Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Domestic Goddess. Ha.

If you were wandering past my house at about 1.30 this afternoon, first of all, why didn't you come and say hi? Second of all, you might have glanced into my kitchen and seen a delightful picture of domestic bliss. Mother and toddler in co-ordinating pinnies, mixing, stirring and measuring the ingredients for Nigella Lawson's banana bread, while a cake-mix spattered baby gleefully bashed a spoon on her highchair tray. You might think (although you probably wouldn't) "Family baking time. Now there is a mother who has got her shit together."

You would be quite, quite wrong.

The baking was fine - I forgot the vanilla essence (again. Every bloody time!), we made a massive mess and The Littl'un ate a LOT of flour - but apart from that today has actually incorporated a not-insubstantial amount of fail on my part.

I knocked half a glass of Diet Coke over my living room carpet. Ironically, while talking about carpet cleaning. The Littl'un has also thrown up on it in approximately 796 seperate locations.

I inadvertently taught The Toddler how to go to the toilet on her own (I actually did this yesterday, it's only today that I've noticed that it was a slightly silly thing to have done). Until this point, she has been out of nappies, but not ever asking to go, and just waiting until I notice her clutching her pants and dancing around and take her. Now, however, she wants to go every 24 seconds, and I am not allowed to go with her, and she wants to wipe her own bum. And when I say "wipe", I mean "wave a third of a roll of toilet paper in the vague direction of her nether regions". And she's still demanding jellybeans.

I didn't get the chicken I was going to cook for tea out of the freezer last night, deciding that I would do it first thing in the morning. First thing in the morning came and went in a haze of porridge and "No! I don't want that cup!", and by the time I realised the chicken was still in the freezer, it was nearly 10 o'clock. I got it out anyway. This is the thing about my newish habit of planning meals for the week - I save a fortune at the supermarket, but my brain can not cope with any ad-hoc changes to The Plan. Realised about half an hour before it needed to be in the oven that it was still resolutely frozen. Plonked a protesting Littl'un in bed, and The Toddler in front of Bubble Guppies, and set about trying to defrost it. Soon realise that you can't really defrost a whole chicken in the microwave, and that it most of it is still icy, but the wings are almost cooked. Ask Google. It tells me to put it in a bag and submerge it in cold water, which I do, before remembering what happened the last time I tried to defrost something in two different ways (24 hours of crippling stomach pains). Hum, hah, phone my mother, and decide to give the children pasta with Philadelphia and frozen spinach. Again. Hum and hah (or is it umm and arr?) for the next two hours about whether to cook it later when fully defrosted. Google again and come up with something about "heat-stable endotoxins", which sounds scary. Throw whole bloody thing in bin.

"But the baking"! I hear you cry (only in my head, granted, but I can hear it). "Surely the fact that you took the time to do such a wholesome activity with your children negates all of this chicken-silliness and means you are, in fact, a SuperMum?" Well, you'd think, wouldn't you? But actually, the baking hides a multitude of sins. We bake quite often in this house. It's often, as it was today, a pasttime I engage in as a substitute for leaving the house and doing anything proper. I had had notions of going to the park, or taking The Littl'un to get weighed (she's fallen off her stupid line again), but could be arsed to do neither, so baking was a way of feeling like I had done SOMETHING with my children. It also made me feel slightly better about the fact that The Toddler had spent a large portion of the day transfixed by the televsion, and The Littl'un had spent it sitting on the living room floor, trying to crawl (and failing) and chewing on a sock (she wasn't even wearing socks today, so where that came from, I have no idea).

It is also a measure of how selfish and lazy I am that baking is the only real chance my kids get to do messy play. If I'm feeling particularly energetic and/or The Toddler has been watching a scary amount of TV, I might break out the finger paints, but otherwise flour, sugar and bicarb are their playthings. I'm just no good at messy play. I have no imagination, and no patience, and spend the whole time thinking about cleaning it up again. I need some kind of tangible, and preferably edible, end result to persuade me into it. Messy play is one of those hidden things that parenthood throws your way that you're meant to somehow be able to do. Sod breastfeeding workshops and hospital visits where they show you what the epidural needle looks like (clue: big) - what expectant parents need is a crash course in making play-dough and spaghetti play.

So, a mixed day, all in all. Oh well, at least, at the end of it, there is cake.

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