There are certain moments in life that come with their own handy phrases and clichés, and it’s only when you live through them that you realise how apt they are. Heartbreak, for example, is a throwaway term until you’re jilted, sobbing and clutching at your chest thinking, ‘Ouch, bloody hell, they weren’t joking!’ Even when the physical ache dies away, the conviction that your poor heart has been stomped to pieces can linger for years.
There are plenty of jolly little clichéd phrases, images and expectations around motherhood, too. Fraught mum reaching for the booze or the meds – mother’s little helper! Frazzled mum with banana in her hair, mum putting her purse in the fridge, calling the children by the cat’s name, mum reversing the car into a post box, wiping baby spew off her best blouse before a party and hoping nobody notices. Mum on a spa break having her ‘me time’ with cucumber slices on her eyes, mum in her mumsy bra and big pants with her ‘mummy tummy’ and ‘wobbly bits’, sobbing at NSPCC adverts and nativity plays, whooping with delight because her toddler did a poo in a potty then sending little Jimmy off to school with his sister’s ballet bag instead of his PE kit. Mums!
There isn’t a blackout blind, super-absorbent nappy, white noise toy, cosy sleeping bag or sleep routine in the world that can stop a baby crapping themselves awake at 5.30am.
When Will and I first met, he was living in Westbourne Park. You know Notting Hill, with all the pastel painted houses, amazing restaurants and cool bars, Aladdin’s cave nick nack shops, buzzing multiculturalism and general Kate Moss vibe? Yeah, it’s nothing like that. It is really near there though.
So when he suggested leaving the kids with my mum and driving from our affordably dull suburban outpost for the day, I was delighted. There was something about test driving a car, but all I really heard was ‘kids to your mum’s’ and ‘it’s near my old house’.
Eva, like most two year olds, has a fluid approach to fact and fiction and a slight tendency towards melodrama.
Every bump, real and imagined, requires the immediate attention of a doctor (‘a REAL doctor’) and a ‘sticker plaster’. As she sorrowfully repeated to anyone who’d listen for a week after I used the wipers and screenwash to scrape bird crap off the windscreen, our car was ‘broken’ because ‘a magpie did a poo on it’.
Vlogging. As good a reason as any to hoover the carpet.
Edit: My husband says this video is a bit pointless without footage of me dancing around like Tina Turner to the Mr Maker theme tune, which is probably true, but it isn’t going to happen. It’s my first attempt at a little vlog and it took about six goes just to get my hair right (i.e. covering as much of my face as possible). The moves can wait.