Today was not a good day.
The day started at 2.30am. It’s never a good idea to start your day at 2.30am.
The littliest one screamed in my ear. I was in a deep sleep. I was dreaming about Idris Elba. I did not want the things that were happening in that dream to end.
I put the baby on my boob and succumbed to the pain. It’s always painful on that side. Sometimes I think my right breast is possessed. That’s probably a sign that I’m not getting enough sleep.
Mercifully it is a quick feed. I can’t be bothered putting the baby back in his cot. He somehow wasn’t even in his cot anyway so I figure it’s ok for him to keep snuggling into me. I haven’t seen my husband in many, many years. I assume he is in the spare room bed with our toddler.
I groggily stumble into the toilet and see a snake. It is huge. I lunge for the towel rail because I need to stop myself falling backward. I break the towel rail.
The snake is a towel. We do not have snakes in New Zealand.
The baby wakes up.
I resettle the baby. My heart is racing. I’ll check Facebook to calm myself. The first photo in my feed is a fucking snake eating a fucking croc.
My breast hurts so much I can’t sleep anyway. So I just lay there imagining snakes. I try to turn them into fun snakes wearing top hats and getting upset because they don’t have arms and their top hats keep falling down. It doesn’t work.
Panadol doesn’t take my boob pain away.
It’s now 5am. I write a blog post about how much I hate breast feeding.
The baby wakes up. I feed the baby. It’s now 6am. I close my eyes.
At 7am my oldest comes in crying. He won’t tell me what’s wrong. My husband is looking for his work pants. He turns the shower on. I turn on Playschool. The baby cries again. It must be a growth spurt.
We are all late. Husband says he has to go. He’s sorry but he needs to get to this job. He cannot take our first born to crèche because our first born isn’t dressed because he’s watching Playschool. I force myself into the shower. The oldest jabs my stomach. “BABY INERE MAMA BABY INERE PUKU”. I scowl at him. He laughs. “Whasdat mama?” he says pointing to my stretch marks. The baby begins to cry.
I put on a bra and immediately leak through it. I get another bra. I hear the bus. I am not on the bus. I am looking for underwear.
The oldest boy has smeared my moisturiser all over the mirror in his room. I ignore it. I make a coffee and hear the bus. I am not on it.
My oldest son begins his crèche half day at 8.30am. It’s 9.30am. I cannot find the baby carrier.
I cannot find my oldest son. I look out the window and see our gate is closed so I just sit down and feed the baby. I read the blog post I wrote about breast feeding. It’s shit. I look for my oldest. He is filling a bucket with dirt and he has a hose in the bucket. He is filthy. I change him. The baby cries. I change my wet bra. We finally leave.
It’s 10.30am. I walk out just in time to see the bus leave without me on it. I begin to walk to crèche. It is so windy that I can barely hear my oldest screaming at me to STOP THE WIND MAMA. It’s quite pleasant.
The baby cries. Could it be teeth?
I see another bus. I tear across the road waving one hand while trying to steer the buggy with the other. The baby is laughing as he is bounced around in the carrier. My oldest yells “FASTER MAMA! FASTER!” from the buggy. The bus driver smiles at me and gets out of the bus to help me. “Lovely kids you’ve got there,” he says. Eddie says “HI I’M EDDIE!”
I struggle to get the buggy breaks on. A young girl offers me her seat. I wave her away. She coos at my baby. “What a cutie you are!” she says to him. He beams. Eddie says “HI I’M EDDIE!”
The bus driver gets up to help me off the bus. Before he can an elderly woman leaps up and helps me with the nappy bag which has fallen out of the buggy and spilled shit everywhere.
The bus driver, the nanna, and the young girl wave and smile at me from the window as the bus leaves.
Baby actually spills shit all over me. I walk into the crèche and Eddie leaps out of the buggy. “HI! I’M EDDIE” he yells. His kaiako cheerily greet me. They help me with my bags. They pull up a chair for my boy. They pass me a glass of water. They pull out his lunchbox. I realise it’s almost lunchtime. I say I need to go and they say “no worries! It’s all good.” I rush out to the sounds of my son crying. I bite back tears as my other son begins to cry. I watch the bus go past without me on it.
His kaiako rings me on my cell phone “I just thought you should know he stopped crying straight away. He’s playing in the sandpit. Everything is OK”.
I walk home. It takes an hour and 15 minutes. I am sweaty and covered in baby poo. I get home and put the baby in the sink. I put the carrier in the washing machine. After feeding the baby I realise I need to leave again to pick up the toddler. My husband comes home. He says he needed to get one of his tools. He drives me to crèche.
I stand at the door at crèche watching my son who hasn’t seen me yet. He is pretending to be a shark. He is screaming with laughter with the other children and their kaiako. He is covered in sand. He tells me he had SO MUCH FUN. I begin packing up his gear. The other mums smile kindly at me. “Full on day aye?”
I grimace awkwardly at them.
The baby cries. I have squeezed him into a sling and he hates it. My sister rings and I accidentally hang up on her. My oldest screams at me to stop the wind. I miss the bus. My sister calls again. I complain at her. I don’t even ask how she is. She asks for the boys sizes so she can buy some clothes for them.
I remember I have a guest coming at 4pm. It’s 3pm. The next bus is in half an hour. I go to the pie shop. I order a coffee. The lady offers to toast me a sandwich and gives me a warm smile. “It’s OK,” she says.
I think I didn’t thank my sister on the phone. Did I thank the bus driver? That girl? The nana? My husband? The kaiako? The other mums? Every person who spoke to me today has treated me kindly.
My baby snores softly on my chest. My toddler sleeps in his buggy – exhausted from his exciting day. My husband calls.
“See you soon hon. What a shitter of a day aye?”
I nod. Hang up. And start to cry
I cried in a pie shop. Because I’m thankful to everyone who is nice to mums who always miss buses.