For nearly five years I’ve been secretly performing an elaborate regular ritual of making sure the stunt-double Snuggly looks the same as the Snuggly about to be put in the washing machine. My heart beats a little faster on swap-over day, ready to field suspicious questions: “Mum, does Snuggly seem a little…pointier nosed than usual? Does the bit of his hat I chewed off look…different to you?” Etc. Today during the Snuggly swap over I got rumbled by the cat. Now I feel like I’m the mother in a “Switched At Birth” made-for-TV-movie where a plucky young journalist knows he’s uncovered a Hidden Secret and is about to break his first Big Story then get hired by the NY Times. I’m going to have to buy Frankie’s silence with grated cheese and tuna brine (dolphin friendly).
Sure, I grew her, she emerged from my body, I’ve been puked, pooped and peed on by her…but THIS is the grossest part of parenting. The bit where they try to blow up their own balloon for a solid 20 minutes, then admit defeat and say “you blow it up for me, Mama”. *shudder* Even the cat can’t watch.
There’s a saying: “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”. I’m fairly confident that whoever said it had never been on a car trip with small children. I tend to try and blur the memories of long drives because it puts me off going anywhere, ever, but generally there’s a lot of bribery, silly games, pulling over, body contortions that a gymnast would be proud of to reach dropped toys, endless snacks, a decent amount of whinging, and the occasional puke into a hastily proffered container. But even after the most fraught car trips, there’s a lovely moment when I realise we got there safely, and can relish the thought of happy times just waiting to happen. Sometimes that lovely moment doesn’t hit until well after the house has been frantically cleared of mouse poo and the unpacked car has been pulled apart to find missing Snuggly Bunny, but it does hit eventually. Going away even with just our little family isn’t the casual after-thought it used to be before we had children…it’s …
Tilly spent 20 minutes trying to coax Frankie into eating some banana. Defeated (cats just aren’t into bananas) she tearfully shouted “But I made aeroplane noises and everyfing!”, then got in a shit with everyone in the house. WELCOME TO MY WORLD, TILLY.