Despite having several hours between waking up and needing to leave the house, our mornings always escalate into a bit of a disaster. Make the coffee, make the porridge, put the porridge in three bowls, watch the contents of the smallest bowl splatter all over the walls, floor and cupboards (how?) and get smushed into the seat of the high chair. Attempt to clean.
Eat cold porridge. Pour cold coffee down the sink.
Peel apple and cut into small pieces. Make honey sandwiches and cut into small pieces. Peel an orange and cut into small pieces. Cut some cheese into small pieces. Etcetera. Wave bye bye to daddy. Comfort distraught toddler who never wants daddy to go. Melt as he says, “cuggle mama”.
Right. Ten minutes to get out the door before we’re late. What’s next?
Brush teeth whilst sitting on the toilet to stop toddler playing with the toilet water. Comfort distraught toddler again when he melts down because you won’t open the mascara so he can put it on his eyes like you did. Dab snot off your shirt. Wrestle toddler into his clothes – “eieieieoooo”, “here is my handle, here is my spout”, “here a woof, there a woof”. Throw toddler’s lunchbox, drink bottle, milk bottle, nappies, wipes, favourite toy, spare pants, top, socks, jumper, spare sheets, and overdue medical form, into a bag.
Wrestle clothes off toddler. Whisk nappy off and wipe most of poo with wad of wipes. Chase poo caked butt around house with more wipes. Wrestle toddler back into new clothes, “short and stout”, “yes, sir, yes, sit”, “when I get all steeeamed UP”! Change your own outfit because it now has a little poo on it and last time you didn’t change and you could smell it all day. Lug your handbag and the bag of nappies, wipes, spare clothes, sheets and blankets, milk bottle, water bottle and favourite toy AND the stupid effing stroller AND toddler down the three flights of stairs.
LIKE you’re going to take the now writhing toddler back up three flights of stairs and rummage through the cupboards for the rain cover. Pull weightlifting faces as you force your squealing octopus of a toddler into the stupid effing stroller, not taking your foot off it in case it flips over. Push the poor kid 15 minutes in the drizzle to daycare, only to arrive with him asleep (and a bit wet). Wake him up half an hour before he is ready, then leave him bleary-eyed and distraught. Skuttle off to the subway, trying to put the pieces of your broken heart together with thoughts of those cuggles you’ll have when you get home. Buy coffee. Concentrate on not spilling it. Accept the first train is too full so wait six minutes for the next. Stare at people’s armpits. Curse your coat for being too hot and your coffee for being gross and cold again. Mentally complain to Google maps for not taking into consideration the extra four minutes it takes to weave your way through 14th Street – Union Square station when the subway stairs are rammed.
Get on the 6 train with the homeless guy asking for money.
Feel around your pocket. You have a tiny helicopter and some cheddar goldfish, but no dollars. Watch the teenager and construction worker pass him a few bills. Feel like shit. Watch everyone else stare blankly ahead as if poverty is not literally staring them in the face. Feel even more like shit because you are no better. Find your wallet, chase homeless man off train and give him a dollar. Feel even shittier because it’s such a disingenuous gesture. Shuffle off to office to work on spreadsheet
Feel very blessed to have a job, a roof, people to love, and food to eat, even if it is cold oatmeal.