I was thinking about not writing an update this month. I just didn’t feel like it. I have the Mammy moods – probably brought on by the latest trudge of cooking, cleaning, wakening and changing another shitty nappy.
Welcome to motherhood people.
Our dishwasher is broken. It’s the third time it’s broken in the space of 18 months – this time a drainage problem. There’s a mini swimming pool in the base of the washer now, a swirl of drain unblocker poisoning up the atmosphere. We’re hoping to get it fixed soon. As soon as we meet the other demands that this Government have placed on us.
We had the TV licence inspector around recently. I thought it only happened in the ads, but no, there he was as I stood blinking into the daylight, wondering what he meant when he said “I’m from post office.” I thought he may have been delivering a parcel, but with his clipboard and white shirt and his question Do you have a TV licence, I quickly caught on that he was there to SUE ME.
I laughed, one of those HAHAHA chuckles. “No,” I said. “I don’t.” And there were no excuses about my Granny or the dog eating it, I simply told him the truth. “We can’t afford it.” I waved over at my car. “I don’t even have tax on it,” I said.
He was lovely. He gave me grace. And that week I went to the post office and the car tax office and delivered a quarter of my monthly wages back to the Government.
This week two letters came through the door. One from Irish Water with a bill for €324 and another from the Revenue letting me know I haven’t paid my property tax. They’ll be removing the guts of €700 from my wages now.
No mercy. Who cares if I can put food on the table? Who cares that my 20 month old is growing out of all her clothes and I’m worrying about how to get dress her properly over the next six months?
My final money rant is about our car. And this has probably, out of everything, contributed to my Mammy mood the most. We left it in for a service two weeks ago, a service we saved for weeks for. When I called to check on it the mechanic said, Oooohh the peugeot’s yours. I’ll talk to you when you come in. Ominous.
What he wanted to talk to me about was the €1500 we need to spend on the family wagon to make it safe and get it past the NCT. (Oh, another Government tax, yay!)
The car is worth… mmmm maybe €1000, depending on who’d be willing enough to take a 1.9 petrol guzzler off our hands. So that’s the update in this house. Working. Struggling. Doing our best. And hoping for better and a day when we can pay the bills as soon as they come in the door. It used to like that you know.
So the toddler. Well, to be honest, she is great. She’s tons of fun, is learning loads and mostly, brightens up our day no end. As I type, she’s on the floor, playing with the dog, laughing. Unless, she’s very tired, when she’s missed a nap or has been out and about too long, she is in a good mood. I don’t know if this is a trait for all toddlers or whether it’s just her personality, but I’m hoping it’s the latter.
She likes our attention though. Your full attention. If you’re washing up (which obviously is all I do lately) she comes and pulls at your legs almost pushing you over. As I type, she’s since left the dog and is now sat on my lap, holding one of my hands because she can’t bear to have me occupied with something else other than her.
Having said that, she is learning to play by herself, and find things that amuse her, without too much prompting from ourselves. When the weather’s good, I shovel her out to the garden, coat on, and she runs from patio slab to patio slab, pure joy on her face.
We’ve been having lots of playdates and getting out and about. Much as I wish for her to run up, hug and be besties with the child I have just thrust her upon, usually it’s soothers at dawn over one toy that’s declared the holy grail. There’ll be tears, tantrums and on occasion, violence. It’s not that relaxing to be fair but I’ve vowed to continue. She WILL be socialised.
Words wise I thought we were doing great but having seen some other children in action I realise we’re probably average. I’m not worried though, she understands more than she can speak and she even managed to answer the house phone the other day, saying “Hi,” to her Daddy, gabbling and then bringing the phone into me in the kitchen. She may not be able to speak much, but house secretary she is.
Another reason why I may be tetchy and going on anti-Government rants is because of a new sleep pattern. Previously she slept through the night, without much bother. Now, she is back to wakening, just for a few minutes, but long enough and loud enough to force me out of my own cot to grapple for a soother and do the blanket shuffle. Last night I went to sleep at 1am and was up at 3am, 5am and then 7am when she decided it was time to rise and shine. That’s newborn pattern right there.
So forgive me if I’m grouchy. Forgive me if it’s not all glamour. But there are three things you can be sure of in life. Death. Taxes. And broken sleep when you earn the title ‘mother’.
Smile on face. It’s all worth it. Because it is.
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