Thursday, 15 February 2018

Toddler Life: Expectation VS Reality

I'm not sure why I haven't learnt by now, but the all consuming needs of my tiny toddler consistently takes me by surprise. I thought, and you'll laugh, that by fourteen months I'd have it all under control. I present to you my optimistic expectations and the not-awful-just-'different' reality...

Expectation: 
Toddler groups. Tea, biscuits and some chit-chat while the toddlers merrily play together, building their social skills, whilst learning to share nicely

Reality:
The toddler either clings to your leg forcing you to get into the ball pit to show them how it's done or spends the entire hour snatching or being snatched from. Both cause tears which need regular refereeing. As soon as you collect your tea and biscuit, you have become a magnet for said toddler, you reluctantly choose a child-friendly biscuit rather than the chocolate covered one you wanted for yourself because you feel greedy taking two. It is a church after all. Your biscuit is never your own and must be gobbled before your toddler has finished the portion that you unwillingly broke off for them. Your tea must be knocked back faster than a shot of tequila. Refusal to give toddler said biscuit shard will result in real blobby tears and the theft of a biscuit from someone else's small human. This will not go down well. Still, they are sanity savers, these toddler groups, just not quite the relaxing vibe I was expecting!

Expectation: 
A clean and tidy house with dinner on the table

Reality:
I've never been that person so I'm not quite sure who I was expecting to morph into post-labour but even now, I surprise myself at how little I manage to achieve in a day. Food shopping is just not worth the drama (I KNOW I should order online, I just don't know what I'll fancy next Tuesday, OK). Hoovering will either wake the baby or she'll chase it trying to remove it from my grasp, ironing is dangerous, cleaning the floors is too wet.  Laundry I can do. I mean, she empties as I load but we get there. So that's a victory!

Expectation:
Clean hair/face/body

Reality:
The DPD delivery driver did a double-take at the state of my hair this morning. I have learnt something in my short career-so-far as "Muuuum". If you do not get yourself washed dried and dressed before the small human starts a-hollering in the morning, you're doomed. I know this, and yet I have achieved my every-day goal maybe five times. When I nail it I feel like I have cracked motherhood, the reality is that most days I shower (when I manage it) whilst the baby tries to break into the shower, empty the bathroom cabinet, unravel the loo roll...this week she put the pedal bin and it's contents right into the loo. I mean, I was impressed by her strength. Less impressed by the feeling that I needed another shower after extracting wet cotton wool from the pan.

Expectation:
People will look after the baby while we go out on date-nights

Reality:
Thanks for the offer but we're fine. Really. I don't know if it's weird but I have no desire to date-night without her. I'm pretty sure that goes for both of us. I have no doubt that will change but in her fourteen months upon this earth I have left G alone with three people. Her dad, my dad, my mum.  It's not necessarily that I wouldn't leave her with anyone else, I mean, in theory the idea sounds fine but on the odd occasion it's been suggested, I've found a way around it. She's still so little, and she can't tell me if she's had a nice day! Ok, I'm a little bit over protective, but if she's going to bump her head I'd rather it was me not paying attention. Know what I mean?

Expectation:
Being with human that can't talk must be so boring

Reality: 
I can remember, during pregnancy, looking at mums with babies thinking that they must be mind-numbed by the lack of communication, but the reality is that they communicate with you all day long, in their own way. You quickly learn what they mean ("Lala"=Banana, making circles on her hand=stick Iggle Piggle on for me love). Don't get me wrong, I'm all for some adult company and I make sure that I get out every day but at fourteen months they are communicating so much and watching her learn blows my mind.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, I'd love to hear your expectation VS reality stories!





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