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Thwack! That was the sound of a plastic maraca connecting with my forehead. My nine-month-old baby was waving the musical toy with the gusto of a professional percussionist, while I was picking up soggy toast remnants and wiping yoghurt from the cracks in between the floorboards.
It was one of those disaster mornings when leaving the house seems like an insurmountable task. I’m sure many parents can relate to this:
7:20am: Attempt to change baby out of pyjamas. This becomes a wrestling match with arms and legs flying in every direction, mine included, and ends with me cursing press-studs.
7:29: Sit baby up on change table. Baby then proceeds to spews milk all down outfit.
7:30: Change outfits again: Baby 2, Mummy 1.
7:40: Breakfast. Scoop yoghurt into baby’s mouth. Time slows down, every mouthful seems to take 10 minutes. I realise I haven’t fed myself yet, do so with baby spoon.
8:00: Toast time, baby happily munches on three pieces at the same time.
8:05: With 15 minutes until I have to leave the house, I scramble around getting everything ready for baby’s daycare bag.
8:10: Baby drops half-chewed toast fingers one by one over the side of the highchair.
8:12: Pick up toast off the floor. Thwack! Cop an (accidental) maraca to the head. Deep breaths, repeat the mantra: encouraging musical ability will aid cognitive development. Encouraging musical ability will aid cognitive development.
8:19: I still can’t shake the feeling I’m forgetting something but then again, it could be the head injury. Review daycare list: Formula: check, sleeping bag: check, spare clothes: check, teddy: check, dummies: check. It’s probably work related, I move my laptop on top of my handbag so I can’t possibly leave it behind.
8:20: Baby starts grizzling, having had enough of the highchair and throwing toast, she lifts her arms to be picked up. Thinking I have three hands, I attempt to wipe her face and hands in the same manoeuvre. Baby instead wipes face on black blouse.
8:25: Whip off black blouse and throw on whatever is on top of the washing pile. It’s white. I know, dancing with the devil.
Outfit changes: Baby 2, Mummy 2.
8:35: Pick up baby and feel dampness on her back, then the smell hits me. I toy with the idea of pretending at day care the pooey nappy must have happened in the car.
8:40: Change nappy and outfit again: Baby 3, Mummy 2.
8:50: Holding onto baby, work bag, laptop and daycare bag I finally leave the house.
8:55: At traffic lights, think about the email I saw last night from friends about what is the best sippy cup to buy – the consensus is to instead teach baby to drink from a cup. I, having no idea have bought one every time I have been in the supermarket recently, which equates to roughly six of them.
8:56: Cup drinking anxiety begins.
8:58: Dammit, I realise it’s the sippy cup I forgot and by the looks of it the other bottle for her second feed. It’s too late to turn around. I’ll have to ask the carer to wash the bottle in between feeds and give her water… from a cup?!
9:10: Arrive at daycare. Fumble with the straps of the new forward facing car seat. Text husband to ask how to get baby out of the car, he helpfully replies with “press the red button”. Thanks for that, I didn’t get this far in life by not learning how to undo a seat buckle.
9:12: Explain bottle and sippy cup situation to carers. Avoid eye contact to escape (non-existent) judgmental looks.
9:23 Arrive at work. Several colleagues go out of their way to tell me they like my outfit. Feeling like a yeti under four layers of clothing I’m not even confident are clean, I’m gobsmacked. That is, until one points out I have a stain on my white top. I counter with: “well, it’s only one stain.” I also hold back from saying what I’m really thinking: at least it’s not poo (because to be honest I’m not entirely sure).
A year ago I couldn’t imagine I’d be the kind of person willing to leave the house with unidentified stains – let alone poo- on my clothing, but for all the smelly nappies and toy-related head injuries, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
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