So, the day started off on a depressing note when I couldn’t pull my knickers up over my knees and fell headlong into the wardrobe in my attempt to get them on. Flew into an immediate panic about my weight. I know I could do with laying off the biscuits a bit at the moment, but I managed to stuff myself into my size 10 Moschino (cough, via Oxfam) dress the other day and it was perfectly comfortable as long as I didn’t do any excessive breathing, so I didn’t think the situation was that desperate. Made a resolution to eat only fruit today and go for a run later until, on closer inspection, I found that I’d been attempting to put a pair of age 2-3 Thomas the Tank Engine pants on. Breathed a sigh of relief and had a Curly Wurly for breakfast to celebrate.
Mondays are messy play days at our local Sure Start centre, so that’s where we headed this morning. Rory is a huge fan of the centre, mainly because they have (and I quote) “very excellent cars” there, but also because of the food. I’m not talking about the healthy snack that they kindly provide for all the children (milk or water, breadsticks, grapes, that sort of thing). No. I’m talking about the stuff they leave out on the floor for the children to play with. My child, the boy who refuses to eat almost everything I put in front of him, races into the centre, sits down and immediately starts tucking in to raw oats mixed with glitter (which does have the pleasing effect of making potty time quite festive the next day) or cold, cooked spaghetti that’s been dyed blue. No other child does this. The first few times he did it, I hauled him away and told him off, but after the amount of crossness and “Rory no like mummy” that followed, I decided it wasn’t worth it, so I spent this morning pretending to be deeply interested in rolling out playdough snakes for a more sensible child while mine crammed banana flavour Angel Delight in to his mouth, oblivious to the bits of sand that had been dropped in to it over the course of the morning. And anyway, at least that way he’s eating something. At home he looks at me like I’ve handed him a bowl of excrement whenever a meal time comes around.
I’m not sure what the other mums make of his impromptu meals, and it probably doesn’t help me to bond with them. Wherever Rory and I go, I am always (always) the token comedy mum with the eccentric child. He doesn’t seem to do what their children do, and I always feel hopelessly badly groomed and ridiculous in comparison to other mothers. Hence I’ve been making quite an effort to appear normal (brushing my hair before leaving the house and wearing clothes without too much Weetabix encrusted on them) at the Sure Start centre in the hope of being accepted into the mysterious circle of motherhood. I have been making progress and have managed to make sensible and polite conversation with some of the mums on a regular basis. Rory is determined to sabotage these attempts at normality and you can guarantee that just when I think I’m doing really well he’ll run past with a bucket on his head, smack into the wall at full pelt, then lie on the floor cackling hysterically. Today, we were digging amicably in the sandpit with a few other mums and toddlers, when he announced loudly “I got a very itchy bottom mummy.” “Oh dear, never mind”, I said, raising my eyes to the sky at the other mums who smiled at me in an amused sort of way. “Yes,” he said, raising his voice another few decibels. “It’s PROBABLY WORMS.” Everyone found something very pressing to do as far away from us as possible. I didn’t even bother trying to cover it up or laugh it off. He’s probably right. It probably is worms.
Except it can’t be, because if it was he’d have an insatiable appetite, and when we got home he still threw his ham sandwich on the floor in disgust.
For this reason, I decided that we’d do some cooking this afternoon as he’s usually happy to eat the fruits of his labour. It’s a grey, rainy, miserable sort of day here, so I thought we’d make bread, and we wouldn’t be using a bread maker because that’s cheating. I used to bake bread when I first got married, back in the days when I did nice things for my husband instead of arguing with him over who is the most tired. I suspect he’ll be quite pleased at this display of domesticity when he gets home and Rory really enjoyed the kneading bit and seeing it change size after proving.
Now, I know that bread baking with your toddler sounds like a very domestic goddessy thing to do, but really I’m just doing it to detract from my failings. It’s a bit like having sex with your knee high boots on in the pretence that you’re a little bit kinky, when it’s actually because you couldn’t be bothered to shave your legs*. If Rich comes home to a house that smells of freshly baked bread, he probably won’t notice that I’ve failed to tidy up and that we’re all living in an inch thick layer of dust. Also, I made it because I wanted to eat lots of it, and Rory and I are doing just that right now. Hot, thick, crusty white bread rolls liberally smeared with butter and strawberry jam. Mmmmmmm. If I can’t get my knickers over my thighs tomorrow morning it will definitely be my own fault.
*Er, so I’m told.