Trying To Have It All

So, yesterday, as I carried my shrieking toddler in one arm and dragged my ridiculously heavy pushchair in the other arm backwards through the front door, while said toddler opportunistically yanked at my hair – I took a good look at my haggard appearance in the hallway mirror, while trying to ignore the odious stench of cod, and thought what the hell has happened to you?

Let’s rewind a bit shall we?

Yesterday morning I reminded my husband that I was meeting somebody regarding my new website and that I was going to talk “business” with her. Anybody who has a child that crawls and is on the cusp of walking will understand that taking that child to a meeting with you is non-negotiable. The ability to successfully string together two sentences while in the company of a boddler/toddler is verging on impossible. These days, I mainly try to socialise via park dates, and even those present a number of challenges. However, funnily enough, that doesn’t cut it when you’re talking business strategy. My husband happily agreed to watch MM and so I carried on my day as usual.

As the timer went off at 1.30pm to alert me that MM’s cod was ready, I got a text from my darling husband. “Can’t watch MM at 4pm. I have to work late.” It was at this moment that I got the ridiculous idea into my head that perhaps I could be SuperMum – the woman who can juggle EVERYTHING!

Needless to say, it all went downhill from there.

As I took the cod out of the oven, it smelled a little bit suspect. I tried a morsel. I wasn’t entirely sure that it tasted anything like any other cod I had tried. Perhaps I had added too much lemon? 5-minute taste test, still not sick. Ok, we’ll risk it. It doesn’t taste that bad after all.

Unfortunately, MM disagreed, in fact, she emphatically disagreed. Yes, she let me know just how much she didn’t like it by throwing it ALL over the kitchen AND the living room. I was partly impressed by the strength of her throw, but more overwhelmed by the stench that was already emanating from the blinds, the highchair, the bookshelves, my hair, my clothes, her clothes – you name an object within five-metre radius of her highchair, and it STANK of suspect cod.

As I got on my knees to deal with the aftermath of the codnami, my normally chirpy toddler started to bawl. Red in the face and tearful, I dropped the stinky mess I was dealing with and went to tend to her. As I held her in my arms, she threw herself backwards howling and I noticed, to my horror, that she had TWO molars coming through. Obviously there to keep the other FOUR teeth at the front coming through company. As no comforting would ease her distress, I resorted to trusty baby neurofen to help ease her pain.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. At this stage, any sane woman would call off the meeting that she has in two hours time. Right?

Well, I wish you were there to give me a shake. But you weren’t. Somehow I proceeded through a blur of toddler tears, screams, medicine administration, frozen blueberries, story time, nappy change, MORE frozen blueberries, nursery rhymes and SHOOT is that the time? I have TEN minutes to get to my appointment!!

I rushed out of the door, forgetting I was wearing NO make-up, my hair was a frizzy mess (thanks levanter!), and I was wearing a dress that really should have gone to OXFAM a couple of years ago. Even in its prime, it was more appropriate for the beach than a meeting. Oh, and I had cod in my hair.

As I ran out of the door I patted myself on the back for having a relatively calm toddler in the buggy. Perhaps I could maintain this?! It didn’t even cross my mind to think that I had forgotten my laptop, a vital part of my presentation. And so I dashed over, too lost in Mummy fog to realise what a state I was in.

As MM’s buggy wheels rattled as I frantically pushed it through the streets to get to the meeting on time, I wondered whether MM might smell a little bit fishy. I tried to push this to the back of my mind, and focus on the matter at hand. And then it hit me, I had forgotten my laptop. “Too late! I’ll just have to improvise!” the hopelessly optimistic side of me cheered. However, that side shrivelled the moment I was in the presence of the lady I was meeting with. She was polished, composed, articulate, and I positively wilted in her presence.

Fortunately, she is a friend and a mother herself, so she was kind and supportive towards my predicament. Luckily for me, she liked my business idea and could see beyond my chaotic and stinky appearance. However, she did suggest that we sat outside for our meeting, which at the time I thought nothing of. However, when I got home and my husband told me that it smelled like “somebody had died” in the kitchen. Well, it was only then that I became acutely aware of just how badly I stank of this demonic cod.

Shakespeare once said “the course of true love never did run smooth” and I’d like to think that he was referring to any endeavour that you are particularly passionate about, that’s right isn’t it Will?

I learnt some valuable lessons yesterday. The person I saw in the mirror was a shadow of my former professional self, however, while I am out of practice, I have never felt such strength and conviction.

Next time I WILL book somebody to watch my daughter and I WILL organise myself better.

Just like my darling daughter, I was experiencing teething problems.


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