You know those beautiful blog posts you read about how much of a blessing young children are and how people are doing the best for their bright, well behaved children?
This isn’t one of them. This is about real life.
This is about the minor things that go wrong every single day that make bringing up children a bit like swimming through treacle.
There are the normal things that you expect. Getting ready to go out, thinking for once that you’re going to be on time to a baby group.
Then one dirty nappy, and a toddler needing the toilet and you end up 15 minutes late. Again.
Getting dressed up in warm clothing to go out for a walk but not taking waterproofs because there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Then coming back an hour later in a thunder storm with two wet children and a shivering dog.
Then there are the things that children throw at you when you’re completely off guard.
Regularly taking a toddler to cafés and restaurants to get them used to behaving in polite society. Finding that they can eat well and behave politely but will not stop asking for a job in every single café they eat in.
Knowing full well that in ten years time the same child will be filled with dread at the idea of lifting a finger.
The baby who cries when I’m out of sight. Not because I’ve gone for a night out, sneaked off for a run or even left the room. Simply because I’m behind her and she can’t be bothered to turn her head to see me.
Speaking of tears, children of this age will cry about anything.
Just today, I’ve had one crying because she wasn’t the first to brush her teeth and the other crying because I wouldn’t let her undo her nappy to play with her own poo.
As you can tell, I’m pretty glum about parenting young children. I’m not much good at it and I tend to predict the worst. With good reason too, if there is anything that can go wrong, it will.
Today though, something happened that took even me by surprise.
Things were already going suitably wrong. I needed to get the girls down for a nap by around 1pm to allow me a couple of hours to work before Libby went to drama group.
By 1.30 pm we’d only just finished lunch and I started the laborious process of getting them to bed.
Libby had taken herself to the toilet and I lay Lia down to change her and take her jumper off.
And that’s when it hit me. Unexpected flying toast, right in the eye.
It must have got caught in Lia’s jumper when she was eating her lunch and somehow got catapulted out when I took the jumper off.
They say you make your own luck but when things like this happen, I think my pessimistic attitude towards parenting and life in general is entirely appropriate.