I absolutely loved this story that popped up on my Facebook news feed this week. It’s about how most of us are guilty of constructing a false picture of idyllic parenthood in our Facebook posts, when the reality can be…disgusting and awful. We do it of course to make ourselves feel better and to tell ourselves that this is OK, everything is OK, honestly. When often, like any day, for anyone, it’s not.
In light of this, last Friday went something like this.
On waking BUB.1 complained of tummy ache so we spent an hour trying to coax him to do his business. Before, during and after breakfast there were shouts of “Squeeze!” and “I can’t!” and “Just do it!” and “It’s just a pump!” and “Try!” and “No!” and so on. As he slowly got paler and more miserable, it became evident he wouldn’t make it to the 8.30am doctors appointment I had made for us regarding a lovely skin complaint, so I bundled him and his brother into the car and offloaded them to my parents who now, thankfully, live five minutes away and I went to the doctors alone. At last, some “me time”.
On my return he sat up and puked in Nanny’s hand and a little bit down her dressing gown and felt a lot better.
Back at home, following a root around the dressing up box, the tummy urges returned, this time synchronised, and with BUB.1 sitting on a potty and BUB.2 propped up against wall next to him red-faced and spluttering, I found myself wearing a Halloween skeleton mask and a Comic Relief red nose as I leaned head first into the washing machine only to pull out amongst the clothes Willy Wonka’s reading glasses that had been through a 40 degree spin.
Clearing up the lunch things in the kitchen, I heard a loud yelp and a cry of “Mum!” from the living room, which normally means the TV has been accidentally switched off but this time I got wind of the word “spider”. Rushing in, I found BUB.1’s cream cheese bagel strewn across the cushions as he stood pointing at the sofa, upon which a spider the size of Saturn was seated. Unable to get close enough to this beast to save him, and fearful of him scampering deep into the cushions, I had to suck him up with the vacuum cleaner, which I then had to sling outside on the porch in the driving rain, for fear of a reprise.
As I dashed off to the local hairdresser, I was looking forward to half an hour pampering. I was therefore disappointed to be subjected to half an hour of discussion about a missing curling tongs invoice and the messy details of someone’s divorce. A quick blast (no blow dry, no point), and I was home. An old, tatty magazine and smile costs nothing.
A bit later I saw a man lurking by my car, before knocking to tell me I’d left my lights on. Well, the three that worked, because as it turned out one had blown.
Tea time saw BUB.1 suffer his first blow to the bollocks as he slid off the windowsill too fast and landed on the side of a chair.
And I thought to myself, welcome to the real world son. Some days are just like that.