In all your beautiful newness, your freshness tangible, I feel daunted by the task ahead. As I look upon your face, your eyelids flickering uncertainly, I realise that there is so much you need to learn. Lying in my arms, so helpless and fragile, I promise to be your guide upon the journey to becoming you. And I think: there are so many things that I must teach you.
With talk of houmous and gluten free this and that, Bad Moms is the most American, middle class depiction of motherhood but as long as you know this before seeing it, you'll enjoy it. Thankfully, Kunis' beautiful, mesmerising, gigantic eyes are enough to distract you from the filo pastry thin plot and lack of gags.
So here we are, hoping for better days, for the grief to ease a little and for the sleepless nights to rush by; but at the same time wanting to press the pause button on my two little miracles. Just stop and live in the moment, breathe in the warm, baby scent of N, and delight in M's transformation into a proud big sister, so independent already but still needing her mummy.
I know when I'm being judged. And it stings. The judger only sees a snapshot of my parenting or my kids, or an interaction that is missing context. I am parenting 24/7 with 4 little ones running circles around me, all of them at different stages in their development with different demands, challenges, and different temperaments. I encounter many judge-worthy situations. Some smaller; some bigger. And I pick my battles wisely. Because you gotta.
As an antenatal educator, I am often advised of the many ways in which I failed to prepare people for what it's really like to have a baby, and find yourself relentlessly on call to a tyrannical but adored bundle of cute, who speaks no language that you know, and for whose health and well-being you are entirely responsible.
The boys are now nine and seven years old and I continue to store up our more amusing conversations. My kids don't read my blog (yet). When they do, I hope they will thank me for recording the innocence of their childhood, rather than resenting all this exposure. I love you boys, more than you can imagine.
I read a post this morning from a friend who was feeling guilty because she lost patience with her toddler and wondering how to manage her frustrations. Following this I have just returned from what can only be described as the shopping trip from hell with three children who managed to fight and complain their way around the entire store. Loudly.
This is my third round of toddlerhood and yet I'm still learning. Or perhaps my memory has been kind and just wiped out the horror of the past two times. Anyway. Here's my quick guide to the seven stages of a tantruming toddler. You've been warned. Reminded. Or are sitting there nodding your head because it's happening right now.