Rudy had a lie-in yesterday. Not something to complain about, you might think, and you’d be right. But the knock-on effect of an 8.15am start (yes, 8.15 is a lie-in) was that he didn’t require his usual afternoon nap.
I, however did. And by which, yes of course I mean I could have used a nap myself but I’m almost 4 years into this parenting lark so no longer labour under the false illusion that “napping when they nap” actually happens in the real world. No, I am chronically sleep-deprived and almost used to it. What I mean is I needed him to nap.
I love my children very much. So much that they should possibly invent a new word for it. However I do, at times, need a break.
My eldest never stops talking. From the minute he wakes up he is making noise and my youngest doesn’t stop moving EVER. Not even in his sleep. He just never stops. He is never still. So between the constant noise and constant movement it can be somewhat overwhelming and come 1pm I am usually mere minutes from catatonia. Of course when Rudy naps I get the semi-break necessary to push through and on with the day.
When he doesn’t, it’s another story.
Yesterday though I had (what I thought was) a smart idea: “Finding Nemo”
A movie Toby had seen before but not for ages and miraculously a dvd we owned that Rudy has not yet watched or eaten.
I figured that although not as restful as a nap it would provide us all with the chance to veg, and that maybe, if they were enthralled, I’d get something resembling 90 minutes peace.
Well, I was wrong. Dead wrong.
First up: Nemo’s mum
She gets eaten by a shark in the opening scene. Fuck. I’d forgotten about that.
We haven’t yet dealt with the issue of death and how it’s a permanent state. So it was awkward to say the least when 10 minutes later Toby wanted to know if Nemo’s Mum was “still eaten by a shark?!” The realisation that the fish Mum would in fact not be coming back and that it was just going to be Marlin and Nemo for the duration appeared to shock him to his 3.5 year old core.
From then on, it was just a steady stream of constant questions about ocean life from Toby, periodically interspersed with shrieks of “SHAR! SHAR! SHAR! AAAAAARGH!” from Rudy as he clambered on my lap every time anything other than a clown fish appeared on the screen.
I possibly should have just switched to another dvd but they were both seemed to be enjoying it well enough, even if it wasn’t quite the relaxing experience I’d envisaged.
And then finally, several hours later it was bath time.
The boys have always had a bedtime routine of sorts. Not a “6.23 put the baby in the bath, 6.30 get the baby out the bath, 6.36 give the baby a bottle” kind of routine. Just a vague sequence of events that happen in the run up to bed. The start and end times of said sequence vary but it basically goes dinner-bath-brush teeth-story-bottle-bed and aside from boob being replaced by bottle, and then bottle being replaced by cup of milk and then eventually that step being eradicated altogether, it hasn’t really changed much.
So, they know the drill.
Last night I was a bit distracted and overfilled their bath slightly, but they seemed to like it so it was all good:
Or so I thought. Mere minutes after this photo was taken, a bath toy brushed Rudy’s leg under the water and he reacted in the same way that a person waist-high in the atlantic might if someone were to start humming the Jaws theme tune. That is to say, he became apoplectic.
Unfortunately I hadn’t yet begun to wash the beans out of his ears or the yoghurt out of his hair so we (and by we, I mean, the entirety of Manchester Greater Manchester the United Kingdom) had to endure his horrified, and horrifying screams for several minutes whilst I attacked him with a Spiderman flannel and his brother looked on bemused, very much like “Dude. WTF is your problem?!”
Once out of the bath, encased in pyjamas and fed milk he fell asleep extremely quickly so I chalked the whole thing up to excessive bath-water volume and over-tiredness.
It wasn’t until about 40 minutes later, when he woke from what appeared to be a nightmare crying “SHAR SHAR SHAR! Scare” that I actually realised- oh shit, I have totally traumatised my child with Nemo.
Not my first, and it certainly won’t be my last, but without a doubt, a fairly epic PARENTING FAIL.