Today is not going well. As I sit and type this I am in tears, being softly kicked by my son who has finally stopped screaming and is lying on the sofa with his precious blankie watching Disney’s Cars 2 on the telly, listening to the rain hammering down outside.
I had plans for today – Plan A: get to the local Sure Start centre for their Tuesday creche for 9.30am and hopefully get back before the heavens open. At 8.45, 15 minutes before we need to leave, neither of us were dressed. Breakfast had been a bit of a battle not to mention the drama of a nappy change, and I’d woken up more tired than before I went to bed – as my Mother says, “My get up and go has got up and gone.” So on to Plan B, a nice walk to the park to feed the ducks before the bad weather sets in – a bit of fresh air always does me the world of good, and it’s a nice walk to the park and back, with a chance to pop into the newsagents for a cheeky chocolate bar on the way home.
All Plan B required was for X to get dressed – I wasn’t even going to bother with make up, just shove my hair up in a messy bun and chuck a coat on. Sorted. So 9am, we go upstairs, and it quickly becomes a Mexican standoff.
I would like X to brush his teeth, as he does every morning. Normally we do this together. This morning he doesn’t like brushing his teeth, apparently. So I brush mine while he has a tantrum in the bathroom; I decide to change tack and ask him to help me get him dressed first – he throws his clothes across the room, followed by the door stop. Time for a time out.
Time out backfired, because he saw the aforementioned precious Blankie. It is solely for use for sleepy time, except just lately it’s almost impossible to get the sodding thing off him during the day. I have to hide it, and this time I hadn’t. So he has a massive strop in his room because I took the blankie away after he saw it. Mum Fail 101.
This strop goes on for an HOUR. A whole HOUR. I threaten to leave him upstairs on his own while I go get a cup of tea. It’s now too late to go out to the park according to the weather forecast, and I am stressed. He FINALLY agrees to a nappy change, but continues crying as he lies down, leading to him throwing up. While lying down.
It went in his ears. And all over the bed. Fab, so now not only does he really, really, need to brush his teeth (which he still doesn’t like) but now I have to give him a thorough wash too, as well as stripping the bed.
15 minutes later he is finally clean, dressed and I’ve persuaded him to brush his teeth. I have a sore throat from yelling at him, and he’s snotty because of all the tears. He, of course, cheers up instantly; he has a death grip on his blankie as we head downstairs. I, however, am miserable – cross at myself for shouting at him, cross at myself for not being able to calm him, or persuade him to get dressed in the first place. Wracked with guilt, I let him keep his blankie on the sofa, and let him choose a DVD to watch before naptime.
I don’t want to be a shouty Mum. I never set out to be a shouty Mum – I admit to judging those out and about who are shouty parents, but I never realised just how easy it is to blow up when your tiny person knows which buttons to press and seems to enjoy pressing them.
The guilt of getting cross at this tiny human, who I have total responsibility for, is crippling. I love this child more than anything else in the world, so why can’t I summon the patience to deal with him acting his age?! Does that make me an awful mother? No, I think it makes me human. Yes, I will have better Mum days than today – days where we paint pictures and learn letters, bake biscuits or have a good old Kitchen Disco. Days where we have adventures, and everything is Instagram perfect and full of laughter.
But today isn’t going to be one of those days. Today I will be upset, today I will wish I could go for a walk with my headphones in and pretend the world doesn’t exist for a bit, today I will Google childminders and wonder if we can afford to send him to nursery. I love my son, but today I don’t love being a Mum.