I just don’t seem to learn.. After a ridiculously small amount of sleep, I stupidly believed I was capable of making simple decisions. I was all: “let’s go to town!” When I should have been: “let’s spend all day in our pyjamas and not brush our teeth.”
Anyway. All of a sudden we’re in the car, looking like a respectable family (sans Mr Junebug), embarking on the hour-long trip to town. Things go really well; right up until we reach the end of the driveway. All of a sudden it’s meltdown city on the back-seat. M (who is notorious for hating her capsule) has already decided that she’s obviously neglected and starved of her mothers love, and is screeching like a banshee. I pull over to calm her down; K offers some parenting advice, telling me to “just leave her alone and let her do what she wants, she’s ok.”
Once M calms down, we buckle up again and continue on our merry way – for AT LEAST another five minutes before we have to repeat the process of pulling over to calm the babe. Eventually, about half an hour into the trip, she falls asleep. This gives K the opportunity to speak uninterrupted about everything she’s ever seen, done, thought, felt, been told and imagined.
By the time we reach our destination, my head is throbbing from the constant stream of blissful enthusiasm behind me. We all pile out of the car – M (who’s capsule is now attached to the pusher) stays asleep for approximately 3 minutes – just enough time for us to enter the shops – before losing the plot. It’s out of the pusher and up on my shoulder for her; let’s-pull-everything-shiny-or-colourful-off-the-shelves for K, and I’ll-just-juggle-the-babe-the-pusher-and-the-shopping-with-one-hand, for me.
M has decided that today is not a good day for shopping, and cries the entire time we’re in the shop (even after I barge into the fitting rooms to sit down and feed her). So next we try visiting my Dad – Poppy. This pleases the three year old K, who basically believes that Poppy’s house/workshop is a giant playground, when in reality it’s an OHS&W nightmare, wrought with dangers for children. M is less impressed – she doesn’t yet understand how much fun one can have scaring the life out of their mother by playing near stairs, ponds and power tools.
Finally, after much fussing and unhelpful but well-meaning advice from my 96 year old Grandmother (who conveniently lives right next-door), I manage to settle M and get both girls back into the car. Half an hour before our planned lunch date (with Mr Junebug and Poppy) – just enough time to duck into a couple of shops. Except it’s raining. So we just drive around aimlessly, keeping M happily asleep.
And sleep she does! Right up until we sit down for lunch.
Thank goodness for the ONE good decision I’d made all day – packing the sling. Once in the sling, M quickly falls asleep and we manage to finish lunch AND complete the grocery shopping relatively unscathed – narrowly avoiding an apple avalanche as K tries to help me in the fruit and veg aisle.
The successful grocery run filled me full of bravado, because I then attempted a sleeping transfer from the sling to the capsule. It lasted for a record fifteen minutes – just enough time to get out of town and for K to fall asleep. Miraculously, the screams didn’t wake K and I found a spot on the side of the highway to pull over. M had pooped. The car was full to the brim with shopping and essential child accessories but I managed to clear a space on the front seat – on top of a parcel, jumper and a half eaten bag of popcorn – to change her nappy. In the spitting rain.
After a feed, she sat in her carseat for about eight minutes before screaming again. This time it woke K. So we pulled over again. And again. And again.
We were crawling along at a snails pace. I considered just giving up and setting up camp on the side of the highway. M was screaming in the back of the car, and K was insisting I sing along to the Playschool soundtrack. “SING MUM! SING ALONG WITH ME!!”
And in that moment, I lost a piece of my sanity forever.
SING MUM! SING!!
Row, row, row your boat…
MUM YOU’RE NOT SINGING!!
Gently down the stream…
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, LIFE’S A FUCKING DREAM!!!!!!!!
Ok. So I didn’t swear. But you get the picture.
We pull over one last time, M has settled and nearly fallen asleep. I start buckling her back into her capsule.
“Mum, I just need to squat. I’m busting.”
I then need to undo the seven million buckles to take M out again, because remaining in a stationary capsule for more than 3 seconds is basically child abuse as far as she is concerned. And there we are – parked on the side of the highway, next to a giant puddle and a swarm of enormous mutant mosquitoes; one of us bouncing a baby and the other backing out a bog.
We EVENTUALLY made it home. The hour-long trip taking a little over an hour and a half. I had a little less sanity than I began the day with, but I’d like to think that maybe K & M have a little bit more respect for me after not LOSING MY SHIT.
And speaking of shit. M rounded off the day with a Level Seven poonami.
Take that, Thursday!