There is no explaining it. You've simply got to be a parent to comprehend parenthood.
When I said I was busy before having children I had no idea of what I was talking about. As simple as that. I wish I could go back, pat myself on the shoulder, and laugh.
- 1.30am pick up dummy.
My 1 year old baby last week started the introduction weeks at nursery school. Thankfully all is going well, we got through week 1 and nearly week 2 and we managed with only a cold. And a bruise.
- 2am baby can`t breathe well because of his cold. Cuddle and sip of water.
- 2.15am dummy lost again.
- 3am coughing.
- 3.30am coughing and crying. He is quite likely uncomfortable but it will be a dozen more sleepless nights before he can articulate that. Rummage for paracetamol through the medicine box with one hand in the dark and half asleep.
- 4am some more crying and screaming.
- 6am toddler comes to my bed asking for Papi (he forgot that Papi is on business trip in London).
- 6.01am realizes Papi is not there. Early morning mini crisis.
The next 1.5 hour is spent trying to get myself ready, engaging in a battle of wills on how to brush teeth, and various other topics. Early morning mother-toddler conversations can be also very amusing. "Mami the doctor said I need to have chocolate". "Really? Which doctor?" "Dr. Mann" (Real name Dr. Rehmann, must have heard name 6 months ago and recorded it for future use. Clever boy ;)
- 7.30am out of the door with both kids.
- 7.35am back in and upstairs to retrieve forgotten School Teddy. (Ignore the heart attacks you get whenever toddler jumps three steps in one go. Without warning you first).
- 7.40am lift toddler up and onto car seat. Mini crisis because he can do that alone. Put back toddler on the ground for him to climb in his seat alone. Wait 5 long minutes, breathe and entertain baby in the other car seat who in the meantime got bored. At least it is not pouring rain. Only a bit. And it is 2C, last week it was 22C. Could be worse.
- 7.45am off we drive.
- 7.50am traffic jam. Sing hello song. Spy blackberry`s red light and wonder if you forgot you had an early morning meeting and people are looking for you.
By 8.15 we are in school, by 8.45 I am in the office and while some are yawning, or feeling refreshed after a good night`s sleep, I feel like I have run a marathon, tested my patience, fed my heart with my kids' cuddles and sweetness, and wonder how to summon the energy needed for the day ahead. I head for the espresso machine.
- 11.23am sitting in a meeting when my phone rings. Nursery school. Toddler was sick - can I go immediately to pick him up.
- 11.25am rearranged my next two hours, moved one meeting, asked a colleague to kindly take care of the 11.30 call I was supposed to lead. Run to school.
- 11.30 am call doctor from the car. First appointment at 2pm. Beg to squeeze in a quick appointment in the next 25 minutes. Pray.
- 11.40am pick up toddler, hope you won't get the same stomach bug. Listen to what happened in Spanish first then English.
- 11.55am doctor`s office. Quick recap of all the needed vocabulary in German for the visit.
- 12.00pm relief as unlike other times, doctor speaks a great English and...Italian! Bonus points for her.
- 12.30pm call granddad who in the meantime has picked up baby from his half day trial at nursery school - can he please cook some rice for toddler.
- 12.45pm park at home, lift sleeping toddler (15kg) plus my bag, in heels and go up 2 flights of stairs. Stop at the door to kick shoes off while balancing the load. Put toddler in bed. Promise you will not go back to work because "Mami, you need to stay at home, only Papi goes to work" (where did he hear that?)
- 2pm back at my desk. Power through, bite a sandwich, drink coffee. Wonder how to get it all done.
- 7.30pm last emails. Grandad at home with two has already given dinner. The gratitude I feel for their help will never be enough.
- 9.30pm both kids in bed, admin (includes everything from work and private emails to bills to planning the upcoming move, to planning holidays, to thank you cards...), planning of next day.
- 11pm quick catch up with hubby just back from airport.
- 11.45pm think of our kids' perfectly soft skin and happy smiles and let our hearts smile.
Every experience leaves us with a brand new set of skills. To all the parents out there who go through these amazingly hard and amazingly beautiful years: you are doing a fantastic job!