At five o’clock grandmother to toddler darkens your door, out of the blue, to insist she takes child off your exhausted, inadequate mother hands as she is concerned he is bored out of his tiny mind spending all his time in his magical terraced tower of toys/ CBeebies and undivided mummy attention (and the poor dear must miss his grandmother so very much).
You oblige, although it interrupts your carefully planned out bedtime routine as seen on Super-nanny, and you find yourself with an unexpected, dictator free, couple of hours.
Toddler .Free. Time?
Let the party commence. (Sound Fog Horn / Press Play on Prodigy track/ Activate disco lights/ blow whistle/ wave around glow sticks/ neck vodka shots! )
- 17.00 – Sit in silence trying to come to terms with what has happened. Listen to the eerie silence of the house. Realise this would be a good start for a horror film. Turn off baby monitor.
- 17.10 – put the kettle on.
- 17.15 – start to run a bath. Realise that the water isn’t on, and you’re not going into the basement to turn it on. That’s what the horror directors want you to do, and you’re not stupid – you watched the first season of American Horror Story. And anyway, you cleaned the bath this morning and you don’t want to wash more towels tomorrow.
- 17.20 – sit on the toilet in silence with the door wide open – even though there is no one there. Feel the odd sensation of going to the toilet without someone watching with a finger in your nose or without a tiny person balancing stacking cups on your knees. Remember you put the kettle on.
- 17.25 – Wander around your empty house aimlessly, admiring your cleaning from the morning. Sit in toddler’s clean and tidy room on his tiny chair. Flick through one of his books: ‘Peace at Last’. Tear up, bloody pregnancy hormones. Find that you are wedged in tiny chair with your huge pathetic derrière.
- 17.30 – text mother to see when he is coming back.
- 17.35 – make a cup of tea. Sit in front of TV and decide you will drink a hot cup of tea for the first time since early 2013.
- 17.40 – the only thing worth watching is ‘Judge Judy’. Get consumed in car loan drama. Eyes glaze over. Fall into mini coma. Forget about bastard tea.
- 18.00 – text grandmother to say she can bring back toddler anytime she likes.
- 18.20 – text grandmother to tell her that his favourite program is on. If he misses it, it’ll just be a complete tragedy.
- 18.25 – Partner returns home. You sit and look at Timehop pictures of toddler this time two years ago when he was a huge bump in your stomach, and a year ago when he was so cute. Tell partner what happened on Judge Judy. In detail. Sit and wait for grandmother to bring back toddler.
Toddler Free Time – majorly overrated!
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