Monday 22 June 2015

I do not have the capacity for buying socks (parenting).

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I do not have the capacity for buying socks parenting.

No one said that parenting was supposed to be easy. Rewarding? Yes. Fun? Sometimes. 

On difficult days I remind myself that it won’t last forever. That I will look back on the photographic memories and the painted hand prints with fondness, and I will long for just one more day – or hour  – of their chubby little fingers and funny sayings. 

But today? Today it is hard.

This morning my son asked me why none of his socks fit him. I told him that it was because I haven’t had time to buy him any new ones. The fact is, I do have time, but I do not have the capacity. To other people this could sound quite strange – after all, how hard is it to buy a pair of socks? For those of you with young children, you will know that simply buying a pair of socks involves things like getting the equivalent of two little wriggly-squids in a fit state to leave the house beforehand, negotiating putting on shoes and undersized socks, catching the bus with a buggy and a four year old who wants to sit on the top deck and attempt the stairs on a moving bus on his own, stopping for snack breaks in busy shops, not to mention wee breaks and tantrums. 

I do not have the capacity to buy socks.

After my son asked me why I didn’t have any socks that fit him he asked me why his brother smelt funny. Although I have the excuse of a clothes' change after a projectile vomit and a nappy explosion today, there will be no sign of this defence when my four year old relays these facts to the staff at his nursery or his grandparents. If I bathed them every time they both spilt something; or fell over; or got pen on them; or did a poo, I would never get anything else done.

I do not have the capacity to run another bath today.

My mum came to help out the other day. She seemed surprised to find the games she left for them last time were still unopened, left in their cellophane wrappings as though unappreciated. I felt bad that I had no real excuse, other than: “I’m so sorry, we’ve just not had time - IN TWO WEEKS - to attempt to do a dinosaur sticker book that involves any sort of direction from myself. Instead all I have the capacity for is sitting them in front of the television with breadsticks.”

She then asked me if the clothes she bought them fitted and I smiled and said “yes, they’re perfect.” The truth is that I have no idea. The truth is that I have bags and bags of unopened baby grows that people lovingly bestowed on my second-born and the thought of sifting through them all – taking off labels and sorting into drawers that are already full, let alone going to charity shops with old ones, is beyond me

I do not have the capacity for dinosaur sticker books and sorting clothes.

I met with a friend the other day and she reminded me of something she told me the last time she saw me. I had no recollection of it. I bumbled my way through the conversation because I didn't want to seem like a terrible friend. The fact is, that after having approximately four hours of sleep each night for the past seven months, my brain does not have the capacity for remembering bargains at H&M or what her work colleague said to her one random Thursday morning. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be a bad friend, it’s just that all I want to do is sleep.

I do not have the capacity to remember trivia. Only things like my children’s names (most of the time) and when they last had food.

And then there are every-day curve-balls: like that the boiler just broke and the plumber cancelled on me just before the weekend and now I have to boil the kettle every time my children need a wash.

Or that I ran out of washing up liquid and I’m using liquid soap till the shops open (I’m writing this at 6:30am on a sunday morning).

Or that the washing machine has just finished the ‘delicate cycle’ (AKA incredibly annoying non-tumble dry option) and I have no available clothes-drying space left in my house. And it’s raining. 

Or that there are still photos on the wall of the ‘three of us’ before we became a ‘four’ and I haven’t had time got the capacity to find sift through the hundreds of photos on my phone to update them.

Or that some kind person bought me an exotic plant to cheer me up and I have already killed it off because I couldn't understand the exact care instructions didn’t have the capacity to look after it.

And then it’s fathers day today and although I only have one father I needed to get three presents and cards, and when I went to do so the cards were really rubbish and cost £4.50 and I refused to pay such ridiculous prices just for the convenience of being at a supermarket checkout (having forgotten to buy fathers day cards at the official card section as I was too busy trying to occupy a whining baby and a four year old who had run riot down the cheese isle). 

“I’ll call in at the shop on the way home,” I said to myself.

Except that I got distracted by my four year old wiping his chocolate bar all over himself and the car window and I had to rush home for the baby wipes that I forgot to put in my bag. Now I’m thinking that £4.50 sounds like a reasonably priced convenience. And it’s not like I do not appreciate these amazing men in my life, I just do not have the capacity to show it with considerable effort (sorry, Dads). 

And then there’s work: Like, paid work. And I have no idea how to handle doing it again; or the idea of not doing it again. My working friends tell me they wish they had a Tuesday morning off at home - “sounds like bliss,” they say. They tell me how lucky I am to be in the ‘maternity bubble’ and I smile and nod and tell myself I must appreciate my life more.

I must appreciate this: This little sock-forgetting, kettle-boiling, clothes-sorting bubble of a blissful world that I live in. 

But I do not have the capacity.


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