I really despise the misuse and apparent over use of the word ‘literally’ but…at the moment, I literally have a couple of snotty nosed kids. And now we are a couple of snotty nosed parents making up one very snotty household. Luckily the gang haven’t currently got colds so they’re still keen to eat all the kitchen scraps and the dogs are loving the extra sandwiches, cheese slices, pieces of fruit and biscuits they find lying around the place as the boys are off their food – although Sam did accidentally eat a good dose of play dough the other day, he’s suffered no ill effects.
It’s got me thinking about the kind of mother I’ve become and the kind of kids that I have. It’s a long bow I know – all this from snot – but I’ll try to keep on track. Before I had children, I swore that I wouldn’t be the kind of mother who let her young un’s get about with snotty noses, dirty faces or food in their hair. I also couldn’t understand why people would dress their children in track pants and other nondescript items of clothing. But here I am. Boys with dirty faces, often dirty clothes and very often in track pants and other items of plain clothing. *Disclaimer: they have a bath every night and we keep a pretty good level of hygiene. It’s just that by about 10am every day, they’re onto their second set of clothes. Here’s a little anecdote to further illustrate my point…
In my efforts to make sure that the boys don’t lead too sheltered a life but are not too over scheduled (it’s a bloody fine balance!) we go to a few activities during the week. We’re lucky enough to go to the best playgroup in the world. I’ve never been to any others, but this one is pretty ace because it never matters what state we arrive in or how late we are. I’ve also been to a few other little sessions including a music morning which left me feeling somewhat incompetent. Don’t get me wrong – the people who ran is were amazing: friendly, welcoming, couldn’t have been nicer. But I couldn’t help but wonder why everyone else was so organised and we were such a rabble. We arrived on time which was pretty amazing in itself and made our way inside. I managed to get them out of the pram and sort of into the room without losing the clipboard with all the forms I had to fill out. Turns out, I’d left the pram in the middle of a walkway so a lovely man moved it for me. We muddled our way through the morning trying to sing and dance and keep up. Phew. Then it was time for morning tea. Before I knew it, all the other mothers (and on this occasion they were all mothers) had calmly ushered their children into the other room, somehow managed to put bibs on their children and got them to sit down on the mat and wait patiently for the snack. Meanwhile, the Schwarz boys were running amok. They’d been into the toilets and out again. Out the back, into the kitchen and tried to weasel their way out the front door before I managed to entice them to the mat with fruit and raisin bread. It quickly became apparent that I’d forgotten the bibs. Which isn’t unusual, I forget the bibs more often than I remember them. Breathe out, they were sitting quietly and eating. Then – Bede swiped a little girl’s drink bottle and she was in tears. I’d left their drink bottles in the nappy bag which was in the pram which was now somewhere else. I think being twins, they’re used to sharing everything and every drink bottle is a winner so Bede couldn’t understand why his fellow music lover wasn’t too keen on sharing. We eventually left and settled in for an afternoon of listening to Stubbsy on a snooze cruise. And I thought – how did we get here?
I thought I’d be the mum with the kids in the cutest little collection of clothes – trendy, cool, on point. The kind of kids you see on Instagram in their uber cool threads and that my biggest issue every day would be trying to dress them in rad, gender neutral, not too matchy clothes. But I suppose that’s just actually not my bag. And I realised pretty early in the piece that boys, at least mine, are pretty messy and it’s far too exhausting to have a minimum of six outfits a day thought out and clean. Maybe I’m more laid back than I thought I was? Today we went to visit my parents in law and as I was getting the boys out of the car, I thought – ‘oh dear, those noses need a good wipe’. So I tried to give them a good wipe, was hampered by the squirming and protesting and ended up doing about 80% of the job. Good enough. Their clothes were mostly clean after playing out the bush. But – they were really happy and that’s enough for me. And let’s be honest – if we’re going somewhere I try my darndest to make sure they have a clean face and clean clothes and are as cute as buttons. As long as we don’t need a bib and there’s a drink bottle to swipe, we’ll be right.