You’ve no doubt heard the term Resting Bitch Face, given to men and women who unintentionally look angry or annoyed when their face is at rest, or showing no expression.
But have you ever thought that maybe we parents have our own unique, resting face? Take a look at the mums and dads around you. Take a look in the mirror!
You’ll know the face. It’s the one you get when you’re on your 5th consecutive night of (very) broken sleep, your first weekend away in nearly two years without a baby is cancelled because your child is sick, you wake up feeling decidedly under the weather yourself, and when you get up at stupid-o’clock to deal with baby you walk through a big pile of cat sick.
Sometimes, after a long day at work, as I stand next to the highchair trying not to yell at my child, and the cat and dog are underfoot howling to be fed, I think back to my pre-kid days and wonder how I got here. When he’s tipped the meal I’ve lovingly cooked on the floor in a fit of rage because I wouldn’t give him a cup of grated cheese for dinner, or another tub of ‘yoghurt’ (I’m not sure the Thomas the Tank Engine 6 pack – cleverly placed at toddler height, among the other ‘yoghurts’ – even classifies as yoghurt), I just want to laugh.
What a bullshit saying. As any parent will tell you, a lot of things are for babies (sometimes it feels like all the things), but sleeping bloody well isn’t.
Baby will not go to sleep. We went to the playground for a while. He had his dinner. Rough-housed with the dog in the garden, had a bath, finished a whole bottle, and . . . nothing.
I’m sat on the chair in the nursery listening to him toss and turn and kick the bars of his bed. We’ve been here together an hour and a half. If I try and go downstairs he throws everything from the cot, including his dummy, and sobs like a wild thing until I come back upstairs and put everything back. He keeps standing up, I keep laying him down. He talks and laughs and squeals and I ignore him.
I know I should be grateful. A guy came over a few nights ago to give us a water-softener demo, and he mentioned that his 16 month old battles him every single night. Puts up a right fight, with fists and kicks and screaming. Ted at least settles in the cot. But for the love of god and my sanity, just sitting here is driving me crazy! I’m getting so restless and frustrated. Like dude what are you doing, go to SLEEP. I want ME time! Given, it’s only to watch some trash telly I recorded, but still.
The baby is rocking like a crazy person and I think is it because I haven’t read to him today? It’s 6.20pm, and instead of sitting with him in the nursery I’m frantically ladling soup from the pot on the stove to the food processor.
‘Almost done baby’ I say, watching the clock.
The dog creeps by, out the pet flap and I think what’s she up to? I look outside and she’s got another bloody dummy.
‘Molly!’ I shout. ‘Molly no!’
The baby thinks this is hilarious, and toddles full speed towards the back door. I’ve got the fridge open, and as he barrels past me a tomato falls out and onto his head.
Oh shit a tomato just fell on my baby’s head I think, and wait for a wail. When it doesn’t happen I go back to the food processor because, well, what else?
I struggle not to spill soup on my new kitchen counter, and give up when I learn that yes you can put too much liquid in a food processor. Bloody shit I think. Fucking bollocks.
My dog ate another dummy. She likes to eat the nipple, and tends to leave the evidence in clear view of the back door.
I found this one when I went outside for a poop run. We live in London, so when I say ‘garden’ I may as well say ‘grassy verge’. I don’t know what made us think having our own lawn would be a good thing. I guess we had pictures of picnic rugs and sunshine, and the baby rolling around joyfully in the sun. Did I say we have a dog? And a very small area of lawn? Let’s just say the reality is far from the lush, green dream-lawn in my head.
It’s usually my hubby’s job to pick up poop, but he was away for the week so I found myself outside, barefoot, trying to pick my way through wet grass without stepping in shit. I honestly don’t know how our dog Molly isn’t dead. I count four poops overnight. Four. My brain cannot even.
I ran for the first time in 18 months today. Half an hour, not too bad. At one point I thought my uterus might fall out, but I’m good.
Things have changed since I last trained for a marathon though, that’s for sure.