I started the day changing a poop filled nappy with a ten week old baby smiling up at me. Seconds later his brother walked in carrying his pyjama pants and wearing a low flying pull up that was filled with 12 hours worth of pee, and unbeknownst to me – a fresh three year old poo. Upon its removal, aforementioned poo overflowed and left a nice thick swab on each inner thigh, resulting in a direct-to-shower order. With toddler in the shower and fresh baby bottom, I cleaned up the paraphernalia and proceeded to my other four legged children to release them from the laundry where they sleep. Alas, the morning of shits was incomplete. The laundry floor was punctuated by dog poo, and four eyes looking innocently up at me. Hoorah! Record set for most number of defecations before 8am.
The morning proceeded surprisingly well following this exciting beginning, with toddler playing independently and baby sleeping when required. Miraculously, I did my own exercise! I know. NOTE: none of these successes would have been at all possible without our aupair Rose, who made breakfast for both toddler and myself and then played with toddler when requested.
The time arrived to run some errands. Departing at midday and cutting a long and repetitive story short, it took me two hours to get to two different locations due to the angle of baby’s car seat and it’s incredible ability to produce a screaming baby. And I don’t mean a crying baby, when I say a screaming baby. I mean the sort of scream that makes you ram the car into park before it’s actually stationary. The sort that makes you jump out of the car at a busy set of traffic lights, looking calm but really panicking. The kind that sees you pulling very quickly onto the shoulder of the freeway, hazards on, eyes narrowed at the oncoming trucks. The sort that can make you cry, but you can’t because you’re handling a large and dangerous machine and there are three other living beings relying on your unhindered skill. I binned the last errand and took my infant home, put him in the baby carrier and held him close to my chest until he got up the wind that had caused so much pain, and fell, exhausted, to sleep.
With baby attached and toddler occupied, I moved into attack mode at home. A new dryer arrived; I cleared the space and gave directions. I located a missing toy and cleaned up the bookshelf on top of the fridge – on a step ladder. Yes, baby still attached. I whizzed around like a little rocket until my back was complaining too much to continue, so I removed baby from carrier and placed in bed where he remained, peacefully, until the next feed. A dream!
I tidied. I rearranged two pantry shelves. I made dinner. I answered two phone calls and lent an ear to those that needed one. I bathed my toddler and fed him dinner with one hand, baby drinking milk from my breast in the other. I dealt with an explosive poo, I sponge bathed one baby and cleaned the teeth of my other child. I read a bedtime story, I fed baby again. Once the children were sleeping, I shifted gears in order to rectify the sty my home had become. I cleaned the kitchen. I emptied three garbages, I packed up a play pen and one million plastic toys I wish we didn’t have. I vacuumed. I tidied the living room, I hung a load of washing, I made a cup of tea. I collected stray toys and found a home for all of them inside wardrobes, in baskets and ready to be upended all again tomorrow.
I fed the dogs, administered medicine, took them for a wee, put them to bed. Finally, I showered. In the shower I emptied the shelves holding shower products and cleaned out the soap scum that had been pressed through the little holes because it felt squishy and fun. After a few more bits and pieces I got into bed, knowing I need to sleep as soon as possible because I would be up to feed in a few hours time. And then I wrote this.
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."