Tomorrow is May Blossom’s third birthday. If you’d asked me three years ago what I thought my life might look like now, I would have looked at you like you were crazy, because I now realise I never really looked much further than a few days ahead.
Pregnant, I could only focus on the birth. Once I had a newborn I couldn’t picture her as a toddler. As a toddler I couldn’t picture her as a pre-schooler. When I was pregnant with Garnet I couldn’t see how I could ever love another baby. Until a few weeks ago I couldn’t picture ever being able to work again for money. But lo and behold, here I find myself, 20 hours short of three years into this mothering business, and this morning, while my daughter rather too expertly navigates her way around ABC’s catch-up channel on the iPad, her 10-month-old brother naps in the pram, and I sit in the window seat writing this, I have already worked for three hours. It is 9.15.*
What is not immediately evident from this picture of maternal perfection is the expensive Mums ‘n’ Bubs (oh how I hate that expression) fitness class that I am currently not at, because Garnet has a cold and finally a tooth and is very sad whenever I am not with him, May Blossom is coming down with said cold and is generally slightly fragile today, and I am so tired from the last few nights of teething and cold-related baby shenanigans that I haven’t the energy to wrestle myself into my gigantic sports bra, let alone actually go and do exercise. I quite enjoy the class, most weeks, but this morning I can’t cope with any trainer counting (you know, where they say you need to do fifteen of some hideous painful thing but they stop counting for a chat after nine and then resume counting at 10 two minutes later, during which time you have not stopped doing the hideous painful thing).
Also not pictured is the husband who has only just left for work because he’s been looking after the kids since the crack of dawn so I could proofread. Also not completely clear from this picture is the fact that all three of us are still in our pyjamas. And that the old dolls’ house I bought for May Blossom’s birthday present, intending to strip it back and repaint it, is still under the house where I hid it two months ago. She’ll be lucky if I manage to evict the spiders from it before I wrap it up.
She has been quite excited about her upcoming birthday, but this morning when I told her it was only one more day away she got teary and started stammering about being broken and not really ready. It took me a while but I figured out that since we tried her in daycare and it didn’t work out, I have been saying that when she is three she can try somewhere else, somewhere more like a pre-school than a daycare. She is pretty scarred by the whole experience, and so she though I mean that the VERY DAY she turns three she will be packed off to another institute of lower learning. Poor little mite. She has such faith that I have managed to find her a place in a preschool. So misguided. I’ve been so remiss in booking into kindys and preschools that it’s looking increasingly likely that I will have to home-school her. I would be the Bernard Black of home-schooling kindy teachers. I’m already kind of the Bernard Black of stay-at-home mothers.
There has also been a small increase in anti-brother sentiment from my beautiful daughter of late. The other morning, grumpy before her nine-course breakfast had been served, she scowled at her brother and declared ‘Garnet needs to turn around and stagger back to his own house.’ And this morning she suggested we bake him in a pie.
‘Why don’t you bake me in a pie,’ I suggested.
‘All right,’ she grumbled. ‘I’ll bake you in a pie.’
‘Will I be the only person in the pie?’ I asked. ‘And will I be left alone in the pie, in the dark, where it’s quiet, in a puddle of warm gravy for a couple of hours?’ It’s so important to have dreams.
*Now it is 9.37 and the scene has changed: The Lion King aka Hamlet on Safai is on and Garnet is awake and ‘stracting’ May Blossom, begging bits of her apple and totally violating my overambitious ‘No TV for babies’ rule. Time to put some pants on and start the day.