6.06am: Slight shuffles can be heard through the baby monitor but it’s ok because they are easily drowned out by simply pulling the duvet over my ears. Win. Shuffles turn into whispers turn into babbling turn into shouting turn into whining turning into crying turn into screaming. I am out of feather-stuffed objects to pull over my ears. The time has come. Loss.
6.55am: Walk into nursery once it sounds as if there are real tears (even I’m not that mean). I open door, turn on light, to discover a happy, smiling baby standing in her cot, arms outstretched wanting a cuddle. It can’t have been more than half a second between her screaming and me entering the room but she’s done an instant 180° on her mood. It won’t be the last time that day.
7.00am: Stand in kitchen wondering whether it’s possible to fall asleep standing up. Wake up. Make milk. Make tea. Stumble to living room to find the Small avidly watching BBC Breakfast News (which she’s managed to turn on herself) while absent-mindedly sucking on a wet wipe. I’d love to tell you that it was an organic water wipe made by the delicate hands of angels in the dark tunnels of the Himalayas but I’d be lying. It’s 4-packs-for-3-british-pounds Sainsbury’s own. Lord knows what she’s just ingested.
7.30am: Struggle to make a decision about what to give the Small for breakfast. Imagine the wonderful possibility of pancakes, omlettes, fresh homemade berry compote with greek yoghurt and settle for Weetabix. Just like yesterday and just like the day before. I do put it in the microwave though to warm it up which basically counts as baking, right?
8.00am: Dirty nappy 1 of the day. Really dirty. Vomit in mouth.
8.30am: Spy at least three yawns and a double eye rub. Thank the sleep Gods and rush the small upstairs for her morning nap. She goes down like a dream. She’s obviously tired. Great news – she’ll sleep for two hours at least.
8.32am: Jump in shower.
8.33am: Convince myself I can hear baby cries while I shower. Turn shower off. Silence. Turn shower on. Baby crying. Rinse. Repeat.
8.34am: Get out of shower. Consider drying hair for about 2.4 seconds and then laugh at myself. Who do I think I am? Styled hair? Pah. That’s for childless people…along with late nights, disposable cash and hangovers.
8.40am: Stand in kitchen and survey the damage. She was only up for 90 minutes and she only ate Weetabix…how can the kitchen possibly look like this. Sigh.
9.10am: Kitchen clean, laundry on, living room tidied, fresh cup of tea made. Sit down with latest Grazia and happen to glance at the monitor. WHY DID I DO THAT???? I swear, just looking at the monitor wakes the Small up. She’s awake. How is that possible? Forty minutes? Really. Damn you sleep gods. Damn you hard.
9.30am: Small is dressed and in her pushchair wrapped up with hat, booties, scarf. I am also winter ready and because this is an achievement in itself, we head out into the world. Well, 200 yards down the street where I drop in dry cleaning, post eBay stuff that my husband has sold and drop random shit into the charity shop (because it was either that or tidy it up and I couldn’t be bothered to do that).
10.00am: Decide to treat myself to a coffee at Costa. Order an Americano and, well, why not? A cookie. Get to till and realise I’ve left wallet at home. Curse the gods loudly and colourfully. Amused barista lets me off – I promise to come in an pay later but even I’m not sure I mean it.
10.30am: Load everyone and everything into the car (including wallet) and drive to meet friend for lunch. Look forward to having an adult conversation.
11.45am: Arrive 15 minutes early for lunch at 12 (remember when lunch was a 1pm appointment?) and decide that I am ordering a champagne. The waitress suggests Cava. I accept resignedly. Lowering expectations appears to be theme of today.
12.00am: Guilty feelings about drinking before 12pm are allayed when my friend turns up and orders one as well. Good. Children play happily in almost empty restaurant (used to be a turn off, now it’s a delight) and we chat and drink
champagne Cava. We manage to not talk about babies for about 30 minutes before I cave and ask about how to get the Small to like cow’s milk and what’s the best cup to tempt her away from the bottle. Her youngest Small is two and already she can’t remember. That’s how hard this is – it was literally only months ago and she’s blocked it out. Deleted it. Denied it and locked it away. Look forward to that day.
12.30am: Seethe with jealousy as my friend’s two year old Small plays quietly at the table with crayons, colouring books and stickers. Offer the Small my keys which she promptly throws loudly on the floor. Followed by her plate. Sigh.
1.30pm: Wave goodbye to my lovely friend and decide to go and meet NCT friends at local baby lounge. Baby sleeps all the way there. Win. Baby wakes screaming with teething pain as it appears that ALL her molars have decided to come through at the same time. Throw some homeopathic teething granules at the problem. Wait two minutes while screaming continues. Throw hardcore Calpol at the problem. Silence. Well, I tried.
3.30pm: Leave lovely baby lounge feeling humbled after meeting a superhero who had triplet boys. As if THAT wasn’t enough, she was also speaking French to them. “I’m not fluent but I speak enough to get by and you don’t need to be able to say heaps when it comes to little one, right?” Yes, I agree and silently punch myself in the face for not teaching my Small a second language. Try a little “Ca va ma petite choufleur?” on the way home. Who knows.
3.32pm: Decide to do supermarket shop on way home.
3.33pm: Decide I can’t be bothered to do supermarket shop on the way home.
3.34pm: Remember I have to go to supermarket to buy new cup for Small as the cat destroyed the teat on the only one she would drink from.
3.40pm: Arrive at supermarket. Throw Small into trolley. Get to door. Realise I’ve left wallet in car. Get back to car. Realise wallet was in pocket the whole time but, in good news, I see that I left the boot wide open. Secure car.
4.30pm: Fall through front door with baby in one arm, baby bag over shoulder, two supermarket bags hanging over other arm. Place baby on floor, place supermarket bags on counter and immediately get to dinner. Look through supermarket bags but decide that wine, Grazia, Dairy Milk, drinking cups, wipes and bread don’t a meal make. Look in freezer and grab fresh (frozen) mint and herb stuffed pasta and some broccoli. Discover some tomatoes chop in half and serve. Bloody well gourmet that is.
5.30pm: Dinner eaten, dinner tidied, kitchen cleaned, baby happy playing, momma knackered.
6.00pm: Wine poured.
6.25pm: In the Night Garden on. Baby snuggles that last 7 mins 13 seconds before she’s bored and I find I am the only one watching Iggle Piggle lose Oopsie Daisy’s special stone but (SPOILER ALERT) thankfully Makka Pakka was there to save the day and managed to get Oopsie Daisy’s stone back to Iggle Piggle before he had to confess he’d lost it. PHEW.
6.50pm: Look around as credits roll to discover that the Small has gone. Find her playing on the stairs. Obvs.
6.55pm: Bathtime. In just 15 glorious minutes the Small will sleep and I will enjoy my wine and sit down infront of the TV. Mount the stairs and half way up realise I don’t have any milk. Just when I thought the day was nearly at an end I rug us both up again and walk down to the shop. Punch myself mentally in the face.
7.15pm: Close door on nursery. Check monitor. Baby already asleep. Walk past pile of laundry on landing and succeed in actually believing it isn’t there. Pat myself on the back. Go to kitchen, pour wine, set up Scandal on laptop, press play, drink wine…start to clean the house. Again.
8.15pm: House clean(ish), work done(ish). Options? Bath? Movie? Grazia? Bed? What’s that? Bed? BED? Oh, go on then.