So there I was, a temporarily single mom of two small boys. Hubby was overseas on a trip of a life time that I – foolish me – had encouraged him into.
“Go!” said I. “You’ve wanted to visit Scotland since you first bought that Celtic Airs CD and discovered – that night I’d had a bit too much wine – that I can do quite a good impromptu Highland Fling. Go, my love! I have a little windfall coming my way and I’m giving you the ticket there – you just have to find your way back and sort out the spending money. Go, my darling spouse, with all my love. Mmmmmwaah!”
He’d left five days ago and I’d since come to regret my generosity – a few times over. This was to become one of those occasions.
I was in the kitchen multi-tasking, as one is required to on weekday mornings before one goes to work. Only a mother on a time warp is capable of feeding herself, baby, pre-schooler, one dog, four cats and a parrot while simultaneously microwaving baby’s bottles, washing and drying a few dishes and putting loads of washing variously into the washing machine and tumble dryer. It’s a busy place, our house in the morning – about to become busier.
I suddenly noticed Matthew wearing that look of intense concentration on his face – the unmistakable look that means only one thing when you are 13 months old and taking to solids like a Peking duck takes to a Highveld rainstorm.
Time to take the nappy off and clean a dirty bum.
So I did. I was about to put the clean nappy on his little bum when a shriek from the kitchen area alerted me to the fact that someone – the parrot, I guessed – was trying once again to eat Liam’s breakfast instead of its own.
I lifted baby off the bed so he wouldn’t fall off (Code Black) and dashed off to the kitchen on the rescue mission (no mean feat, because I was wearing beloved spouse’s pyjama trousers – absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that – and as he’s about a foot taller than me, it was more of a speedy shuffle than my normal Supermommy Sprint).
False alarm. Not the parrot, just the dog. (Much easier to discipline.)
Smacked the dog on her nose, chased her outside, started making Liam some more toast…
Oops! Where’s baby? Forgot baby.
Enter baby, on cue, still naked from the waist down and looking extremely pleased with himself. Which meant only one thing…
I dashed back to the bedroom from whence he’d come and slithered – quite gracefully, under the circumstances – through the doorway in the large puddle of wee that I’d somehow known was just waiting there… I was still silently swearing, when came from the kitchen the new sounds of mayhem breaking out, which meant that baby was going for big brother’s toast and big brother was taking umbrage.
Time to regroup. Which urgent thing to do first: 1: mop the floor? 2: throw self out of window? or 3: throw children out of window?
Think, think. Oh, right! Can’t do either 2 or 3, because one of the things that attracted us to our house in the first place was the functional yet very decorative burglar bars on all the windows and doors. Okay, so time to mop the floor then…
(Wails and screams getting louder.)
Think, think. No towels to hand, time is ticking and I’m not dressed yet – aha!
Which is how I came to find myself also naked from the waist down, mopping the floor with my husband’s pyjama trousers. (I was in the middle of loading the washing machine, after all.)
One of these days our tenant in the cottage is going to walk past at an inappropriate moment and see something really inexplicably embarrassing.
Until then, the Supermommy Mantras rule. Today’s mantra: When in doubt, wipe up the wee with your trousers.