Where do you get your material? Do you have to “enhance” your stories to make people laugh?
This was a question posed by another blogger in an interview series. You can see the interview in its entirety here, if you are so inclined, but my answer was (and I quote):
Oh no, life with toddlers is material enough, no need for comedic embellishments here.
Case in point; Monday.
On Sunday night, I couldn’t sleep.
I’d been lying there for a boring, heartburny hour mentally making a list of all the things I should have done (and still haven’t gotten around to doing) when I heard a sob from the kids’ room. In I went to retrieve the small boy-child and take him back to bed with me, where he spent the next half hour kicking me in the back before collapsing on top of my sleeping husband, and the pair of them snored away.
It was almost 1am before I decided sod it, if he was going to have my bed, I’d have his, and so I crept into the lower bunk.
No sooner had I shut my eyes than the big one had some kind of bad dream. After a wee and a cuddle and an in-depth discussion about why dinosaurs are not alive anymore we both climbed back into the bunk beds and fell into a blissful sleep, until 5.30 when she decided to wake up by throwing herself around the bed in an exorcist-style manner for about half an hour.
She isn’t usually an early riser; unlike her brother she likes her sleep and needs it too. Hell hath no fury like a tired child, as we have learned so many times before (this was a memorable one…).
Leaving her with unheeded instructions to go back to sleep or be quiet, I crept back into my own bed but, naturally, as soon as I laid down the small one woke up and started yelling at me for not being his dad which is his ‘thing’ these days. My husband took pity on me (he’s a good egg, he can also sleep through most things) and took the kids downstairs to watch TV, and I managed about another hour before the builders turned up, so around three or four hours’ sleep in all.
A great start to any Monday I’m sure you’ll agree.
Thankfully today was a pre-school day, and so between the hours of 9 and 1 I no longer had overtired child number one to contend with, and overtired child number two went down for a ridiculously early nap, at which point I tidied the house from top to bottom (or made tea and scrolled through Facebook, one of those anyway).
I’d arranged to meet up with a friend at the park at three, so around half two we headed into town.
On arrival, I suggested we might like to stop by the public toilets, but was met by stern refusal. She had only gone half an hour previously, so knowing the thin ice on which we were skating I let it slide.
I shouldn’t have done. She was tired, upset and wanted to go to the sandpit and wasn’t thinking rationally.
You know what’s coming right?
For the first time in months she had an accident. All kids do it but I, of course, was not prepared. She’s been out of nappies for over a year (remember those fun times?) and I stopped carrying spare clothes around with me months ago.
The only things I had with me were an insufficient number of babywipes and her brothers’ size 4 nappies (he’s a tiddler) which hadn’t fit her since she was about five months old.
However I’d just paid for two hours’ parking, we’d only been there 15 minutes, we were waiting to meet someone and they really wanted to use the sandpit. So off came the shorts and the knickers and on went the size 4 nappy (barely).
Parent of the year.
Aside from the feeling that other people might, just might, be judging me for having an almost four year old still in nappies (that clearly didn’t fit), everyone was happy and there were 10-15 minutes of peace, during which she made friends with a few small blonde toddlers.
…And then the screaming began.
She’d been stung by a wasp on her upper thigh.
I scooped her up and tried to calm her (even though she was covered in sand, I’m such a nice mum). Her new friend followed her over and said, touchingly ‘I’ll have to find someone else to play with now’.
We stayed another hour, although it turns out my friend couldn’t make it in the end.
Her shorts dried in the sun, and we walked back to the car smelling very strongly of wee. I made her travel home in the nappy.
And that is why I don’t need to embellish.