While life as a parent is of course rewarding, the everyday routine can sometimes grind on us. That same routine that comes hand in hand with parenting can be so monotonous – no matter how hard we try.
Now we all know the good days exist, and they are awesome when they happen, but if you haven’t got anything planned in a day then in most cases by the early afternoon the kids are bored, acting out and doing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g they shouldn’t, while we count down the hours to bedtime.
These days are so long.. there are only so many craft sessions you can imagine out of nowhere, books to read and games to play before you’re sat exhausted on the sofa amidst the pile of discarded half -played games and thinking “is it cake o clock yet?”
And Peppa Pig.
Don’t get me started on Peppa Pig.
We all have these days , and so this week I thought I’d write about one of these typical days in our life.
Not the fun, interesting and active days where we are out exploring the woods, on adventures or playing in the park- y’know- the boast worthy days; but one of our typical boring and completely normal days.
Let’s start with a rainy day. Oh man those days really suck. We live in north Wales. It’s wet here. Like, stupidly wet.
And on the torrential days there’s no hope of going out- which leaves us rattling around the house, not really knowing what to do with ourselves…and boy does the day go slow.
This particular rainy day happened recently, and like many before it these days always seem to start off so promising .
When I wake up on a rainy day and look out the window I always give a little groan. “Rain again, fantastic. How the heck will we survive the day?” But then the little optimist in me (yes I’ve discovered that she does exist!) says “don’t worry- we’ll have a fun rainy day, we can do all the things with the kids that we always mean to do but never seem to get around to”.
Right ok- let’s do this! Today will be a #parentingwin
Once the kids are up and about, have been fed and changed I’m going through my little mental list for the day
1.play cars and trains with Jacob- this is easy, as that’s pretty much all he does anyway.
2.NO TV- yes, today I will be strong, I WILL say no to that pink little demon! (Peppa pig….not the toddler. Though it’s often quite hard to distinguish between the two).
3. Instead of tv we can have a fun singing and instrument session- Nic loves doing this anyway, this’ll be an easy one.
4. Lunch time- both of my children will eat something healthy, all of it- with no complaints.
This is going well so far..
5. Afternoon craft session! Painting? Play doh? Stamps and drawing?
How about glue and glitter? No. Just no- I’m not that brave.
6. Craft session goes well- boys are happy and have created amazing fridge worthy masterpieces, we clean up with ease.
Pfft this parenting lark is easy.
7. While we cook them dinner they can watch some tv. Sod it- we’ve had a lovely productive day, I don’t feel guilty about letting an electronic take over.
8. Dinner time goes well. The boys eat the delicious and nutritious meal we have prepared for them. All of it . No mess, no crying, no tantrums.
9. Bath and bed- and guess what ? They go straight to sleep.
Ahh. Sweet silence.
Annnnd back to reality!
My fantasy has been interrupted by Jacob screaming because he wants crisps. Seriously Jacob? It’s 10 am.
Ok we can get back on schedule- time to play cars with my boys; this lasts all of 5 minutes before Jacob has got me chasing him up and down the hallway with the office chair.
This lasts a hell of a lot longer than five minutes. And when I finally drop down knackered, right on cue return the tantrums.
The boy is now asking for tv.
I say no.
Cue more tantrums.
Right! Let’s get these instruments out!
So imagine the scenario- there’s me sat on the floor with all the instruments in front of me singing songs, feeling just a tad stupid and trying to encourage the kids to join in; what I get instead is the pair of them just staring at me, with a look of pure disgust on their faces.
Nic humours me by banging the drum a few times, and then gives up. After I sing every song I know, Jacob suddenly takes interest and asks me to sing ee-I-oo (old mac Donald) so I do.
I sing it again.
Yes, this lasts for quite a while.
I eventually can’t stand the sound of myself singing this song anymore. I have to stop.
Cue crying because ee-I-oo had stopped.
“ee-I–oo mum!” “I’m really tired Jacob” “Telly mum!” “No Jacob.” “Crisps!” Telly!” EE-III-OOOO MUM!!”
“Jacob Mama is tired”
The tv is on. That lasted long.
Quick escape to make the boys some food…
I’m not going to even go into lunch. All I will say is it’s amazing how far a cheese sandwich can spread across one room.
After taking what feels like years to clean up another failed lunch, it’s time for the daunting bit: Crafts. Be brave Emily, you’ve got this.
Let’s do some painting. Jacob loves this- brilliant! Finally, something’s going well! Jacob is painting pictures and Nic is happy just chewing the brush- I would say without paint on it, but I’d be lying. That boy moves way too fast, like some kind of sneaky paint- eating ninja.
After a while Jacob is now bored of painting, and instead is stripping off all of his clothes and running around the house squealing and laughing, this I’ll admit is quite cute.
Except now he’s trying to pull his nappy off, and I haven’t the energy to clean up any ‘accidents’ that will inevitably follow. So now I’m having to bribe the boy with chocolate just to get him to keep his nappy on. Ok both boys are happy, although there’s now chocolate all over my sofa, and my half naked child is fully glued to the telly. Fine- cuppa.
Both of the boys don’t budge- literally, the tv has turned them into zombies. Perhaps more worrying is at this point I no longer care.
I return from the kitchen to find Jacob counting his nipples.
As you do. Apparently he has 3, today I’ve learned that belly buttons aren’t actually belly buttons at all, they’re just extra nipples.
Right, ok fair enough.
Dinner. I’m too tired to fight with the toddler about how he should eat his vegetables and try to encourage him to try something new. I just can’t today. Waffles and dinosaurs it is.
50th episode of Peppa Pig of the day, and the boys are actually … quiet?!
I take this as an excellent opportunity to tidy up quickly. Why? Just why did I even attempt it?
These two little monsters hear my tidying up and run in to investigate. And bow everything I put in a box comes straight back out again.
Oh god. Jacob has found that Peppa Pig book that makes the noises.
There’s one particular button that is supposed to sound like peppa sighing. It doesn’t. It sounds like she’s reaching orgasm. Jacob is pressing this same button over and over.
This is just far too disturbing.
I give the boys a pear each to eat while I try once again to tidy up. From the other room I can hear Nic laughing. Like full on belly chuckles.
I go in to investigate and discover that Jacob is showering Nic with mouthfuls of half eaten pear. The poor sod is covered in mushy half eaten pear, and the little traitor is finding it hilarious.
So in between stifling my laughter at how utterly ridiculous this situation is, I’m trying to be stern and tell Jacob that what he’s done is wrong. Failing horribly.
Ok baby all cleaned up, toddler amusing himself with something else. Attempt no 3 at tidying.
By time I’ve managed to tidy up and do the washing up it’s late.
Bath time can do one.
Oh thank god! Bedtime is here! Oh what a magical thing it is! “Come on Jacob off to bed”
*whistles the Great Escape*
Half an hour. Half an hour to get the boy into bed, he tries every trick in the book to avoid it.
And now he’s sat in bed singing to his Bulbasoar Pokemon. *rolls eyes*
Sleep. Please. Just. Sleep.
It’s gone 10 by time he’s asleep. Rhys and I slump on the sofa, the baby also fast asleep by this point.
Rhys: “so what’s the plan tomorrow?” A tone of desperation in his voice.
All I can think is “please god don’t rain”.