EG Mum v “The Baking Mum”

Well. Good to know where I stand, Zaltu.

The minute Sinister and Nefarious are dropped at school, Zaltu knows it is her time.

Parks are visited, pigeons are tormented, EG Senior Citizens are wooed.

When we arrived at the playground, Zaltu made friends with another toddler. A toddler who had … Biscuits. Yeah!!

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And not just any biscuits. Jam drops.

Google it.

I was so proud of my Little Miss Opportunity.

Until it was time to go.

“Okay, kiddo. Time to go home!”

So, Zaltu waved goodbye to me. Okay.

Then walks over to the other kid’s mum. The Baking Mum.

Zaltu walked over to The Baking Mum and took her hand. She took The Baking Mum by the hand and started walking out the park, towards home.

Clearly, she had made her choice.

Obviously, I need to get back to the kitchen.

Hey, Baking Mum! I see your Jam Drops and raise you Chocolate Chewbaccas.

Stay tuned.

Round 3: EG Mum v Sinister

I was schooled by Sinister today. And deservedly so.

It was on the daily walk to school. The usual reminders were being discussed.

* Don’t steal other lunches – hungry minions are unreliable;
* Never admit to anything until you know they definitely have evidence against you (that’s how I was tricked into Class Parent – volunteering before my time);
* And always go to the toilet at the beginning of lunch – NOT AFTER the year 6 boys. Trust me on this one.

Poor Zaltu was in the stroller today, rather than toddling along at her usual speed (slow). The poor thing had her demonic wings clipped; high chance she has Chicken Pox and has been absolutely miserable since. Her only comfort has been breastfeeding and holding onto her plush Batman. Often at the same time.

At this point, we spied a young woman walk past, wearing a t-shirt with the bat-signal.

In an attempt to cheer her up, I said “Hey Zaltu. Look! Its Batman!”

And Sinister pipes up with:

“Really mum? Why isn’t it Batgirl? Isn’t Batgirl your fave?”

Holy shitballs, minions. The Spawnling was absolutely correct.

Not only had I fallen into the stereotypical trap of thinking only of Batman, but I had also completely ignored that I, a female, was pointing out to my Spawnling, a female, a bat-shirt worn by A FEMALE.

Nevermind the fact that Barbara Gordon is so much better than Bruce.

So yes. I was wrong. Sinister was right. And I was schooled.

But I can’t help feeling that my parenting was the winner after all. Equality has a chance in the next generation.

Solitary Confinement

There is a reason why isolation is used as a form of punishment. It really messes with your head.

Ask any parent awake at 2am.

When you hear that first cry awaken you – a gentle plea for comfort; a territorial demand for a nipple; the frightened scream not yet fully awake; or my personal favourite right now – the painful moaning of a sick Spawnling just wanting their mum.

No matter the sound, you’re awake. And your praying to whichever deity is awake with you to make this session short.

It’s dark outside. Really dark. The kind of dark that makes you question if this is the end of the world. But it’s not.

So you go through the motions. Check nappy. Change nappy. Cuddle. Feed.

Except … She doesn’t go back to sleep. Not even close.

Don’t do it… No, don’t… Don’t look outside… Noooo

Aw crap. It’s still dark outside.

And then it hits – the wave of loneliness.

You could ask your Partner In Crime for help. But there is a feeling of guilt stopping you – they have to go to work in the morning, and only one parent-zombie at any given time. Ridiculous – of course they would help. But this is 2.30am. The Dungeon of Ridiculous.

Change sides. Cuddle. Feed. Yawn so wide you could swallow your ears.

Please go to sleep. My eyes are watering from fatigue, baby. Why are you punishing me?

I am the only one awake right now.

I am all alone.

No. You’re not.

You can’t see it, But on the other side of the street is a dad with a 6mth old, changing their nappy for the 3rd time this hour – more desperation for that to be the reason rather than anything else.

In the apartment block behind you, a new mum with a 4wk old cannot remember the “routine” for getting bubs back to sleep.

And down the road, is a 10yo with full-sensory nightmares who is scared of waking his older brother because he has exams tomorrow.

You are not alone. It feels like it because that is the most mind-fucking punishment that works. And these spawnlings are good.

But sometimes we need reminding. And it’s hard. When you are so tired, and so frustrated and you feel so alone…

You are not alone. Your child is there with you. And the sun will rise again.

Round 2: EG Mum v. EG Grandma

We already know how evil grandma can be.

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This is just the beginning.

EG Inc has travelled 2500km into the pits of Hades (read: Nth Qld in Summer) to visit family/demons.

It’s bad enough that the heat is more repressive than a cooked laboratory, but now EG Grandma is taking advantage of my weakened state. The spawnlings actually LIKE her!! Where’s the Fear of Mum from my childhood?!? Why is Zaltu allowed to chew on a purse that I could never borrow?!? When did chocolate become a breakfast food?!?

At first, I thought it was merely general spoiling since we do live interstate and hardly visit for long periods of time. However, spoiling would be dessert with extra scoopings. And I don’t mind racing my parents to the register to pay for something. It’s the only exercise we have at the moment.

However, we are now moving into outright Declaration of War.

It started with some story-telling. Tales of when I was a kid, climbing mulberry trees and shopping trolley races in car parks. Stories that will make it hard to enforce discipline when they hit their teens.

Then it progressed to stories of my suspension from preschool and my attempt at blowing up the Home Economics block (microwaves are science experiments waiting to happen).

But the piece that has absolutely ruined my relationship with the spawnlings:

“You kids are pretty lucky. I have loved having you visit, so I can spoil you and fill you up with treats – and hand you back. But your parents are pretty darn good. Your mum brought you all this way, has shared so much with you and is sitting back, just letting us spend time together. That’s pretty good. She pretends to be tough, but I reckon she’s enjoying this trip as much as you are.”

Damn it. Ruined my EG cred right there.

Going to take me all of next school term to convince them again how hard-core I can be.

How the hell do I EG parent now?

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Round 1: EG Mum v Zaltu

She’s 6wks old and has already thrown down her gauntlet. Zaltu is definitely living up to her name and causing mischief.

EG Dad has only ever once come home from work and asked what I did during the day.

He lived to tell the tale, and warn others against such follies.

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But particularly the last few weeks, he has shown great restraint – resisting the urges of his Clean Freak Tendencies.

Why? Mainly because the conversation would go like this:

“So… What did you do today?”

I caught shit.

Yes – baby poo.

With my bare hands.

And just when I finished cleaning that mess, I caught puke.

Yes – vomit.

With my bare hands.

Which is an achievement, since Zaltu projectile vomited across me to my chocolate last week. On purpose.

All. Before. Lunch.

Every time That Spawnling looks at me, I instantly think of this ad from Aldi.

Needless to say, I don’t think ANY nappy would have saved this. Zaltu has won this battle – that suit is not salvageable.

Now, pre-spawnlings I was a paralegal. Right up to advocate in Court. I know how to figuratively “catch the shit” flying around the office. I’ve physically chased down witnesses, argued with Registrars, and talked down suicidal defendants.

So, if EG Dad comes home and asks what I did today…

Zaltu: you gave a good battle, but I’m not done yet. Round two…