Having attended many weddings and funerals with little ones I know it can be a far from relaxing affair sitting through any ceremony whilst trying to mute a little one and keep them from wanting to get mobile. The constant feeding and handbag hunting for tissues, wipes and entertainment whilst getting your smart outfit covered in spat-out rice cake and squeezy pouches. Many a time I have sat on a chair or a pew wondering if my sweaty, wrestling, over anxious presence was good for anyone……me, baby, bride groom or grieving family.
When Katy told me she had to attend a funeral and it was an hour and a half away I happily offered to have Ivy (1yr old) for the day, to save Ivy the drive and take some of the stress out of an already tough day. Luckily for me Ivy is really familiar with me and my house so it was easy for Katy and Ivy to accept. YAY! I got me a baby girl for the day…..perfect…..I can even give her back at the end of the day, what could be better?
Thankfully little Ivy is a really placid easy baby and as she is Katy’s second child she is generally quite content and happy to amuse herself whilst jobs get done around her…..well, that was until 2 days before I got her! The little smiler suddenly turned into a roaring, feisty determined little lady overnight. All the teething and ‘nearly talking’ frustration, plus the ability to walk had exploded in her. A really exciting developmental stage to reach but a bit of a pain in the bottom for me and Katy who had relied on her peaceful nature to achieve all that we do.
So after Katy left me with Ivy, and a pile of of ’stuff’ that looked like she was never coming back, I decided to put the pushchair and car seat into my car as I could take her out whilst she slept and get my jobs done. Hahahaha! After half an hour working out how to take the brake of the pram base so I could move it I put the Maxi-Cosi car seat in, well that was the plan. You would think, as I had the same carseat for all three of my boys, that I would be able to buckle it in with ease but no. I resorted to YouTube to watch a vid on buckling it in right. Shame. You just forget each stage of childhood as you move onto the next phase. I’m sure it’s due to this that any of us ever go for more than one child!
Car seat ready and the boot filled with stuff for my tip run, charity shop drop etc I thought I would make Ivy a quick drink and grab some raisins for in-car 1 year old entertainment. OOOPS, I completely forgot that an overfilled Tommee Tippee sippee cup will squirt you in the eye if filled too full. Ouch.
The tip run was fine, a sensory experience for Ivy of smells, loud crunching sounds and the visual stimulation of me rushing around dragging and lifting stuff, dropping it and tripping over. Who needs expensive sensory classes eh? Next I got to Homebase to get some floor varnish for the builders. I turned round to see Ivy fast asleep! Hmmmm. What did I used to do? Go for the pushchair transfer and risk the wake up or sit in the car hoping it’s not a long sleep. It was……100 tweets, posts and phone calls later that she finally woke up.
So popping her into the trolley was my next challenge, as far as she was concerned she was not going in there. Other customers smiled or giggled while I tried to coax, push or slide her legs through the gaps so she was sitting on the seat. Nope, why on this earth would Ivy want to sit in the trolley when I could carry her or hold her hand and let her walk…..arghhhh. A five minute pop in turned into a twenty minute adventure for little Ivy. Exploring, grabbing and even licking lots of lovely packaged items. Phew, I had forgotten how long EVERYTHING takes with a baby/toddler. Now that my boys are in booster seats and capable of clipping into their own seatbelts it’s easy to forget how physically demanding and exhausting this stage is.
Next stop, Majestic wines, for sparkling water honest! I couldn’t resist getting some comedy pictures of me and Ivy wine tasting to send to Katy and Fred. On to Tesco local, who had no trolleys with a seat and I needed to grab food for the boys tea. By this point I was resigned to allowing Ivy to ‘help’ me so we took our time and I walked behind her putting all the things back that she got out. At least we were both happy as my false expectations of doing things at my usual top speed were gone. We made it to the till and finally back into the car after I had cleared up all the football cards she had pulled off the shelf by the till.
Whilst I drove home from our busy morning Ivy kept herself busy filling her nappy. Dear god…..It’s bad enough changing your own kids nappies but someone else’s kid, even your best friends, smell so much worse. Oh and I and I’m so used to ‘winkies’, this was a lady fufu situation. Again a quick Google reference to check I was getting girlie wiping right and we were ready to up and off to trash the house.
Ahhhhh, the memories came flooding back over the next couple of hours. Cleaning products in low reachable cupboards, a missing honey sandwich (that I still haven’t found), needing to cut off access to the toilet to the toilet brush, drink spillages, snot on my jeans, trying to guess what “uh ah urghhhhh” means, Iphone being sucked, chewed and bashed about and fridge magnets all slid perfectly into the small gap under my fridge.
When I stopped what I was doing for a while and we played with the hand puppets we giggled and had so much fun. Ivy is an adorable, busy, gorgeous little toddler and I’ll have her anytime. Happy to give her back though and get my stinky big, toilet trained boys back at the end of the day. It’s an exhausting stage, and my day ‘back to babydom’ has reminded me so much of my boys at her age. A good reminder too to make sure Katy gets a break when I can help out. You forget how physically demanding preschoolers are and even an hour off is a help.
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