“What does crap mean?” M asks as he sits at the kitchen table watching me get lunch ready. “Um… It’s not a good word to use but it means poo, or mess” I respond, acutely aware that I have just shouted up the stairs to berate my husband for not cleaning the oven the other night when the “eggplant spaghetti parmesan lasagne surprise” he made spilled over the sides of the dish and made the smoke alarms go off. Twice. I may have uttered the phrase: “So now I have to scrape all this bloody crap off the oven before I can put the pizza in!”
So much for crap. It has invaded my house and taken up residence. On all surfaces. It has been this way for a while now. Fast forward to this evening. Plan was to come back from the park — where we had a lovely time, except for at the end when I said that it was now too late to go to Grandma’s house but that we would go tomorrow and I wasn’t sure if anyone was even there anyway. Which led to M screaming like a banshee in the park cafe and then spending the walk back to the car hurling threats at me: “I want to go to Grandma’s… The only thing that will make me stop crying is if we can go to Grandma’s… This is all. Your. Fault. Mum.” (That last one repeated over and over for the last half of the walk. Luckily his father walked with him while I pushed L ahead in his buggy, glad that my husband was there as I alternately stifled the urge to laugh and the urge to pick M up and throw him in the stream) — and tidy up.
The reality of this evening has nothing to do with tidying up. It is 8.30pm. Earlier I turned to my husband and thanked him for being in this with me and even earlier than that I asked him, tongue in cheek, if he would be having more fun if he was having a hangover Saturday à la a (currently childless) friend of mine we were supposed to meet in the park but who, for reasons that are a distant blur to us now, decided to stay in bed instead. We have so far tonight: made M two dinners (I ate the first one; he didn’t really eat the second but still managed to blag supper); fed L two bowls of baby rice; put the shopping away; showered M and bathed L; nipped out to the shops to pick up things I forgot at Tesco and pick up some well-deserved beer (that was him); brushed teeth and read stories; fed L some more milk (that was me!) And sang songs (also me).
My husband is now making curry (yes!) and I was going to put the clothes away but as I am blessed with the baby who will neither nap nor sleep in the evenings, that hasn’t happened. L will not sleep and wants to be on me, as he does most of the time lately. Last night after dinner and Daredevil, I spent an hour doing the washing up and mopping the kitchen floor but then it was 11.30pm and nothing else got done (and I thoroughly resented all of the washing up that was created today). So now my house looks like this:
I may manage to hoover tomorrow and I am determined to sort the junk. I have announced a new “house rule” for the morning that M proudly told his dad at dinner: everyone has to pick up 5 things and put them where they live. Actually make that 10 things. I may make it a rule for visitors too: welcome to our home, see if you can find the home for 5 pieces of the random crap you see around you while I put the kettle on…
The house is totally kicking my butt and I really need to learn to be OK with that because there just aren’t enough hours in the day when you have a baby that won’t nap or really be put down. It isn’t dirty just messy and what the hell right?
M learned to ride his bike today. L went in a swing for the first time. M then fell off a fence and bashed his chin, he had ice cream and a massive tantrum, and then tonight he read me a whole proper book (not a reading scheme one) by himself with help with the big words… though randomly he managed to read the word “Labrador.”
I love my boys. I have been trying to let go of the stress of all the tidying that needs doing this week and just play with the kids instead. I will keep trying.