It’s officially a Monday. I’m woken by a screaming toddler at 6.30am. This is an accurate preview of the day ahead. I stumble into his bedroom, climb into his bed, rearrange the covers so he can snuggle up, and he quietens. He then spends the next forty minutes thrashing about and poking me until I convince him it’s morning and we should just get up. Then he won’t change out of his pjamas. I leave him to play and make my way back to my own bed as Brodie gets up for work. Ten minutes later and the toddler is repeatedly screaming ‘Go away’ at his father at the top of his voice whilst rolling around naked on the bed. I get back out of bed. Insist on covering his bum and leave him to his own devices again while his father has breakfast downstairs alone. Two minutes later and I’m being poked in the face by the cold hands of a toddler standing beside the bed. I give up. I get up for good.
By the time we go downstairs, Brodie is leaving for work. The door closes behind him as the house rings with whines and complaints from the toddler tyrant. He eventually has to stop when his mouth is full of porridge. This is followed by two slices of toast. I sneak upstairs while he throws cars around the sitting room and talk to a utility supplier about why they keep sending me overdue bills despite being set up for direct debit. It turns out they put the details in incorrectly but were leaving me to chase them up on it. Because I obviously have nothing better to be doing…
That phonecall has used up all my ‘toddler-free’ time for the morning. He ‘assists’ me as I prepare to paint the radiators in the house. Our conversation for the next hour is this kind of thing on endless repeat:
Me – DO NOT touch the radiators. They have wet paint. If you touch them, you will get paint on your clothes.
Him – I won’t.
Me – I mean it, do NOT touch the radiators.
Him – I won’t!
You can guess how this story ends…
Having finished three radiators, I’m washing up so we can go out and pick up the groceries for dinner. In runs a toddler waving smeared hands and excitedly showing me the big white radiator stripes down his top and trousers. Five minutes later and I’m back to dealing with a naked toddler running around the house laughing at me.
Eventually we get in the car and go to Lidl. The Rascal has been talking about going to Lidl all weekend. Not because he loves shopping. Because he loves Stickeez – the current Lidl bait for kids. The Rascal is VERY EXCITED. I’m told approximately 10582 times to “ask the lady for Stickeez” when we pay. He’s practically bouncing out of the trolley by the time we reach the top of the queue. As soon as I pay, he reminds me again. Just in case I might have forgotten despite the anxious face in front of me. “Oh those – we don’t have any”, says the checkout lady. Great. Just what today needed. “In fact”, she continues, burying the axe in his little heart, “we won’t be getting them in again. They’re finished!”. Seriously? There’s 24 of the midget freaks to collect. It’s only been 2 or 3 weeks. The Lidl brochures are talking about Stickeez appearances in local stores for the rest of the month. I’ve had ‘the discussion’ with the Rascal about how the Stickeez will not available forever… but I wasn’t prepared to cut him off TODAY.
We head out to put the shopping in the car while discussing the Stickeez absence. He’s taking it on the chin. A wobbly chin. The sad little face makes me feel guilty. Then we return the trolley that had left been unshackled from the rest when we took it. There’s a 2 euro coin returned when we connect it to its mates. I look at the coin. I look at the sad face. We turn around and go back into the store to pick up four of the ‘almost all gone’ green Stickeez packs that you pay for. And then we queue for another fifteen minutes to hand over the coin to pay for them. We have a lengthy discussion about how these are the last Stickeez ever. A delighted toddler runs about the house throwing Stickeez at each other. The internet informs me that perhaps the store was misinformed and the Stickeez promotion still has another few weeks to run. I’m going to have to have the ‘no more Stickeez’ discussion with my toddler AGAIN? Jesus.
We have our lunch. I can’t face the naptime battle. I put the Rascal in the car and we go for a twenty minute drive, just long enough for his head to drop. A brass band wouldn’t wake him once he’s actually asleep. I throw him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes and deposit him in his bed. Job done. Where’s the kettle? And the chocolate?