I wish there were a device that would let you save a day and come back to it at a later point; not from a schmaltzy, sentimental perspective, but purely practically. For example, today. I would have liked to have skipped today, BUT gifted it to myself in the future, perhaps when I have horrid teenagers in the house and I want to remember the baby days. Perhaps when I am in my 60s with an empty nest, it would be fantastic to bury my nose in the little child stage of snuggles again. I totally see that. Much of it is wonderful.
But it’s hard to appreciate the wonder 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It’s relentless. Today, for example, I have a stinking cold. Unfairly, it’s the second stinking cold in three weeks; the Second Year of Doom striking hard. The children have been delightful. Well behaved, playing nicely together, eating all their food, not torturing the cat. But I have not been up for it. TheBloke (TM) left at about midday to play cricket. I don’t resent this, as he rarely goes out otherwise, but it meant I had seven hours to fill until bedtime. This is a lot of time to fill when really you want to be lying on the sofa with a tissue stuffed up each nostril, eating cheesy Wotsits and watching repeats of ER or the entire Pride and Prejudice boxset. My children, pre-school philistines that they are, have yet to appreciate Andrew Davies’ magnificent interpretation of Austen’s seminal text. Tossers.
It is a lot of time to fill when you want to be on the sofa… but instead are bombarded with requests for “Paw-Pol”, and, “Can you play New York with me, Mummy?” (Playing New York basically means I have to put on a crap American accent, and charge EldestGirl a ridiculous amount to stay in a hotel, adding on frivolous extra charges for showering, breakfast, wake-up calls and so on. It is a very accurate game.)
So I phoned parenting in today. We had a lot of TV. So much TV that EldestGirl actually said to me, “I don’t want to watch TV anymore, Mummy. It’s boring and my eyes hurt.” This has literally never happened before. That’s the sort of parenting I did today. I turfed them onto the trampoline for fifteen minutes to make (microwave) their dinner. I love the trampoline as it’s basically a bouncy children’s prison once you zip them in “for your own safety, sweeties”. Also, YoungestGirl seems to enjoy it when EldestGirl jumps on her head. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing long-term, but it’s nice to hear them giggle.
After dinner I made some shaving foam paints for the bath (minimum effort, at least 20 minutes of painting each other’s faces) and then we watched some more TV. I am not going to win any Pinterest awards for children’s activities today. Literally counting down the minutes until I could reasonably start the “bedtime routine”, I did feel guilty. Their little-kid childhoods are so short. You can count them in days. And I had basically wished an entire one away. These days I know will miss one day. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could just bottle up two or three days when you just need a break? And let yourself deal with it and enjoy them properly at a later date?
In the meantime, the best thing about no longer breastfeeding is I can have ALL THE DRUGS (pharmacy-sold, obviously) to vanquish the cold. And ALL THE VODKA to make me feel better (though that’s fine when breastfeeding too). The worst part about not breastfeeding is putting on ALL THE WEIGHT from all the vodka (and cake), as the selfish baby no longer depletes me of calories. Still, cake and vodka. The day could have turned out worse. Everyone fed, nobody dead.