Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Those Days are These Days

I used to dread those days.

Those impossibly long, soul draining, parental working days. 

You know the ones. 

The ones that get underway well before the sun comes up, where the dog barks and the child screams and the wind blows the outdoor setting over before the alarm on your mobile phone ever gets a chance to squeal its morning not-so-glory in your ear.

The ones where you manage to squeeze three hours of morning preparation into one, managing to layer nail varnish onto the holes in your last pair of tights whilst co-brushing your teeth with your toddler, making a mental note to buy more milk whilst simultaneously burning a hole in your ear with your straightening iron.

The ones where you, the toddler and your miraculous holy grail head of straightened hair run out the front door smack bang into a cyclonic rain storm, only to find the umbrella is missing: presumed drowned in the toilet, and replaced with a hyper colour plastic phone and six old sultanas covered in indistinguishable fluff and grit.

The ones where the daycare drop off leaves you a mooshy mess of mummy guilt and fluster. The ones where you have to peel your child off your side in the doorway - like sliding a wedge between two magnets - before making a guilt-wracked mercy dash in the rain to the bus, the train, the tram, the overcrowded overpass, that will never get you there on time.

The ones where the barista mistakes your strangled strong latte request for soy latte. Which won’t matter anyway when you spill two-thirds of the stuff in your jacket cuff and down your leg as you try and completely fail to regain some, or any, sense of awesome working person togetherness in the 12 floors of enforced elevator reprieve you must endure while you run late, later every morning.

The ones where the email inbox fills up with emails that you don’t want to contend with, while you stare at the download icon willing the one email you actually need to make its way through the universe so you can please, maybe, yes, perhaps, indeed, oh please just get shit done. Before you have to go back and do the day in reverse again. 

The one where you forgot to put your lunchbox in the tea room fridge, and you are left with a winless choice: a plastic Tupperware container filled with dubious quality and potential gastric disaster, your toddler’s afternoon snack box of cracked up crackers, or a maniacal dash to the food court in the cyclonic rain- which followed you all the way to work and now menaces from the window, daring you to even try. 

The ones where the phone rings incessantly like the mocking failure bells of side show alley, while you doodle on your notepad and daydream of hanging out at the carnival and riding the ferris wheel as like you’re twelve again. You’re thirty, how the hell did that happen? And why are doodling stick flowers and artistically challenged box houses when you have so very much to do?

The ones where your brain turns to puddles of plush pah phoo before four, where you drag your holey stockinged legs through the sideways water bullets to find that the barista has already shut the machine down. And the suit in front of you made off with the last conceivable chocolate brownie standing, perfect stockings, umbrella and all. Oh Murphy, you've done it again, top marks for accuracy.

The ones where the transport system grinds to a smashing halt under the hordes of peak hour crushdom, shuddering along the city streets while you calculate how many dollars this game of human sardines will cost in daycare fines and overtired toddler fees. 

The ones where the traffic lights turn every shade but green as you sit in the thrumming throng, while your toddler melts into a thunderous velociraptor as the situation of the earlier eaten cracked crackers cracks the evening universe into a headache that will lodge deep behind your eye - absolutely cracking and removable only by the power of the weekend and the medication of a bottle of red. Or three. 

The ones where the postie left the bills not the wedding invites, and the parcel man left the slip not the present from Grandma, but the dog left the type of terrifying present in the laundry room that you Just. Don’t. Want. To. Know. About. 

The ones where you oscillate between serving up toast or nutritional value, while sneaking Tim Tams from the top of the fridge and hoping that the pizza gods might arrive on the doorstep and save you from the triple tears of chopping onions with a toddler by your side, finely diced to distraction.

The ones where you manage to pull off a dinner with three finger burns, two vegetables and a side of mash, only to discover that your toddler now exclusively eats muesli with yoghurt from the red bowl, and only while sitting on the floor in slippers. 

The ones where you read half of seven different bed times stories, fairies fractured with sea shells mixed with meatballs falling from the sky onto some kids plate; lulling yourself to sleep while your toddler puts her plush posse to bed and proceeds to march all over the dying dregs of your regrettable soy latte experience.

The ones where you lean your head against the ironing board as the house descends into the sounds of silence, wondering if you managed to hide some Tim Tams from yourself but knowing deep down in your shattered psyche that you've drained the emergency chocolate bank well beyond dry. 

The ones where you finally collapse on the couch, only to remember that you never got the f$%#ing milk … and now the dog is barking at an imaginary cat and the toddler is screaming ‘twinkle twinkle A B D Muuuuummmy’ and you should probably set the alarm before the sun decides to come back up all over again. 

Yep, I used to dread those days. 

Now days though, those days are just these days, and these days are my days.

And I wouldn’t change my days for all the non-soy lattes in the city. 

Would you?

M x


  1. No, I wouldn't. I love how you tell this story, it makes those days seem light and funny.

  2. This is one of those posts where I find myself nodding my head like a crazy woman. I think you've managed to think of everything. I commute 45min-1hr with my toddler three times a week. Most of the time she is an awesome traveller. But sometimes - she just cracks it (like we all do) and decides that it isn't fun anymore. And then it's even worse for both of us. Makes me appreciate the days where things run smoothly - they almost seem miraculous.

    1. The days where things run smoothly are truly blissful, aren't they?! Thanks for taking the time to comment, it's always nice to know there are others out there living through similar experiences!