Welcome to a typical Friday.
I woke up shortly before 7am, puzzled and a little panicked that I couldn’t hear any children. Fearing that they may have perished in the night, so unlikely was it that they would both be asleep at this time, I switched on the video monitor.
To my utter shock and delight, the baby was awake, but quietly entertaining himself in his cot in a way he has never, ever done before; usually if he is awake, you know about it. I tiptoed in to retrieve him in order to let the toddler sleep on; her bodyclock still hadn’t adjusted from her spell in hospital and believe me, it was no fun for anyone.
The unpleasant aroma hit me as soon as I entered the room.
My mum tells me that, as a toddler – even as a baby – I couldn’t abide a dirty nappy.
I was, as everyone seems to be in their own mother’s recollection once 30-odd years have passed, potty trained early. Unfortunately I have two children who seem content to sit in their own poo, in fact they might even prefer it.
Despite being ready physically – she can hold her wee for ages and uses the potty but only when it suits her – the toddler’s usual modus operandi is to run away, do a poo in secret and then deny it and blame it on the baby. It doesn’t make me hopeful that we will ever ditch the bloody nappies.
Anyway, I digress.
I brought the baby into my room and, somewhat stupidly I’ll admit, went to change him on the bed.
As soon as the nappy was off, down went his hands (as they always do) and, of course, within seconds he had spread poo over the bed sheets.
For about a minute I actually wondered whether I could deal with the resultant mess with babywipes before it dawned on me how disgusting that was and wondered what the hell happened to me whilst begrudgingly stripping the bed.
The toddler woke up shortly afterwards and appeared in the bedroom.
We got up, had breakfast and got dressed. The baby napped. The toddler and I played with Peppa Pig jigsaws and she refused to use the potty.
So far, an average day.
We’d been invited to go along to a classical concert for toddlers and, sick to death of the Frozen soundtrack, I thought it might bring a bit of class to the Whingelets (I also very much enjoyed the pun-tastic name; ‘The Wheels on Debussy‘). The violinist was superb – I obviously know a lot about it having played violin for about ten seconds when I was 11 (What the hell were my parents thinking? My husband played the drums though. I am not sure which is a worse parenting decision?).
It was held in a local church which pleased the kids; the toddler liked the way it made her voice echo whilst the baby enjoyed trying to teethe on the 16th century pews. Oh and, the musician did actually play some Frozen.
On the way back, the toddler was chasing pigeons when a Jack Russell came up to sniff the change bag in the basket and this exchange occurred:
Old lady “I’m so sorry, he is looking for food!”
Me “Not a problem, I have one of those. He once unzipped a friend’s bag and ate her lunch out of a sealed lunchbox…”
Old lady “I have a friend that swears her dog managed to get into a tin of dog food! Not sure I believe her though.”
Me “Yes, that sounds unlikely… How would he even manage to grip the can opener?”
Old lady walks off, actually laughing, audibly.
I wish more people found me as hilarious as that old lady.
The rest of the day was uneventful. The kids were fed. They were bathed. There was probably a bit of TV or iPad-ing in there somewhere. I can’t be brilliant all of the time.
Fast forward to just before seven pm.
Somehow, a monumental joint effort between my husband and I had resulted in both children in bed. We went downstairs to survey the devastation of the day and attempted to repatriate the explosion of toys.
Mission complete, we sat down, wine in hand, of course, and barely had I lifted the glass to my lips when I realised I could hear a noise.
Bother, said I. The baby who was previously so peaceful was now awake and screaming. And there was another sound – an almost spooky electronic tune.
The toddler had waited until we were downstairs, unlocked the stair gate to the unoccupied top bunk, snuck up there to play a CBeebies game on the iPad we had inadvertently left there, and in doing so had woken the baby up.