4.00am – “MAMA! I’m awake! Look, it’s a morning! What’s today?”
Stumbling out of bed, I switch on the kettle. One bottle of rooibos tea with honey, one bottle of formula, one cup of green tea. The boys and I lie on the couch sipping on our beverages of choice, while I play “This Little Piggy went to Market” on the Two Year Old’s toes. It’s like one of those stock photos of the perfect family. Until….
4.07am – “MY car! “MY car! “MY car!”
The negotiations begin. About 87% of my day is spent negotiating between two small humans with very undeveloped brains.
- If you want your brother’s car, find him another one you can swop with.
- Sorry, boy, you can’t have Salticracks for breakfast. Cereal or oats?
- No, you cannot go to school naked.
These are just a few things I find myself saying fairly regularly and it becomes quite difficult to know what’s sinking in. But then every now and then, I realise that they actually do hear what I’m saying. Yesterday, the Four Year Old and I were playing “Good Guys, Bad Guys” and after he put me in jail, he told me “Sit here, and you can’t come out until you control yourself.” It would appear someone HAS been listening.
Insert here school runs, snack time, nap time, wrestling matches to get nappies changed, running races to get noses wiped and a trip to the homeopath.
Fast-forward twelve hours.
4.00pm – “MY truck! MY truck! MY truck!”
4.07pm – “MAMA! I’m hungry. Look, there’s a moon. What’s for supper?”
Same tune, different words. In the next twenty minutes, I clean up the Two Year Old’s swimming costume that has been pooped in (the kind that zip all the way up to the neck), I grab a runaway bottle of Domestos out of the Four Year Old’s hand and scoop up an entire tub of yogurt that was chucked on a suede couch from a highchair. Note to prospective parents: suede couches may or may not have their origins in the pit of hell. Do not buy one.
Our evening routine starts with the celebration of Dad’s arrival home – dancing, tears of joy and leaping into his arms.
The kids are usually quite stoked to see him, too.
The double pram is loaded up with bikes and skateboards as we meander around the block, and our arrival back at the gate is usually announced by the Four Year Old’s meltdown – the stick we found earlier is too short, or the pants he’s wearing are too orange, or his brother keeps looking at him. Being four years old at five o clock in the afternoon is difficult. So is being one of our neighbours, I would venture to guess.
Dinner (left overs).
Bath (bubbles, of course).
Another bottle of rooibos tea, another bottle of formula and one spilt bottle of Panado.
Did somebody say “wine”?
It’s a pretty ordinary day in the life of this Rookie Mom. It’s the ordinary day after day after day, at the end of which I collapse into bed with achy feet, wondering if I’ll ever NOT be tired again. However, I forgot to mention a few things.
Like how the Four Year Old told the cashier at Spar his new joke.
(What do cows do on a Friday night? Go to the mooovies.)
Or how the Two Year Old said “Hi, guys!” to everyone we walked past.
I didn’t mention how the Four Year Old makes his cross-eyed funny face to get his brother to stop crying, or how the little one hides under the table and squeaks while we all look for a mouse in the house. No one except me hears a little voice whisper, “I love you bigger than the whole world, Mama” or feels two smooth, squashy little arms hugging my neck at bedtime. When these two kids laugh, when the Four Year Old tells me a story, when the Two Year Old runs up to me and grabs my legs and throws back his head to look into my eyes, I melt. (And NOT from exhaustion). I melt with love, and gratitude, and the realisation that I am privileged and honoured to have these gorgeous children entrusted to my care…every ordinary day.
As the Husband and I lie in bed at night, exhausted, grumpy and each convinced we work harder than our spouse, we start to talk about our kids. About how smart and funny and cute they are, about how much we love them. Sometimes we actually want to go wake them up and play with them. This is usually the sign that we are crossing over into post-traumatic delirium and really need to sleep, so it’s lights out and eyes closed.
Did I say this was a pretty ordinary day? I meant it was another beautiful ordinary day.