Right now, as I write this, my children are both sleeping. I have a cup of coffee that I’ve just made, and it’s hot. It hasn’t had the chance to go cold, like all of the other cups of coffee I’ve made today. I’ve got my laptop out, instead of drafting this on my phone while breastfeeding or sitting on a bus. From my perch, right in this moment, parenting two under two seems pretty good. We’ve baked cakes and even done some painting today. We’re doing ok.
Alright, it’s not perfect. I’m sat at Iris’s little play table and chairs because the children have taken one sofa each. I’m not comfortable. I’m trying really really really hard not to eat the packet of chocolate chip cookies in the cupboard, and actually I would have quite liked to venture out somewhere today. I just wasn’t brave enough. And it’s just way too bloody hot. Also, I’ve already posted a blog post today and posting more than once a day feels weird. I can’t explain it.
I am so bloody tired.
I get sick of hearing myself complain about being tired. I get sick of the sound of my own voice. Iris, please don’t lick the dog. No, don’t eat his food either. Yes, we do need to change your nappy. Must we watch the same Bing DVD again? What do you want for lunch? No, ice cream doesn’t count as lunch. If you climb up there you could fall and hurt yourself. Please don’t poke Astrid. Yes, I know she’s biting you but she doesn’t have any teeth so it’s ok. No, you can’t bite her back. You have lots of teeth, very very shiny teeth.
Well that didn’t last. Astrid was up, and now she’s back down. I didn’t even finish my coffee.
Let’s talk about Astrid actually. I’ve come to the conclusion that she hates summer. She’s cried almost non-stop since the weather got nice. It’s not nice now. It’s grey and dark and overcast but BOILING HOT. After spending the first chunk of the year counting down the minutes until summer arrives, I now want it to just get lost. Give me snow, blizzards, heavy rain and sub-zero temperatures. Anything to stop my baby crying.
Yesterday I reached an all-time parenting low.
Monday was rubbish. Really awful. Astrid cried all day long. I really needed to do some housework because it’s so messy in our house it’s making me itch. I just can’t relax while it’s like this. I achieved nothing. Not a thing.
So yesterday I came to the conclusion that if I am to achieve nothing at home apart from being grumpy and being screamed at, we may as well go out. Nothing adventurous. I wanted to check out the bargain exercise wear in Lidl, and Iris has library books that are due back.
Oh wow, was getting out of the house hard. The screaming! Iris kept running away when she was supposed to be getting dressed. I couldn’t find my clothes because I haven’t put any laundry away in about a year or something. Iris got out pretty much every toy we own, and I can’t go out with toys out because the dog will bloody eat them.
Anyway, we got out around lunch time. I thought I’d feed Iris from Lidl’s bakery and she could eat in the pushchair from there to the library.
The bus journey was horrific. Iris wanted out of the pushchair, but judging by Astrid’s screams so did she. An old man commented on the crying. Yes, she has been making that horrific noise since she woke up this morning and I have noticed she sounds quite sad thank you very much. I ended up juggling two children and a bloody great big empty double pushchair. Not easy.
On arrival in town, I convinced Iris to get back in, and strapped in a screaming Astrid because holding her wasn’t making her happier anyway. Every few feet I had to stop, try to console Astrid, try to convince her to take a dummy, sit on a curb and try to feed her. Nothing. Nothing works. She’s red faced and furious and I have absolutely no idea how to make that better. Half an hour later and we’ve walked about quarter of the way to Lidl. I give up and dive into a cafe we go to a lot, but stopped going to because Astrid is always screaming and we never go out anymore.
Iris wanted spaghetti hoops, until they arrived and she didn’t want them anymore. They ended up all over the floor. The cafe manager held a screaming Astrid while I scoffed a sandwich as fast as I could. I tried to make a break as soon as I’d finished eating, but the cafe manager insisted on coming to Lidl with us.
So she pushed the huge tank of a pushchair and I carried a nearly naked Astrid (I’d stripped her off because she was red hot from the yelling). My pushchair takes some getting used to and she crashed a lot.
After a doughnut from the bakery, Iris nodded off. I thanked the cafe manager (who is so lovely!) and made a break for home Screw the library. I’d rather be fined than take my horrific children in there. I almost got back to the bus station. Almost.
Instead I broke down. Properly lost it. I took Astrid out of the pushchair, sat on some steps and rang my mum in a hysterical mess. There wasn’t much point. She couldn’t really hear me over the screaming. While mum consoled me, a tall man with a ginger beard approached me and said “perhaps if you put your phone away you’ll be able to calm your baby…..” and I thought oh here we go, you want a fight Mr Judgeypants??
Then he showed me his police badge. Oh.
I hung up on my mum (sorry mum) and tried to explain that I just wanted to buy some leggings to wear to the dance class I don’t actually go to because my baby never stops crying, but it had all been really hard work because my baby never stops crying and I haven’t slept for two years, and we never leave the house anymore which isn’t good because the house looks like its been ransacked and it’s all just got a bit too much.
His expression told me that he was concerned for the safety of both my screaming baby and my fast asleep toddler. Oh crap.
While I tried to convince him that I wasn’t a danger to my children without implying that that’s what he was thinking just in case he wasn’t thinking that at all, he pushed my pushchair and sleeping toddler to the bus station. Astrid finally stopped screaming in my arms. He told me he has four kids, a bit older than mine, and that he knows what screaming babies can do to a usually capable person. Despite my insistence that I’m fine, reeeeally I am he called a couple of PCSOs to help me get home. Yes really.
They helped me onto the bus, sat with me on the bus, helped me off the bus, and helped me into my house. For real. I don’t even know where they went after that.
Loads of people who I don’t actually know but who I see all of the time saw it all. I felt like a bit of a wally.
But I arrived home with a sleeping toddler in a pushchair and a sleeping nearly-naked baby in my arms.
I was ashamed.
Today, I am not. My faith in humans is restored. Well sort of. The news is full of stupid politicians and entitled men getting away with the worst of crimes. But my faith is restored a teeny bit.
And I’m not leaving the house alone with these two monsters again for a while.