.
Yeah, well. Our second Valentine’s Day with the baby involved a trip round a farm in the rain, then off to warm up in a cafe, covered in mud and stinking of pig s*** to bolt down something hot and carby that’s shareable with a toddler. Back to my family’s house where she proceeded to try and play with everything she’s not supposed to, bury her dribble covered face in their cream sofa which cost more than our car, climb the stairs, scream, try to knock over the TV and cause me to have a nervous breakdown and eat a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. Then she cried herself to sleep leaving me and hubs alone at last.
It’s 19:40 and the clock is ticking til I can drag my carcass to bed.
But at least I won’t have a hangover tomorrow.
Looking back at the past year the overwhelming urge I get is to laugh. Never did I think I’d utter the words “I don’t think the turtle needs to go in your bottom does it?” Or “You don’t hear mummy crying when it’s time to stop brushing her teeth do you?”
I found patience reserves I never thought I had, I’ve seen 4am more times than I did in the whole of my 20s. Ive had someone else’s poo on me and didn’t scream (it took a few times), I cleaned white vomit off every outfit I wore for the first four months, scooped five orange vomit-canos out of the high chair’s crevasses and scrubbed diarrhoea off the car seat. I’ve picked noses, cleaned ear-holes, bitten fingernails, creamed bottoms and wiped snot with my bare fingers.
I’ve been fed soggy biscotti, licked Calpol off hands, shared most things I’ve eaten in the last 4 months and have tasted so much baby food I could be a critic (Cow and Gate cauliflower cheese is my favourite), I’ve perfected the fish-hook-finger-in-mouth-object-removal-technique. I know the words to all the Disney songs and have sung and danced in public more times this year than I care to recollect.
Ive been woken up by screaming, head butting, face slapping and once, a tiny finger rammed straight up my nose.
Every evening after bath time, I have a long and tiring wrestle to get my freakishly strong child into her pyjamas (every single night) but seeing her excitement as I get the hair brush out* makes the bent back fingernails and kicked in boobs all worth it.
And when I tuck her into her bed with her freshly washed bedding and she does a last minute head-turn as I’m giving her her calpol meaning it squirts its bright pink unfathomable stickiness all over her clean sheets, I just smile**, change her bedding and kiss her goodnight.
Yes she might fling food across the kitchen, hide every remote we own and eat my iPhone every time she sees it but when those chubby little arms go round my neck for a big squeeze (no matter how inconvenient the timing) or she totters towards me with drool all over her face for a kiss (always with her mouth wide open, why?) it makes all of the above just forgotten in an instant.
I can’t believe my tiny helpless newborn is now a loud and rambunctious toddler and I can’t wait to see what the second year has in store for us – I have stocked up on Calpol and am busy inventing an armoured bra.
* she loves having her hair brushed, it’s not for beating her with.
** not really.