I’m writing this one, mainly because there are so few times we feel like we’re winning at this parenting lark. There are times when the ‘fails’ outweigh the wins 10/1 so it’s good to remember the gold medal moments. I’ve made a list of some of the things that make me think I’m getting it right.
Dinner gets eaten.
Dinner always gets eaten…by me…and Daddy. For Chops however, dinner time can go either way. Sometimes he’s clearly got important cupboard emptying or bottle carrying to be doing – it’s not just sleep that’s for the weak. Last week I made fishcakes, green beans and new potatoes with sweetcorn. I know that he likes all these things. This day though, sweetcorn alone was cherry picked at a painstakingly slow pace (we’re learning how to use cutlery), the rest went on the floor. These times are forgiven so quickly when we sit around the table as a family and enjoy a meal together. Everyone eats everything. Winning.
The washing basket’s empty.
Yeah, of course it is. For about 16 seconds every 4 days. Those 16 seconds make me feel like I deserve the nobel prize for family maintenance. All the washing. Where does it come from? I swear the borrowers are real and they’re running through my wardrobe like it’s an assault course. Even clean things are dirty before they go on. Throw a rusk in there and I might as well give up and become a naturist. Empty basket – winning.
I love it. I can’t talk it up enough. The act of having your baby so close, seeing their face as a bus goes past or a motorbike or the flashing lights of a police car is magical. I love my stroller too, don’t get me wrong, but it will never compare to wrapping Chops up tight to my back and heading out into the wild. I feel like I’m winning at mumming when I wear my baby. I’m not keen on the terminology, it sounds like a fashion choice rather than an instinctive parenting technique. I love how I can feel every kick of his feet when he sees something he likes, or the feel of his breath on my neck. Definitely winning.
Reverse Parking with an audience.
If I nail a reverse park when someone’s watching essentially I win at life. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of surprising an inpatient onlooker with a park in one. A small space in a full car park on a Bank holiday screams don’t bother love, let’s go home but nail the parking and save the day in one. Winning!
Arriving on time.
Being punctual is important to me. As a teenager I stopped wearing a watch because my fear of tardiness lead to an unnecessary amount of time given to get from A to B. I was often far too early. Now, getting anywhere within a ten minute window either side of the designated time is a win. Once you throw a baby into the mix you can set off a day in advance and still manage to miss the boat. If each member of the family is washed, dressed, fed and out of the door on time the rest is history. Often the house looks like a bomb went off as we were all getting ready but that can be cleared upon return to the house. Winning at time.
Communicating with the Chops.
Often communicating with a small being can be frustrating, confusing, and ultimately pointless. For example, I once told my mother I wanted mushroom yogurt, huh? Chops has just hit a new level of communication. He talks, non stop. Clakalakalak, doclakala, gooooo. He goes on an on about whatever it is. There is clear purpose for him but to me its cute noise. He stands clackalak-ing at me and I’m wondering WTF he’s on about. When I get it right, it’s just bloody magic. Total win. God help me when these words make sense, I get the feeling he’ll be a chatter box. Mumatron is winning.
What makes you feel like you’re winning?