I don’t know how all you other Mums out there cope. Really I don’t. Stay At Home Dad once posted that he’d looked longingly at a beer at the Numberjacks hour and I can confirm that not only is that really rather early, it’s also the time at which my vodka receptors tend to have a little twinkle themselves. Not, you understand, that I am making the Spud’s lunch while face-down in the sauce, just that sometimes, on some days, it seems like a tempting choice. I think, if I had even the smallest moment of my own that I might not be so resistant to the attractions of the potato's purest moment however it is astonishing just how much time a good play can take out of the day. I mean, really, by the time we’ve emptied the brick box and knocked down a few towers the morning has disappeared and suddenly there I am in the middle of sandwiches and apple juice and then it’s off to the swings and suddenly it’s time for In the Night Garden and Somebody’s not in bed! Who’s not in bed?
On the days that I work I beetle away down there in my cellar until I happen to glance at the clock and have to lurch up into the light blinking damply to pick up the spud from his Dad after lunch. If I’m very lucky I can sneak in a trip to the shops, or, god forbid, a load of laundry before the afternoon turns into one of those cartoon cyclones with bits of stuff poking out from them – a toy here, a nappy there, an unpaid bill, a dozen grabby fingers and three flailing baby feet, only one of them with a shoe on it. I find myself sitting limply on the sofa at around 9pm having magically scoffed a plate of food that I barely remember because, not having eaten all day, my body has absorbed it before it hit my belly and trying to find something to say to the Frog – who, if he has had child duties that day, is equally washed out.
I was speaking to another Mum today about this and we agree that it’s not actually Motherhood that’s tiring – at least, not with just little spudlet. It’s the rest of life that is tiring. Looking after a child all day is a hoot – wandering around parks and historic buildings, playing with bricks and going on the see-saw. It’s all the other stuff that suddenly seems impossible. Doing any work. Taking the laundry off the line. Paying the bills. Cleaning under the armchairs. Give me a pile of wooden bricks and I’ll amuse
Tomorrow I do a few hours work and then it's just me and the Spud with an entire afternoon to waste. Unfortunately we are going to have to waste some of it playing with the vacuum cleaner and so I think I need to get in some extra sleep in preparation. Who's not in bed? I'm not in bed.