HOW do you know you have come out the other side of toddlerhood? It’s not a trick question. There are a number of clues. If you have to think of the answer well, then, congratulations, you lucky sucker; you’re out the other side.
See how easy it is to forget all about the hardships that accompany that tricky, messy stage in your life.
Oh, I know. You haven’t forgotten them. I haven’t either. There are some red hot ones still burning holes in my brain. But see how easy things are after a good nights sleep. Bet you thought you’d never see that again.
How about that first uninterrupted cup of coffee during the 15 minutes Peppa Pig burned a different hole in your brain?
What about coming out of the bathroom and feeling strange? Strange because you were in there alone. For all of five minutes.
See? Those things.
I am wearing makeup again. Proper stuff now not like the time I only drew on one eyebrow and forgot to blend in my dots of foundation.
I am going through my handbag for something or other and realise it’s actually a handbag and not a family sized rucksack. Also there isn’t a baby wipe in sight!
I am wearing jewellery again. Dangly stuff too. The fear of getting the ear lobe ripped off me by an eager, grabby toddler has long passed. Now my only worry is the dog (or the child) eating my beads and chains. Poo watch anyone?
There is alcohol again. And not alcopops either but proper grown up wine and spirits and the odd beer.
I wear clothes that are not black. Clothes that might actually be white! Or close enough to it anyway. I am still dodging mucky puppy hands and snotty noses but most days when I don white duds, they are still clean(ish) when I take them off.
Relax at your peril though. Never ever let your guard down. Kids are always on the lookout for perfect opportunities to embarrass you and entertain everyone else in the café. You think they were given high pitch voices because it’s cute? Nooooo! It’s so everyone within a five mile radius can hear them.
Here is a conversation that may or may not have taken place between me and one of my boys lately. On a day when I was wearing the aforementioned white(ish) trousers plus a short sleeved top.
“What’s that under your arms?”
“Nothing.” (Distracted and reaching across for the cappuccino)
“There is. I saw something.”
“What did you see?” (Sipping coffee with my guard down. Totally out in the open and unprotected)
“Prickly stuff. Look! There it is again. I told you. YOU HAVE HAIR BALLS UNDER YOUR ARMS!”
Recently I took the four boys and our lovely Juno girl doggy off on a skyte through some small woods near us. Delighted with myself.
Wearing the beige linen trousers. Delighted with myself. Walked the wood with them all. Delighted with myself.
Returned home with only a smidgeon of pepperoni on the side of my beige linen trousers that couldn’t be seen if I pulled my top down enough.
Later on that same day when I took off the linen trousers I saw what I knew was a smushed lump of chocolate brownie on the backside of it. But I know the 67 people who saw me between the hours of 2pm and 11pm thought it was shite!
See? You will get to the other side but they just won’t let you enjoy it. Keep those arms pinned to your sides at all times and keep a rain jacket or some such handy to wrap around your waist in the event that you sit in something unsavoury.
The other side. It’s the best finish line you will ever cross.