Row-Row-Rollercoaster of Parenthood

My littlest L (nearly eleven months) and I were just sitting on the bed. I was singing some rhymes and making him laugh when he very deliberately took one of my hands and then the other. I thought he was going to clap my hands together as he often does, but instead he rocked back and forth and looked at me and said very deliberately “R.” I took this to mean he wanted to do Row Row Your Boat, which we did and he laughed. I know it is probably just because I am his mummy, but I think this is tremendously clever and more than makes up for the fact that he started the day by headbutting me in the nose.

I suppose that sums up the rollercoaster of parenthood pretty succinctly. Just when you are on your last nerve and thinking “you know, I could be on holiday somewhere right now” or “I could be actually looking for a book in this bookshop and then have the chance to read it rather than having to abandon the whole endeavour in the face of a crying baby and whiney five year old,” your kids do something that melts your heart and you are back to the stoic who needs holidays/books/personal space/alone time? that characterises parenthood everywhere.

My rollercoaster of parenthood for today went a bit like this:

Starting on a down: Woken up by being head-butted in the nose by rambunctious baby.

Up: Rambunctious baby giggling and smiling at me.

Down: Having to scoop baby poo out of a nappy into a test-tube before I had even had breakfast (I am a beast before breakfast) because the doctor ordered a stool sample for something he now seems to be on the mend from. Gagging and throwing up a little in the sink.

Up: Long-suffering and amazing husband takes over poop-scooping and agrees to take sample to the doctor’s on his way to the train station.

Down: Baby won’t eat his yogurt for breakfast. Kicks, arches, spits, won’t go in high chair, etc.

Up: I eat his yogurt.

Continuing on an up: I play M’s new Sonic Colours game with him and head off a meltdown over there only being one working Wii remote by pointing out that we can take turns. He tries to make me take my turn with the Wii remote still strapped to his wrist.

Down: Vague memories of playing the original Sonic the Hedgehog when I was a kid and sense of longing for a time when someone else did All The Things (thanks Mum!)

Up: Reading M’s new lift-the-flap science book with him (and I am ashamed to say, learning a thing or two from just the first few flaps!)

Down: Home visit from M’s new teacher, during which: the dog presented himself at her feet like some sort of sacrificial offering; L tried to grab the dog so that I had to keep batting him away with one hand while trying to sign the school-parent contract with the other; M ran at me and punched me like in Wii Boxing (not hard but still!) and then lay on the floor and rolled around a lot.

Up: Doing a Lego Mixel with M while L took his nap.

Down: M arguing about letting me be on a private phone call and having to play in his room for a bit.

Up: Went on a long walk via two playgrounds and M helped push the buggy up a mahoosive hill (yay exercise!)

Down: M running back to play as we were leaving the playground. Me leaving the playground anyway and watching from a distance then going back to retrieve him when he showed no signs of coming and giving him a massive “stranger danger/what to do if you are lost/how to behave on school trips/mummy paranoia” lecture.

Up: Giving M a random gingerbread man as he watched TV (they love it when you do that).

Down: Me trying to be fun and spontaneous to make up for the earlier safety lecture and briefly spraying M with shower hose while turning on the shower. I forgot he “hates jokes and teases.” He burst into hysterics and told his dad on me.  Fail.

Up: L and the Row Row Your Boat incident (clever sausage!)

Down: M arguing with his dad about putting his PJs on.

Up: Reading stories and snuggles.

Down: L up until 11pm, distinctly negatively impacting on my enjoyment of both the lovely curry my husband had cooked and watching the last in the series of The Last Leg (which, after a lot of pausing and rewinding we never did actually finish).

Up: Nice warm bed… Sigh.

And we start the ride all over again tomorrow.

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