I have been debating for a while writing a post about the joys of having a toddler around, but couldn’t quite find a way to write it. Then today, it literally dropped through my letterbox.
Childless friends and colleagues regularly say things like ‘I just don’t know how you cope being a mum and working full time’. I nod and smile politely, making some kind of self deprecatory remark like ‘well, I’m not sure I do that great a job!’. I don’t tell them the truth, that I sometimes think that work is actually better now I’m a parent. Little things rarely get me down, and when they do I have no option to sit and mope about them all evening with a glass of wine because, quite frankly, my three year old couldn’t give a s*** about my data deadlines. Plus, I never have one of those ‘I ended up staying at work until 8 last night’ moments – it’s just not a possibility!
Plus, while the practicalities may be exhausting, looking after small children has an amazing charm to make you forget all the unimportant crap and focus on the fun life has to offer. A small child’s wonder and curiosity at the world opens you up to all sorts of possibilities you forgot about the moment you started to have responsibilities.
This might be rediscovering the joy of knock-knock jokes, being allowed to run like a mad thing through fountains on a hot day without being drunk/judged, or finding out you secretly love crazy golf. At other times, it’s the simpler everyday things which make you smile, like a bath time conversation about whether shampoo really does have poo in it.
It was just such a silly conversation which led the letter below being drafted…
In a ridiculous moment, we agreed to post it and off it went to Morrisons. We thought little more about it, though it had provided some good laughs, and moved on to ponder the next of life’s great toddler mysteries.
Then this afternoon I arrived home from work (tired and slightly grumpy as always) and began rifling through our boring post: a survey from the NHS, a reminder from the bank to activate my card, and this little gem…
I love to imagine the look on someone’s face as they presumably sorted through piles of letters about ready meals and complaints about bin bags, finding my son’s ramblings about poo and smiling to themselves. I hope they showed it to colleagues and had a little giggle as they composed such a kind reply and put it in the post bag. It certainly brightened my day more than pear cider ever could*.
*Just to clarify, I have 9 weeks until I’m due, then I will definitely be enjoying that pear cider, even if I’ve missed beer garden weather!