From the mouth of my babe

This will be updated regularly because my kid is out the gate.

  • ‘Your tummy is squishy like slime eh Mum?’
  • Someone called her heinous because she was throwing a tantrum, and she said ‘I’m not a penis’
  • ‘I put a booger in my mouth’
  • ‘Can you see my face? I’m angry’
  • ‘I don’t like tractors, I like washing machines and vacuum cleaners and building’
  • She was showing someone her heart shaped glasses and they said ‘love-hearts’. She said ‘no you don’t love hearts, you love triangles’
  • ‘I don’t fart with my bottom. I just do poos with my bottom’
  • ‘You are being adicklious’ (code for ridculous)
  • ‘Can I ride on a camel when I’m bigger?’
  • ‘We don’t touch peoples’ boobs eh Mum? We only look at them’
  • ‘Can I smell you?’
  • ‘Mum can I pat the baby?’
  • She was frowning while she went to the toilet, and when I asked if she was ok she said ‘yes I’m just getting poos out of me’
  • We walked outside on a cold morning: ‘Brrr, it’s a bit chimney’
  • ‘I’ve got two girls. They’re called Menassy and Bejinny’
  • ‘Mum look at my hands. They’re beautiful eh?’
  • She found a dead butterfly on the lawn, and was carrying it around in a container. I bumped into the container, and said ‘oops sorry’. She said ‘say sorry to my butterfly’, and when I did, she said ‘she’s not talking to you because she’s dead’
  • After having curry for dinner: ‘Mum does my wees smell like curry?’
  • ‘There’s bird poo in my eye’ (there wasn’t)
  • ‘Mum I like your boobs’
  • ‘Mum do you know squids have a beak under they fanny?’
  • ‘Mum can you move the sun out of my eyes?’
  • ‘My grandpa was swallowed by a chicken’
  • I told her her hands were freezing, and she said ‘yeah because I’ve been in the freezer’
  • ‘[My daycare teacher] is naughty because she locks me in a cage’
  • ‘Im just pretending to be a girl’
  • ‘Love you my gorgeous dear’
  • ‘What is the purpose of your face?’
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The space between singing in the rain and crying in the shower

I’ve had a few people tell me they were less than impressed at my post about my disdain for ‘inspirational’ hashtags a few weeks ago. That’s fine. Nobody likes everything on the internet, and nobody likes everything I do. 100% fine. That post was not intended for any specific audience, or intended to offend anyone, but for an insight into why I hate them so much, I though I’d share this:

Last night, my three year old didn’t go to sleep until 11.30. Ish. I don’t know for sure, because in between sweating my balls off in 7000 degree heat, taking her back to bed, giving her a cuddle and then not giving her a cuddle (‘go back to your room now Mum’), opening her windows, closing her windows, taking her duvet off, putting the ‘right’ blanket on, being told she didn’t want any blanket at all, laying down with her to rub her back, and then not rubbing her back (‘stop it now Mum’), retrieving the teddy she didn’t even actually want, I lost track of the time. Then she woke up at 6.30 this morning. Not a huge deal, surely? Except that she usually sleeps from 7pm until 7am. Which means that today she was operating on about 50% less sleep than she usually does. No problem. Surely.

Today, after being out for a few hours, I had the pleasure of being serenaded with two hours of screeching/whining/crying/yelling from my sweetheart. Stern words from me were an incredible study in ineffectiveness. Once home, I immediately got into a cold shower, sat down and cried. Got out. Cried some more. Breathed deeply and reminded myself that she is learning how to process her emotions, she is only three, she is even more tired than I am. Then she put her squishy little face on my shoulder and said ‘sorry Mumma, for I being grumpy and crying today’. Which made me feel like ASSHOLE MOTHER 2.0. The rest of the afternoon/evening passed regularly enough (she had a bath; I intervened when she poured water all over the bathroom floor, didn’t intervene when she peed in the bath and then 5 minutes later drank the bath water, put her towel round her wrong, put out the wrong pyjamas, read Guess How Much I Love You, tucked her in and held my breath that she WENT THE FUCK TO SLEEP THIS TIME). Once she went to sleep, all I fucking wanted was to go and order one of everything off the menu at KFC, but I can’t bloody leave her home alone for another 10 years or so.

This day was not remarkable. It wasn’t unusual. It happens, on average, three or four times a month. And that’s alright. I can mostly deal with it (crying in the shower is dealing, right?). But then I pop onto social media for some light browsing before I tackle the 300 household tasks I have to do, and I see a picture of a palm tree against a sunset with #lifeisbeautiful underneath it, and I want to drown myself in pissy bathwater. I know it’s no one else’s fault that I’ve had a shitty day. I know people are allowed to put whatever the fuck they want on their own social media. I know I have it in my power to not look at shit I don’t like. I KNOW ALL THAT. I just wonder – is seeing a picture that has had time, editing, and sometimes money go into it, that inspirational? I can’t stress enough that I don’t give a shit about the content, for me it is about the pretence. You post selfie after selfie my friend, show me that smoothie bowl pal, hit me with those beach snaps babe, but if you have to do it while pretending that you are bestowing inspiration on others, then you are being disingenuous. Inspiration isn’t a gift you get to give someone because you can take a nice photo. It’s not the thing, it’s the intent behind the thing, ya know?

My house is blissfully quiet now. For how long, I don’t know. I’m waiting for a knock on the door, and the inspirational sentence, ‘Hi I’m Jack, I work at KFC, and I read your mind and brought you one of everything off the menu’.

Could you go back in time and not be such a dick?

Recently I visited some family who I don’t see very often, usually only a few times a year. On the day we were leaving, I put my child in her carseat, which prompted a midlevel meltdown from her. I then said goodbye to my relatives over the roof of the car, and made a face indicating how excited I was to deal with World War 3 that was happening in the vehicle. It was then I distinctly heard one of them say “Well, you shouldn’t have had a kid then”.

Excuse me? Fucking excuse me? How helpful is it to tell someone that the way to deal with a problem they are having right now is to go back in time. It’s an open secret among parents (and even some people who don’t have kids know) that once a baby comes out, you can’t put it back. No matter how loud it screams, or how many times it tells you it wishes you weren’t its mum. So don’t tell me that I shouldn’t have had a kid just because I’m not frothing at the bit to deal with the screeching of a tiny lunatic with a diminished capacity for rational behaviour.

Retrospective advice never helped anyone. No one ever overcame food poisoning because someone said “Oh you shouldn’t have eaten at that place”. No one’s arm has ever un-broken because someone said “Oh you shouldn’t have ridden that horse”. AND NO KID HAS EVER SHUT THE FUCK UP BECAUSE SOME DICKHEAD SUGGESTED THEY’D BE QUIETER IF THEY’D NEVER BEEN BORN.

Another stellar piece of wisdom I received recently is that “your kids pay you back for the kind of kid you were for your parents”. Huh? I heard this at a time when I felt really, really low. I wasn’t coping with being a mum, I wasn’t coping with being an adult person, I wasn’t coping with not coping, and I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. The most well meaning people could say about as much as ‘Oh that sucks’, but what I needed was someone to say ‘Give me your precious baby who you love but cannot deal with right now and I will take her for the night and she will be fine and you can sit at home and drink three bottles of wine or go to bed at six o’clock or both if you like and she will be fine and I will bring her back to you happy and relaxed and she will be fine and you will be fine and you can do it because you are doing it but I can help you too. Let me help you’. But no one said that to me. Instead someone I did tell (who was a professional) said what basically amounted to ‘you deserve what you are getting and how you are feeling right now’. To anyone who has never been at such a low ebb, that probably sounds like an overreaction to a lighthearted comment. But to me, at that time, it felt like confirmation that the way I felt was my fault. I know that it wasn’t meant that way, that it wasn’t meant to make me feel even more helpless, but I think, when someone is feeling out of control or on the edge, the last thing you should tell them (no matter how vaguely), is that they put themselves there.

I have yet to meet a parent (or person in general) who likes receiving unsolicited advice. I got it in the supermarket when I was lumbering around at 15 months pregnant, I get it now, and I have a feeling it will happen for as long as people suspect (quite rightly) that I don’t actually know what I’m doing (so, by my calculations, the rest of my life). And I can accept that. I can. But only if the advice is “Yes. You buy that second wheel of camembert. And don’t give any to the demon snorting away in your trolley. She’s being a dickhead, and maybe that’s your fault, maybe it’s not, I don’t know – I’m only here to advise on cheese”.