Dirt and train journeys

Age: Almost 13 months
I like: Eating sand, Organix oaty bars, being outside, banging on things, boobs

Little O and I had a pretty busy weekend. He is a popular chap so he actually has a much more intense social life than I have. I’m just entourage.

On Saturday we went to his friend, Little B’s first birthday party. It was held at our local soft play so there was a sandpit available. After any kind of water, sand is Little O’s favourite thing so as soon as he realised he could go outside, he abandoned the xylophone he’d been beating the life out of and made for the sandpit.

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I didn’t think anything of it and left him to it, even though it involved a fair bit of sand consumption. I am very firmly in the camp that children should get dirty and be allowed to explore their surroundings freely barring actual danger of injury or property destruction. There are many pictures of me as a child up to my armpits in mud. There was one little girl at the party who was desperate to join Little O in his sandy adventures but her mother insisted that it was too dirty and she was not allowed. Maybe I am too relaxed about germs but in my mind kids and clothes are very washable.ย I felt quite sad for her that she wasn’t allowed to get messy.

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Note evidence of consumption of mud around the mouth

Becoming a parent also means you have to reconsider your own concept of what is dirty and disgusting and significantly lower your standards, especially when your child is going through a phase of wanting to put things in and out of your mouth. On Saturday night I had an experience that will forever be stuck in my head as “motherhood defining”. Something upset Little O’s stomach (potentially consumption of sandpit contents but why point fingers) and he did a massive projectile vomit in the middle of the night. He was unsettled so I was holding him up over my shoulder and the comet of vomit ran all the way down my back and into my knickers.

Motherhood is cleaning someone else’s sick out of your arse crack at 2am and just getting on with it.

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With Little O much recovered from his gastric pyrotechnics on Sunday we headed off on a two hour trip to visit the families from our NCT group in our old home of South West London. I am not going to pretend it was smooth sailing. Little O does not like to sit still if he can help it. Ever. So he had zero intention of remaining in his push chair for two hours. Also being on the train wasย mega exciting so he decided to forgo the late morning nap I had cleverly worked into the mix (stupid mummy). Instead he had to be walked around, allowed to stand next to his push chair and interfere with it, talk to and wave at strangers and babble at the top of his lungs. I was exhausted by the time we arrived but it was totally worth it to see these five little monkeys reunited.

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The journey home involved a meltdown on the Jubilee Line that could have been avoided if someone had been kind enough to offer me their seat so I could take him out of the push chair and hold him but so it goes. In the end we got home and lived to tell the tale. It has not made me any less anxious for our twelve hour flight to South Africa next month though. Pray for me.

9 Comments

  1. I find it so sad that nobody offered you a seat, struggling with a baby and pushchair. I can only say that I would have, had I been on that train. I was offered a seat on a bus last year, and it wasn’t even that crowded. The lady said to her son “Get up and offer that old gentleman your seat.” I was so shocked to be considered old, I declined politely.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I wasn’t surprised. People often failed to offer me a seat when I was heavily pregnant. I think sometimes people go into their own little world on public transport. We both got home in one piece though so that’s all that counts.

  2. Meltdowns are hard on everyone, eh! My youngest (4.5) still has them and it’s really draining. However, remember, everyone’s kids have meltdowns.

    1. He is normally such a happy baby but it was so hot and he was tired and just wanted me to hold him. As soon as I got him out he calmed down. For me the hardest part is that he is distressed and I can’t make him feel better but it also feels like all the eyes are on you.

      1. I totally understand the “all eyes on you”.

  3. I hate when people don’t offer a seat. What ever happened to common decency and helping out your fellow human?

    1. I think some people get into a zone when they are travelling and forget their manners or to think about someone else.

      1. I do get that, but it’s still an annoyance.

  4. MIB

    “Motherhood is cleaning someone elseโ€™s sick out of your arse crack at 2am and just getting on with it.”

    This should be on posters on every street in every country in the world! ๐Ÿ˜€

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