When I had two children under two, and people dared ask me how I was. ( A dangerous question to ask any parent at the best of times.) To save the enquirer from a badly scripted episode of Eastenders meets Show me Show me (your leaky boobs and sore bits) I replied with “Tired!” one word, that is all. To which they would reply “Oh! You’re always tired!” and waltz off with sparks of wide awakeness turbo power shooting off their trainers.
At the time I was too blinking zonked to muster a reaction, four and a half years later I am still tired but I think familiarity numbs the pain so it kind of moulds into your grey face and you wear it like pants, necessary but not always comfortable.
WHAT TIRED MEANS
You catch sight of Ronald Macdonald on smack in the rear view mirror and remember you haven’t washed off the make over you were given by the nearly 2 year old and the dogs three days earlier.
Instead of people cooing into the pram they are giving you sympathetic looks, not because they feel your sleepless pain but because you have a pair of George Pig pants on your head.
If you do manage to shower, you will probably do so at least 3 times in the space of seven minutes as you can’t actually remember if you did or not.
Trying to breastfeed the non breastfeeding toddler and wondering why the new born is refusing Thomas the Tank Engine spaghetti shapes.
Making plans to meet somebody for coffee , getting ready early, putting your coat on, sitting down to feed the newborn and put the toddler’s shoes on. You taste the fresh hot coffee , you savour the hilarious adult conversations then you wake up to 27 missed calls , a jumping Yo Gabba Gabba DVD and the local cavalry hammering at the door.
Taking it personally that not everybody likes mushed carrots and Weetabix for dinner.
Putting big boy pants on the 3 month old and a nappy on the potty trained one and not realising until in the middle of a very hot and busy IKEA.
Even if your dress is on back to front and inside out. You need to be given praise! Flowers, knighthoods, trophies. You made it out of the house, Woop! You rock!
Worrying you are entering new levels of eyesight problems, before remembering you are showering with your glasses on.
Bursting into tears when a child falls over or sings, especially if it isn’t yours.
Being annoyed by everybody and anything. Especially the person who is 50 per cent responsible for the state you’re in.
When somebody says “Rest when they are sleeping” you are enjoying the image of doing your most ninja powered moves directly where it hurts and then you realise you might actually have carried them out and are too knackered to run.
Forgetting you drove to the supermarket and wondering why you forgot the sling and pram whilst carrying two wriggly, hungry, screaming children home, which is a long way away.
Taking a photo of the two cars parked either side of yours and sending an SOS whatsapp to anybody in the vicinity to please come and get your car out of the squeeze.
Listening to veterans of parenthood, who promise that it really is all worth it and realising that they are possibly most definitely right.