The good, the bad and the ugly: A day in the life of a Stay-At-Home mum

Chewed up and ripped apart tambourines all part of our day. You can't see my hair, but it's there too.

WHEN my son screamed out my name at midnight, I sprung out of bed like a lemur. I’d been in a deep sleep, dreaming about communicating with aliens about to arrive on our planet, but switched immediately into mummy mode.

Son curled up in my arms and we went back off to sleep on his single bed. I woke up at 1am by the cries of Daughter in the next room. When the dummy didn’t work, I tiptoed with her back to our bedroom and went back off to sleep with her face up against my nose.

At 4am, my son screamed out again and I deftly pulled myself away from sleeping Daughter, tucked her into sleeping Husband and sprinted on my toes back to my son’s bed.

This time I woke at 6.30am and tiptoed back to our room. It would have been about 6.31am when Son woke up. It was Husband’s turn to do breakfast, so I got an extra 30 minutes sleep before I had to get up and: feed Daughter breakfast; clean Weet-bix off her, me, high-chair and carpet; give Daughter bottle while simultaneously play cars with Son; pick up bottle several times; burp Daughter whilst putting shoes on Son who (after three rainy days) MUST go outside; wash dishes and break up fight over bike that plays music; put laundry on and let Son press washing machine buttons after he brought his broken bucket inside for an explanation (Mummy ran it over when someone left it behind her wheel); have shower to the screams of protest from Son who seems to hate the idea of a clean Mummy and suddenly doesn’t want to go play outside, change Daughter who hates to lie still, change Son who is busy using bed as trampoline; brush Son’s teeth and hair; pack abnormally large toys into car that obscure both rear and lefthand-side views; feed dog; get children in car and get to the library.

This is all about standard (okay, most days I don’t bother with my shower) but when it came time to pack the car… the keys were missing. Last person to have them: my Husband, who used them to get his keys out of my car.

Now, I’m a forgetful person. I forget to buy milk when that’s what I went to the shop for, I forget the personal things that people sometimes confide in me; I forget to shower sometimes… but I always put my keys in the same place.

I rang Husband at work on his mobile. “Where’d you put my keys?” (NB: No ‘hello’).

“Ummm. I don’t know. Are they in your bag-”

“No! I’ve pulled it apart. It’s not there. I can’t see them anywhere.”


“So, you’re going to come home and help me find them, right?!”

“Yeh, sure.” (Wasn’t sure if he was being sarcastic, but didn’t care. Daughter was crawling out of the dog door, a habit she has when waiting too long).

“Good.” Hang up.

Then remembered something very crucial to that conversation… Husband’s phone is broken and can only hear anything when you’re on speaker-phone. Wonderful. Office staff privy to mild disagreement from The Wifey. I hate living up to stereotypes….

Husband did come home and found the keys on a hook where he tends to hang his keys. But, by now I’m too indignant (not to mention busy shoving massive see-saw into the passenger seat) to apologise and instead tell him to fix his phone if he doesn’t want the entire office to hear private conversations.

He goes back to work and I take kids to library. Our library has a great kids’ storytime hour where they read a story or two, sing songs and then make something in the craft corner. Son is very shy at storytime and wedges in between me and Daughter for prime lap position. Daughter is loving the music and does her first Hokey-Pokey with a mad grin at the little girl beside her.

Son shines during craft. He’s busy gluing everything in sight, while Daughter’s surreptitiously grabbed handfuls of crepe paper and is eating it, her mouth turning deep purple. In between admiring my kids, I’m scowling at a mum who has rifled through the box of stars and taken all the sparkly ones for her daughter’s tambourine.

After confiscating the stapler from Son who is fascinated with his ability to contort metal, it’s time to collect toys and go home. Through the rain. Arms full of toys, hand-made tambourines (with just four stars, I mean really?!), Daughter, and umbrella. Son insists he can carry the umbrella and I succumb, since I haven’t got enough hands anyway. But the excitement is too much for him and he runs headlong towards the road. I bellow “stop” and he nearly falls over himself and decides the rigours of holding an umbrella is too much. So we march, soaking, to the car.

Driving home, Daughter falls asleep and Son decides to rip open her tambourine to see the coloured macaroni inside. It’s already lost the crepe paper streamers that she ate and now has big chunks ripped out.

When Daughter wakes up, it’s time for some lunch. Son demands to be let outside whilst I’m feeding her and I tell him ‘no’. He comes back armed with his tambourine and clobbers me with it. The staples (of which there are plenty) catch in my hair and he rips a chunk out of my scalp.

Now both tambourines are being put away.

After lunch, it’s nap-time. We read stories for 15 minutes when Son declares he must use the toilet. This happens whenever it’s bedtime and the only time you know you’ve made the right decision (to encourage good toilet habits or enforce bedtime rules) is whether he actually does a pee. Today he did, so I feel good about that.

Son starts to sing a new nursery rhyme about cars that I’ve been singing lately and, taken with his dimpled smile that appears when I sing it, I break the quiet and sing gently for him. Son sings along and Daughter, on the cusp of sleep, springs up and decides she’s not at all ready for another sleep (because of the earlier impromptu nap in the car which I knew would put them out of sync) and I have to continue putting Son to bed while she squirms and cries and pulls on my face.

Eventually they both go off to sleep and I think I might possibly get a column done today! But while I’m thinking about what I could say, Daughter wakes up and I sprint to get her before she wakes her brother who, as it turns out, woke up not much later anyway.

This column was brought to you today with one hand, Daughter cradled in lap and Son, not sleeping, but at least quietly watching Captain Mack.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Belinda Lattimore
    Jun 15, 2010 @ 06:40:41

    It’s a disaster, there is no one faster…….YOU BETTER CALL CAPTAIN MACK!!
    Oh thank goodness for Captain Mack!


  2. 4everalway5
    Jun 18, 2010 @ 23:05:18

    You are an amazing woman. Maybe you feel like an average mom, but as I don’t have children I am really amazed. Sounds kind of fun, though. 🙂


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