The Human Napkin

Toddlers are messy.

“No shit.” I hear you say? Well, actually, there is quite a bit of shit. But the mess I am talking about is not strictly about bodily excretions.
Now that the Womb Raider has turned one and is missioning around the house, crawling and cruising the furniture, things have become a lot more messy at our place. She’s single-handedly responsible for destroying the house on a daily basis, and keeping our new cleaners very busy.

A typical morning begins with a bottle of milk, followed by breakfast of either porridge, toast and eggs or yoghurt and fruit. All of which get wiped all over the high chair, me, The Husband, the floor and in every orifice of her tiny little body. We are talking up the nose, in the ears, through the hair and everywhere else she can reach, including the furniture. I’m never sure how much actually goes into her mouth, but having a wild stab I guess 20% at the maximum. The dogs wait eagerly beneath her high chair waiting for bits to fly over the side or get offered from her chubby hands. We do try to discourage this, but its far too entertaining for her and practically impossible to stop. Once finished, they relish the opportunity to lick her high chair clean and the floor below before I come charging with the cleaning spray and a million wipes.

Then comes a nap.

Lunch time rolls around after an entree of more milk and might consist of chicken and veggies, risotto, pasta or a sandwich. Depending on her mood we might get some of that in the mouth, but the majority gets flung around the room, rubbed into the rug, fed to the dogs or launched like a missile at myself and The Husband. All the while the Raider is squealing with delight and grinning crazily. It’s cute. We take pictures and film it, but pretend to be cross to discourage the food flinging. Of course we fail.
Again she manages to fill every orifice with the carefully prepared, perfectly balanced organic food. I start to wonder why I didn’t just give her toast, which I know she will always eat with no complaints and minimal flinging. Or cheese. Can one live on just cheese alone? I’d certainly give it a red hot go if I didn’t care about my weight.

After some play comes another nap.

Dinner time arrives at 5.30pm and we are on the home stretch. That 7 o’clock bus is inching closer and I’m starting to get excited about some time to chill out, perhaps even with a glass of wine as a reward for my motherly stamina.
But there’s one more meal time to get through first!! Dinner lately has been frittata, veggie pancakes, pasta, risotto or chicken and veggies. All as organic as possible and as home made as possible.
It baffles me that the more effort I go to, the more she seems to throw it around the place. Why would she rather suck a pouch of baby food than eat some delicious meal I have made with google love? Or eat bloody toast and cheese?! She used to eat anything you handed her, and now it’s getting worse and worse with every meal. Dinner seems the most challenging, but maybe that’s because I have less patience towards bed time! This is meant to happen to other mothers……

My. Child. Will. Eat. Her. Veggies.
Or not, mostly not.

A bath cleanses the Raider and rids her of all the sticky, stinky bits of the day’s cuisine, but I am not in great shape.

Actress Tina Fey was quoted recently saying she has become a human napkin for her two kids and I couldn’t agree with this description more, as by the end of the day I am resembling the Pro Hart masterpiece from that carpet ad. I’ve got smudges and smears on my jeans and top, dried food in my arm hair, gunk under my nails and bits of shit (may not be actual shit) resting on my eyebrows.
It’s a dirty job being a mum!
But as I kiss her face and tuck her into bed with a lullaby, it’s all forgotten. For a moment she is perfect, a sweet smelling angel. Not a whiff of poo, wee, smooshed up banana or crusty dried up lunch taints the air. Just baby fresh skin, a faint tinge of lavender bath wash and clean sheets. Aaaahhhh.

Until tomorrow. When it all begins again……



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