Some days, things go your way. Everything is easy and you don’t even need to try. Your baby sleeps in (past 5am, which in my books is a lie in), eats all of their breakfast with no fuss and manages to get not a bit of it in your hair. They’re smiley throughout the day, showing off their gums to anyone who will look and you can’t help but do a little smug dance inside as you rejoice in the knowledge that your baby is confirming to the world that you’re doing a good job and they’re happy.
Other days that doesn’t happen. Tuesday definitely fell into the latter camp.
Bells woke at 3am, convinced it was time to start the day… after much pacing, filling with milk, rocking and cursing, she eventually went off again. Finally starting the day at 5am, sweet.
Breakfast can only be described as a sh*t shambles. 8 courses later in a vain attempt to get her to eat anything, she finally threw her scrambled eggs on the floor screaming “dadarara” which I can only take to having meant “thank you so much for the delicious breakfast mummy, but I’m just not hungry”. Having bent over to mop up the mess, she siezed the opportunity to show me how much she loved me, grabbing my hair with both egg-covered hands.
Knowing that we were due to meet a friend shortly, I grabbed baby wipes (all hail baby wipes which are now used for EVERYTHING) in an attempt to remove as much as possible before deciding that it was just going to have to stay put, we were late.
Now that Bells needs actual entertaining (i.e. jiggling Captain Calamari in front of her no longer cuts it), getting her to sit still for a coffee date with friends is becoming near impossible and so it came about that we decided to take the babies for a walk around Virginia Water. It was bitterly cold, but a bright, crisp day. If the truth be known, I would much rather have stayed indoors wrapped up warm, but knowing that Bells loves trees (what’s that all about?!), I decided it was for the greater good… and so off we went.
Setting off with coffee in hands, we decided things weren’t that bad and maybe it could be enjoyable after all. We stopped at the lake, feeding bread to the ducks (which apparently is banned now, WTF? We’re such rebels) before continuing to take what we didn’t realise was the “long” route.
Looking back, the fact that we decided to take a route where there wasn’t any ‘proper’ path probably wasn’t the wisest move. Taking the longer route was also a rookie error. Half way through our walk, the babies started to cry. In unison. Not a whimper, or a whine, full meltdown territory. There were tears, SO many tears that passers by looked at us as though to question whether we had done something to harm them in some way.
Part of me wanted to explain that we’d tried EVERYTHING and decided that the best answer was just to keep going… to get this hell over as soon as possible. We’d given them toys, we’d put their prams up, we’d put them flat, we’d given them snacks, I’d exposed myself in the freezing wind in the vain hope that boob might make it stop, but nothing.
And so they cried all of the way around. We smiled, shrugged our shoulders and joked that they were loving every minute of it. We dreamt of being warm, of drinking prosecco, of being anywhere other than walking around that huge bl**dy lake with unforgiving miniature humans.
Eventually reaching the cafe, the crying stopped. Having unpacked Bells gourmet lunch in half a dozen tupperware pots (hello 1980’s!), we were all set. Lunch could begin, we breathed a sigh of relief. Right on queue, my friend’s baby decided to launch her cold coffee (the only way we drink it now!) all over the floor. As I went on a hunter gather mission to get serviettes, Bells decided that she’d prefer the tupperware and her lunch to be on the floor. One sneeze leading to a head butt of the table later and our day was complete.
We admitted defeat and headed our separate ways.
Bizarrely it was one of the best days that I’d had in ages. On the journey home, I reflected on how far I’d come as a mum. In the first few months, I was so keen to show the world that I was a good mum, Bells crying in public would literally make me break out in hives. The day couldn’t have gone any more badly if we’d tried, but having a friend to lean on, to laugh with and to acknowledge that it was just one of those days and tomorrow would probably/hopefully be better made things so much better.
Prosecco never tasted as good as it did that night.