To Play Or Not To Play


I know how easy it is for mommas to be at home all day and convince themselves that they are well on their way to winning 'Shittest Mother of the Year' award but let me tell you, today I found myself thinking I'm going to be the recipient of the "Lifetime Achievement Award for Shit Mothering".

And then I punched myself in the face and told myself to man the fuck up because I was starring in my own little pity party and I needed to be told. So, I put myself in time-out (which is basically having a wee on my own while The Small watches CBeebies) and decided that from now on, I was NOT going to be a pussy about this.

You see, The Small is at that age where she wants to do everything all the time and she wants me to do it as well. If I can't do it, she wants to watch what I'm doing just to make sure I'm not just skiving off kiddy-play for unacceptable reasons (she's never fully satisfied with my activities). This means that either she's up in my housekeeping grill or she's in my arms which basically renders me paralysed.

You see, the whole day is a metaphorical tug-of-war between what she wants to do and what I have to do and, let me tell you, for a teeny-tiny human she pretty frickin' strong. I feel like I'm in constant negotiations between how long I'm allowed get my shit done and how much time I have to spend reading The Tiger Who Came To Tea (what is that fucking book all about anyway?!)

This afternoon it took me three hours to unpack the shopping because my choices were:

a) continue to unpack the shopping while The Small runs at the fridge head first in a fit of unbridled fury b) continue to unpack the shopping while singing The Wheels on the Bus and doing the actions...which is a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy and running the egg and spoon race at the same time. c) Sneak off at every given opportunity to unpack the shopping before it all turned into a stinking, rotten mess.

You see, I can't spend all day playing with The Small. I know, in the most rational part of my brain that no mother can spend all day playing with their Small...but it's very easy to assume that while your Small is throwing a tantrum, or watching the TV for ten minutes so that you can cook dinner, or eating pebbles from the driveway while you fix the loo that she blocked with three rolls of toilet tissue that every other mother is spending their days teaching them their ABCs or reading books with them or making origami cranes.

I do do that stuff but between all the other stuff - the supermarket run, the bed making, the laundry cleaning, the meal cooking, the tidying (THE CONSTANT TIDYING!), the work emails and all the other shit that makes up motherhood - I can't help but feel a little like I'm doing a half-assed job.

It doesn't help my sleep-deprived and weak mind that she is ALL ABOUT DADDY right now because he's only around for 30 minutes of her day because of work and also because for those thirty minutes all he does is PLAY with her and cater to her every playful need. To her, Daddy is a fun machine; he's a whirlwind of wonder; he's a personal entertainment station. Daddy never has to say, "In a minute baby-girl, I'm just emptying the dishwasher' which, of course, is not his fault but it does make me (unreasonably) want to smack him in his gorgeously bearded face.

I'm over it now but that's how I felt this afternoon.

Wine has helped.