I often talk about the difference between what I thought when I naively ventured into parenting, and what the actual real-life reality is. By talk, I mean shake my head in pity at the naively enthusiastic corporate minded previous me, and weep into my gin.
Obviously there are the little things that I pressumed were givens, or didn’t think about. For example, I thought sleep training would work. HA. I was even lulled into a false sense of security by The Beast who after 3 nights of pain was the perfect sleeper. The Chunk…not so much. Then I never got the emosh sides of things…who’d have thought I would cry every time I sung happy birthday (or had it sung to me)? Usually I would be checking out the present pile or eyeing up the cake – those days are over, it’s all just snot and tears now! Then of course, there was that brief moment, during pregnancy, when I thought I could get away with WHITE LINEN TROUSERS with a small toddler, at a picnic. Yeah. I know. Says it all really doesn’t it?
However, I think the biggest things that have come and slapped me in the face are the things I swore that as a parent, I would never ever, ever, ever. EVER.
For example, there’s matching clothes. I swore my children would never ever ever (think that Taylor Swift song every time you read this) wear matching clothes. WHY WOULD THEY? They are their own people after all. They have their own identity, their own interests, their own minds.
Then this happened.
Apparently, The Chunk doesn’t have his own mind or identity. He has whatever his big brother has. I’ve been standing my ground for the last year, I just do not do kids – with an age gap – in matching clothes. Nothing wrong with it, I just don’t do it. But, as you will see, they’re slowly beating me down. As I pack their clothes to go away for a weekend, or put things aside for holiday, I have a horrible feeling in my stomach, that they’re going to basically chop and change.
At the moment I’m holding it at bay, because whilst they both have numerous Spider-Man and Turtles (of the teenage mutant variety) t.shirts – I’ve managed to keep them different, but there are only so many designs out there.
Speaking of Spider-man and Turtles, that leads me onto the next point. They were never ever ever going to wear character clothes. I’m not talking dressing up, I could cope with that (to a point), but the day I bought a Toy Story t.shirt was the day a little bit of me died.
Of course, I gave an inch and they took a mile, and after Marvel threw up on The Beast, it quickly spiralled totally out of control. Not that I’d admit that of course. His duvet is classy, and I will never ever ever go as far as coats or trainers. Just t.shirts, socks, pants, oh and their entire holiday wardrobe.
I also said, I was never going to be loud mummy. You know what I’m talking about. You’re in a queue, it’s not moving particularly fast. It is 4.37pm, and for the first time ever ever ever there have been no tantrums ALL DAY. However, you sense one brewing so you go into over-compensation mode. “OHHH LOOOOOOK! Look at this? Isn’t that AH-MAZE-BOGS! What has been your FAVOURITE BIT OF TODAY BEEN…” I ask, not in the voice I usually use for day-to-day conversation, but loud. Loud to prove to myself more than anyone that I am totally in control.
I loathe myself. Even more so if I’m wearing something from Boden.
I never thought I’d miss them. Oh don’t look at me like that. When I leave them for a night out I get in the car, I air-punch and I drive away listening to a song list which begins with The Black Eyed Peas “I gotta feeling” and moves on to all the songs they either refuse to listen to in the car, or the songs which have swearing in. I’ve even been known to go away for a few nights with Mr Aimee, and lie by the pool not ready to come back, not ready for the constant chatter, the demands and the downright neediness. I thought I’d be hard, tough, and just enjoy my space, which I do. But then I pick up my phone and my stomach lurches at the home screen and I find myself flicking through the photos wondering what they’re doing and if they’re having fun.
Admittedly, I still manage to send a text or Facetime before asking the nice waiter to top up my glass of cava and Mr Aimee to add some more cream into my back so I can fall asleep and not burn. Because that’s right, I never said I’d need to nap in the day, but when the boys are away, the mummy will…sleep. A lot.
What about you, what did you say you wouldn’t do but do?