Honest Motherhood: No Need to get Upset

I am sat at my dining room table attempting to recall quite what I’ve been up to the last couple of weeks. It all goes by in a bit of a blur. Between school runs, baby classes, after school clubs (Maia recently started Brownies and Stagecoach) and food shopping, I do find much of my life is spent in the car running late for something. (The rest of it is spent doing laundry.) 
I was running so late for school pick-up the other day, I had to call on my Dad to go and collect Maia from school. (My 77 year old Dad with a bad leg and walking sticks). This never happens. Of course it wasn’t completely my fault. It was very much Leo’s. 
In hindsight, the whole day was most definitely leading up to some kind of huge cataclysmic meltdown. In this case, my own. 

It all began that Friday morning when Leo was particularly resistant to getting back into his car seat after the school run. This happens some days but generally after a few minutes of standing around, I can distract him with something and in he goes. Not Friday. Each and every time he had to be in the tortuous seat (which from what we can see certainly appears comfy enough), he’d refuse. This manifests as spinning around so he’s facing the other way, stiffening his body/arching his back or just not sitting down. All making it impossible, with my mere two hands, to strap him in.
The same went for his pushchair, which I gave up on after it took so long to try and pin him down, I was worried we’d be late for our baby class. So I carried him there. I carried him there from home. It was only about ten minutes but I felt like a fool. My son had me wrapped around his little finger. He was very happy, whilst I got cramp in my neck.
I only managed to get him in it on the walk home after I loaded him with cheese twists then let him rummage through my purse. He landed on a Boots Advantage Card which kept him quiet.  
I’d woken him up from his morning nap to make that class, so I hoped he’d catch up on sleep during his afternoon nap and the school run would be a breeze. I also knew with every fibre of my tired-mother being this would not be the case. Once again I had to wake him for the school run. The bawling began that very moment. This was not a good sign. Wanting to let him sleep for as long as possible, I only gave myself five minutes to get him in the car. Fatal error. Given what had already occurred, I needed fifty.
The bawling intensified as I tried every trick in the book to get him in his seat. Distraction, pure brute force – at one point I started saying please. 
“Just force him in!” Joel said over the phone.
Despite giving it everything I had (whilst also being mindful of not hurting him), this one year old was stronger than me. (After speaking to another Mum, I’ve learnt I should have involved my knees.) 
Then it all got a bit ridiculous – I began crying. Why was this so hard? By this point I’d already rung the school, twice, to tell them I’d be late, which always feels like a huge parenting failure. Defeated, I rang the person I always call on in times of struggle. A voice of reason: my Dad. 
“Well there’s no need to get upset Angela…”. 
Indeed, no need.


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