There is only one way to sum up my day on Monday – 3pm nip. No, that is not a typo. I did NOT mean to say 3pm nap. I meant 3pm nip. In fact, it may well have been a double shot… I can’t be sure. And no, I was not guest DJ-ing on my local radio station, though if I was, the double shot would probably have been an ACDC coupling of “Problem Child” and “Highway to Hell”, or maybe Rage Against the Machine “Know Your Enemy” and “Take the Power Back”, but alas, it was a double shot of Dr Smirnoff’s rescue remedy.
“What?” I hear you cry. “What could drive a warm, responsible, earth-mother goddess to drink at 3 in the afternoon?!”
A 2-year-old, I tell you. A 2-year-old.
I didn’t believe it was possible. I thought “The Terrible Twos” was a scare-campaign, kind of like Y2K, hysteria perpetuated by mothers looking for something to blame for their children not being perfect minature adults like their outfits and hair-dos suggest they should be.
Humble pie, people. I’m eating it by the trailer-load.
It began at 5.30am with a warm bottle of milk designed to put him back to sleep. It had the opposite effect of quelling his hunger and sparking him to life. I managed to convince myself that the shouts of “MUUUUUM! MUM! MUM-MUM-MUM!” coming from his room were part of my tortured dreams for a full 10 minutes before I caved in and dragged my sorry self out of bed.
The 5.30 start progressed to a 5.50am tantrum – NO NAPPY! NO-NO-NO! – followed by a 15 minute battle to get a jumper on him, a pair of track suit pants and his slippers. Why do I bother?
This was followed by 40 minutes of raging because I refused to grant his request for George Monkey, even when he brought the DVD to me with a sweet “Preeeeze Mummy”. I don’t know. Is it unreasonable for a mother not to want her 2-year-old in front of Curious George at 6 in the morning? Stupid, perhaps, I mean I was clearly asking for a fight on that one, but surely a line has to be drawn…
Anyway, all attempts to distract him with breakfast failed – No chair. No Weet Bix. No Toast. No no no no no. Tanie? Preeze Mummy, Tanie? Again, is it unreasonable for a mother to want her child to eat something slightly more sustaining and with a slightly less laxative effect than sultanas for breakfast? So I compromised and put the sultanas in his Weet Bix.
Well, wasn’t that the red rag… For those of you unfamiliar with the extraordinary properties of Weet Bix, when thrown around the room and not cleaned up within 75 seconds of hitting any kind of surface, Weet Bix mush dries like cement. In fact, I am considering using it next time I am in need of some cement render. Fortunately, LL was courteous enough to go around picking the sultanas out of the globules of hardening brown slop to compliment the cold spaghetti he had dragged out of the fridge and up-ended on the floor. A nutritious breakfast after all.
It was at this point in our morning’s kitchen redecoration that Blossom woke, demanding to be fed. And it was at this point that LL decided it was imperative that he climb to the very top of my head using only my hair as leverage. Blossom, unable to feed with her brother’s overwhelming presence became increasingly frantic and I lost the last handle I had on my morning’s composure. “Oh, just go away…” I blurted.
That’s right, folks. I said it. And yep, it was repeated back to me ALL FREAKING DAY!
I won’t bore you with the intimate details of my attempts to go the beach with a girlfriend and her daughter (of course forgetting Blossom’s hat on only the sunniest day since February), or LL’s 20-minute cat nap in the car at 9am, throwing all hope of a decent afternoon nap out the window, or his sudden fragility in the coffee shop where we tried to hold a civilised conversation. Nor will I detail Blossom’s increasing fussiness at not having a single peaceful moment to suck to her heart’s content, or LL’s refusal to eat when in said coffee shop and his demands for lunch about 10 minutes after we arrived at the beach, his dissatisfaction at what I had packed and his wails for Chippies when he saw those damned golden arches on the drive home. It was then that I finally gave in to his whim. I needed comfort. NOW!
So we drove through. Him a juice and chips, me a Big Mac with no meat patties and a vanilla thick shake . Yes, you read right. No meat. I know, I know – it’s a lettuce and pickle roll, but I’m vegetarian, so I get the sugar bun with the plastic cheese and the mysteriously enticing sauce and then throw a veg burger on it when I get home. At least, that was the intention until LL pushed a chair to the bench where I had carefully place my burger-to-be out of harm’s way.
It was something about the little shreds of lettuce fluttering through the air before they hit the floor, the way the pickles stuck to the cupboard doors, the way the bun perfectly complimented the strands of cold spaghetti and the splattering of cemented Weet Bix that just did it for me. I cried over spilled burger-to-be, and when LL asked with grave concern, “You arite, Mummy? You arite?” I wanted to scream, “What the fuck do you think!?”
Instead I tried getting him sorted for bed time. This was met with the kind of reception you might expect: “NO no no no no… Run run, Mummy. Run run!”
From past experience, I know this is LL code for “I’m not going to settle down until I have done a monumental poo and that monumental poo is not going to happen unless I am given ample space to move and ample solitude to bear down in private.” So I sent him out the back door with a flourish and settled into the armchair in Blossom’s room to give her the first bit of quiet attention she had had all day. It was not long lived.
She suckled, she drifted, he crashed through the door, trailing and ungodly stench. I held my ground and composure.
“Mmm-hmm,” I said quietly,”We’ll finish boobie and then we’ll change your nappy.”
To which LL demonstratively sat down, rubbed his backside from right to left and grinned, “Squish!”
The conversation repeated, to which LL shouted, “NO!” and ripped the velcro tabs of his nappy open and did a delicate little squat to ensure the nappy dropped all the way to the floor. I practically dropped Blossom, whipped the nappy over his shit-covered backside and dragged him to his room amid violent protests (from both of them).
Bed time brought a battle over where to sleep – No cot. No cot. NO COT! – and by 3.07pm, when I had finally managed to get Blossom to bed and The Lion to sleep on a mattress on the floor in his room, I went to the kitchen.
I sat on the floor with my burger-to-be lettuce and cold spaghetti and a glass filled liberally with Dr Smirnoff. Neat. On ice.
And I damned well deserved it.