Today was a really rough day. It started out relatively normal, Oakland and I went to visit my mum early in the morning. I expected he might sleep on the way there; didn’t happen. This then meant I would need to try to get him down for his morning nap at some point in a strange bed. When the time came it was hard but we got there, though he slept for less than an hour. I knew then I was in for a treat for the rest of the day.
We left mum’s in the early arvo and Oakland was well overdue for his nap, so I once again assumed he would sleep in the car…didn’t happen. We got home and I tried to feed him, tire him out then give him milk. I then put him down in his cot and he screamed and screamed. I went in and out repeatedly, calming him until he stopped crying then leaving the room. Minutes later there was crying again, I would once again go in, calm him, sing to him, pick his four or five dummies that he likes to throw up off the floor and put them back in the cot anddddd repeat. This went on for a while until I caved and decided we needed a new tactic. So I climbed in the cot with Oak (we removed one side), flopped a boob in his face, sung to him and stroked his hair. In my mind I was thinking about all the shit I had to do once he was asleep. He was blissfully happy…until I stopped. Great. After about 45 minutes of this I looked at him and said “Ok Oakie, you win. No nap for you” and he squealed with delight as I made him hand back his dummy (he knows he only gets them for bed) and lifted him out.
By this time it was about 4:30pm. We played some more and then I decided to get his dinner ready. Keeping in mind I was/am fucking tired, Oakland woke up a few times through the night, barely napped today and required my constant attention and praise all day, so I am all kinds of drained right now, I decided to earn my Mother of the Year badge once again and gave the kid party pies and sausage rolls, not even oven baked, 1.5 minutes of microwaved goodness. I even gave him a little dipping bowl of tomato sauce for good measure. No judgement here guys, remind yourselves this is the blog of a passable parent, so if you sitting there shaking your head in disbelief and imagining all the carcinogens and radioactive shit, not to mention salt, I just pumped into my 14 month old’s body, move along. I know that at least three quarters of you are probably reading this (when you get the time to read it, one paragraph every few hours perhaps?) and thinking shit, that’s an improvement on the Maccas run you did tonight. We all fed our kids today, high fives! Anyway, apparently my kid is super un-Australian and the entire meal, minus the tomato sauce he drank from the bowl, ended up on the floor and in the belly of three chihuahuas faster that it took to cook them. With the last legs of energy left, I cut up the trusty fave watermelon and Oakland and I had fruit for dinner.
I barely scraped through bath and cleanup time alive. My feet were sticking to the kitchen floor from a mixture of pie and watermelon. We’ve got fucking ants, which is unsurprising with a toddler. I was silently cursing Oakland as he was yawning and getting grizzly, “well maybe if you didn’t skip bloody nap time you wouldn’t be so tired and grumpy????”. Alee was working til at least 7:30pm so it was just me. Ughhhh! Then came the calm.
The house was tidy and Oakland climbed up on my lap for milk and a book. He sat drinking his milk, big brown eyes staring up at me, then darting to the book and back again. We finished the first book Spot Loves His Mummy, then stared reading another about baby animals all going to bed. I looked down and experienced one of those moments where my heart melts. I got to watch his long lashes closing over as he fell asleep mid-way through milk, little mouth still suckling away on my breast. We sat there like this for what felt like an eternity. Moments like this are becoming rarer day by day, as Oakland grows and becomes more independent. As a newborn he fell asleep on the breast non-stop, but as a toddler he now falls asleep in his room. I sat there studying every inch of his chocolate skin. The colour and softness are so beautiful. I took in the curl of each strand of hair, they all twist in crazy directions, no two the same. I love that his features are so delicate and pixie-like. He never had that thing that some kids have where their heads are too big for their bodies and they end up looking like bobble heads for a few years until their bodies catch up. Well not that I noticed anyway. I must have done something right in my lifetime, because karma provided me with the most perfect child ever created. My tiredness and sheer exhaustion were forgotten as I stared at his perfection for at least half an hour. The dogs needed feeding, the dishes needed washing, the plants needed watering but I didn’t care. This was worth staying awake even later for. Eventually I gave in and carried him to bed, but that one moment reminded me that for every difficult experience parenting provides me, I will get at least 100 amazing moments that far outweigh the tough times. Gazing down on that angelic face and not knowing how many more moments like this we will share, I was reminded that being a parent is a privilege, not a right, and I need to cherish every second because there will come a day where I won’t be able to lie beside my baby in his cot, stroking his hair and singing him lullabies. Thinking about all the crap I can’t get done because I have a clingy baby will no longer be a thought. I will have a perfectly clean house, all my chores will be done but my home will be empty. Give me a crazy day, grizzly kid and sleepless night over that any time. Today was a really
rough good day.