It’s 6.45am. Hubby is just leaving for a breakfast meeting. I am trying to stealthily manoeuvre my way to the bathroom without waking Mishty. It’s too late, he is already stirring and before I make it, he sits upright and utters his first word of the day- “milk”. His eyes are closing again so I scoop him into my arms and bring him back to my bed for a snooze. I snuggle into his chest, his little hand pawing at my face. This is the best part of the day – his warm body tucked into me, the gentle breathing, punctuated by the sound of him sucking his thumb.
The spell breaks and he is fully awake, clamouring for the white stuff. I acquiesce and leave him to drink while I wash up. He walks in and looks at me with curiosity. “Mummy, are you getting your bogies out?” he asks innocently. I figure the best answer is to just agree.
He follows me out as I go to get dressed and is soon interested in removing the contents of the bedside drawer. He notices the tissue box is missing. I have hidden it to avoid the daily routine of Mishty emptying the box, handfuls at a time and then gleefully shredding all the tissues into a fluffy mess.
There is now a strong odour permeating the room. I try to cajole him into coming with me for a nappy change but he is busy being a blender and making cupcakes from random items he’s found in the drawer. I suggest putting it in the oven [drawer] and while it cooks, we change the nappy. He agrees and things are going well until he randomly demands to be changed on the floor midway through.
Nappy change done, getting dressed is the next challenge. Mishty wants to wear his favourite blue trousers, oblivious to the rather large stain that indicates the trousers ate more yogurt than he did yesterday. I offer a clean pair. Mishty bawls in my face. The socks are starting to come off as well. To quell a complete wardrobe meltdown, I let him choose his own tracker bottoms. Half dressed, I move to take his top off but the routine wail of “I wanna wear my pajamaaaaas WAAAAAHH…” puts me off.
The wail changes to a demand for breakfast at home which is odd, as normally he eats at nursery, but today he is almost in tears. I know it will take him ages but the guilt of depriving food to a baby is too great. As we sit together at the table, Mishty starts mushing up his cereal and decides to eat only tiny spoonfuls of milk. My hopes of a quick breakfast are disintegrating faster than the Weetabix. Then the delaying tactics begin:
“I don’t want the pink spoon, I want the purple one”
“There’s dirty bits in my bowl” [mushed up Weetabix]
“It’s too cold, I want hot milk now”
“I want Peppa Pig!”
“I don’t want anymore…”
I give up and haul him to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He is adamant that we must open a new toothpaste, and then sucks it off his brush instead of moving it up and down. He giggles and wants more toothpaste. Exasperated, I wipe his face and go to the kitchen.
I open the cupboard to take out a chocolate bar for work. He sees it instantly and knows exactly what it is [blame Hubby]. “Mummaaay, can I have some choc-ate pease?” Saying no doesn’t go down well so I make false promises to let him eat it later and distract him with his daily dose of multi-vitamins. This is not as appealing as the sweet syrupy flavour of Calpol and he cries like an addict for the strong stuff.
We are now almost ready to leave. All I need to do is put on his coat and shoes, and get him in the buggy. Simple. Except now he doesn’t want to go to nursery. And he doesn’t want to put his shoes on. Or get in the buggy. No, he wants to see a train driver.
More false promises of trains and some manhandling of footwear later and we are out the door. His howls are reverberating in the communal hallway as he declares in between sobs that he wants to walk. If I didn’t have a train to catch / wasn’t already late / had an extra half an hour to spare, letting him walk wouldn’t be such a bad idea. He wins as he is wriggling out of the buggy quicker than I can strap him in. As we walk painstakingly slowly, I resort to scare tactics with a van that is reversing and he finally agrees to get in the buggy.
We eventually make it to nursery, and with not so much as a backwards glance, he morphs into an angelic child and walks off obediently with his keyworker. I leg it to the station and turn up to work some time before midday, wondering when it’ll be my turn to have a breakfast meeting…