Saturday, 22 October 2016

Dear Fraggle, Don't Ever Let Me Stop You From Being Who You Are

Dear Fraggle,

You are generally a polite and cooperative little person. But every single time we ask you to go to the bathroom, you squawk and resist with ferocity.

Once you eventually concede, you spend 15 minutes doing god knows what in there. It doesn't seem to matter how often we ask you not to play in the bathroom, you are not deterred.

I think it's because, most of the time, your play isn't "play." Your play is work. You're working on something. You're practising, observing, exploring - and doing so in the most direct, linear way possible. The way a surgeon practises sewing up dolls.

So tonight, just after you went to bed, you got up to go to the bathroom just one more time "Because... In the middle of the night, if I *really* need to go pee, I can. Yeah I can. It's ok Mama."

You were in there for a while, but Hubby and I didn't pay much attention.

And then, just now, when I came up to bed, I found this on my bathroom counter.

A handful of about 50 sheets of toilet paper. Individually separated and stacked in a perfect little Fraggle pile.

And I've never been so happy.

Because this is YOU my darling. Quietly working in the bathroom and then toddling off to sleep on your own.

I love you. You are my joy.


Saturday, 24 September 2016

How to be good at chores in 16 easy steps

Parenthood is an unrelenting barrage of chores. It's a barrage of other things too, but the chores - good god the chores.

Now, to be clear, I don't really care about chores. My house is not one of those pristine magazine houses. On a good day, it barely passes for hygienic. My house is a solid tolerable, and often in some state of repair or renovation (thank you Hubby).

Generally my house borders on embarrassing, but can sometimes look like at least I turned on the robot vacuum.

However, I still do chores. A fucking endless, painful, surprising series of chores that keep my house precariously perched on the fence between "hmm what's that lingering stench?" and "holy shit we gotta call someone my socks are stuck to the floor wait is that poop of course it is what else would it be."

So today I had a single chore goal. Usually, I have zero chore goals. Each day passes with a three-year old yelling and running and making all matter of messes (including, but not limited to, playdoh on the table, milk on the couch, rice on the floor, and paint in her hair) as well as a six-month old who actively spits all of his saliva, food and breastmilk on any and all surfaces.

Whatever chores get done in between all that are a miracle. On an average day, the dishes don't get done and piles of clean and/or dirty laundry become excellent floor pillows for Hubby and I during our best "yes I'm parenting even if I am laying on the floor with my eyes closed" moments.

But this morning, Fraggle marched into our bedroom at her precise 7:17 and announced that her nighttime diaper had leaked into her pants, and therefore into her sheets.

Enter: chore goal.

Today's chore simply had to ensure that I am a good enough parent that my kid doesn't have to sleep in a possibly pee-ish bed.

Chore goal failed, as I'm sure you predicted. Because life.  Fraggle napped in her possibly pee-ish sheets this afternoon.

BUT - I did not allow myself to be deterred. I swore, tonight I will be a better parent than I was this morning. Tonight I will change those godforsaken sheets if it kills me.

And kill me it nearly did.

After washing windows, making dinner, sorting closets, and then feeding, bathing and bedding the baby, this is what it takes to complete a single chore goal in my house:

Step 1 - Strip the pee-ish sheets.

Step 2 - Realize you don't have a clean sheet.

Step 3 - Go down to the main floor to retrieve the clean laundry hamper, for the clean sheet.

Step 4 - Return upstairs, put away those clean clothes, spread out the clean sheet but then realize you don't have a clean towel to lay under the sheet to protect the mattress from other pee-ish nights.

Step 5 - Go down to the basement to retrieve a clean towel from the dryer.

Step 6 - Fold all the laundry from the dryer and put it into a hamper.

Step 7 - Put the wet stuff from the washer into the dryer.

Step 8 - Put new stuff in the washer.

Step 9 - Carry the hamper up - wait, stop - scoop the kitty litter.

Step 10 - Wash hands.

Step 11 - Carry the bag of cat feces up to the garbage.

Step 12 - Take the recycling out because it's overflowing on the back deck and Hubby keeps ranting about it.

Step 13 - Wash hands.

Step 14 - Return to the basement to retrieve the clean laundry hamper, dig out the clean towel buried at the bottom because fucking idiot.

Step 15 - Heave the clean laundry hamper up the stairs and make the child's bed.

Step 16 - Put the pee-ish sheets into another hamper - wait, stop - all the hampers are already in use fuck that - launch the dirty pee-ish sheets over the stair railing.

Oh, and, you have to do all that silently because - duh - sleeping baby.

There it is.  Now you, too, can be the best mediocre parent. You're welcome. Pass the beer.