Dummy Mummy.

About two months ago I took Henry’s dummies away from him. It was very dramatic. We buried them in the garden like we were at the funeral for a member of the Royal Family, and that evening the dummy fairy came to take them away leaving a shiny new toy car in their place. The first night without them, I was like Meg Ryan in sleepless in Seattle, except with no love interest, no perfectly styled fringe, and Seattle was actually the fiery depths of hell. Somewhere around the 2am mark I was so desperate for him to sleep, I literally stuck my finger in his mouth like a makeshift dummy and hoped that even though he’s smart enough to calculate the square root of 592 before I could, by some miracle he would pass out. He bit my finger.

So skip to about a week later, and all of a sudden he starts settling himself. Now a normal person, with a normal two year old would probably be ecstatic. Nope not me. I was instantly suspicious. This is a kid who hasn’t slept since he came into this world and simultaneously ruined my social life and my body, and all of a sudden he’s sleeping beauty? I wasn’t buying it. Obviously the next step was to launch a full blown investigation. Old mate retired for the night, and instead of enjoying the new silent bliss that had been rocking my world all week; I made myself a cup of tea and planted myself outside his bedroom door in prime position to fulfil my childhood fantasy of being Carmen out of Spy Kids.

The first ten minutes was unremarkable. He lay on his bed kicking his legs in the air and counting to ten, skipping number five every time – standard. For a second there I considered going to bed, and even momentarily felt guilty for criminalising my own son who appeared to have become an angel overnight. Then it happened. I witnessed him with my own eyes as he commando rolled out of bed, darted laser beam eyes toward the door to make sure the coast was clear, threw an ottoman clear out of his way like he was Clark Kent, opened my drawer and pulled out a flipping DUMMY.

My concerns are as follows;

1. He’s essentially a Junkie.

2. He’s not only had the forethought to have a secret stash of dummies, but has been RETURNING said dummies to his drug drawer and pushing the ottoman back before he wakes me up in the morning.

3. It took me a week to discover this.

I decided it was time to put my foot down. I took back the dummy, and my authority. And an hour later I was laying on the floor next to his throne and patting his royal bum until he drifted off to sleep.

So who’s the sucker now? 🤦🏼‍♀️

The not-so-secret life of a single mother..

Being a single mum wasn’t exactly my dream. In fact, if I’m honest my ideal future Laura was a wife, soccer mum and preferably an attorney (specifically Reece Witherspoon in Legally Blonde). Future Laura’s husband had a well paying job, took the weekends off to drive the kids to karate, and wore Calvin Klein loungewear around the house while he made me pancakes every Sunday. For those of you who know the actual present-day-2018- Laura, you’ll know that the closest thing I’ve got to that fantasy is that I’ve hired an attorney for my divorce and I LOOK like I eat pancakes every Sunday.

My teenage years sent my Dad bald, and I’m pretty sure gave my poor Mother some kind of PTSD. They’ve bailed me out countless times, resisted the urge for many well deserved “I told you so’s and let me tell you they’re running some pretty competitive interest rates out of ‘The Bank of Greg & Rosie.’ Having grown up in such a strong nuclear family, I saw the love and support that happily married parents can provide for their children; and because of this I didn’t take my decision to separate from my husband lightly. However, I would make the same decision 100 times over – because I want Henry to grow up seeing me happy, and knowing that no matter what life throws our way, we always have a choice.

So, that being said – let’s talk about where I’m at now. I’m lying on my bed, made with $1000 worth of Sheridan linen drinking a cup of tea. Not bad right? Now add in the toddler snoring into my armpit, and the half eaten sausage I just spotted squished into the carpet under the couch. My life as both a single 26 year old girl and a divorced mother is a constant juxtaposition, and in the bid to find the perfect balance I’m finding myself more or less picking Cheerios out of my hair on my way to Friday night cocktails.

Don’t get me wrong, I can’t imagine motherhood is easy for anyone – married or not. Some nights when Henry is refusing to sleep I get all empowered like “I will not negotiate with terrorists” – but let me tell you if Saddam Hussain has kept you up til 2am four nights in a row and has thrown a vase at your television you’re going to give up and let him in your bed. When I get to work at 06:30am, catch my reflection in the kitchen window and realise my face looks like a dropped pie, I give myself a pat on the back for getting through the night without committing a homicide and get on with my morning.

Now, I guess in the spirit of baring all – a few of my lovely fellow bloggers have been asking for updates on my dating life. First of all, let’s be clear I’m literally THE last person on earth you should be looking to for boy advice. I mean really, if the fact that I basically blew up the institution of marriage with a hand grenade within three short years doesn’t speak for itself I don’t know what will. But as everyone (including the postman and the girl that does my lashes) knows, I met a cute boy sometime in January (OK fine – 5th Jan 08:28pm).

Pros: Makes me laugh without trying, abs for days, witty, wears a fireman’s uniform, not clingy.

Cons: Not clingy.

Now I’ll be honest, I spent a bit of time getting all worked up about the semantics of labelling my relationship because movies and society and my girly feelings told me it was important. But I’ve given myself a good strong talking to, and decided that “officially dating” or not, doesn’t change much. Realistically if I can successfully navigate the emotional roller coaster of dealing with a two year old and a thirty two year old without bashing my head against a wall, and still remember to wear underwear to daycare drop off – I’m killing it.

So to wrap up – I love my son more than anything else in this world. He tests my patience, and he’s a freaking expensive toy, but when his tiny little hand slips into mine and he looks up at me with those giant blue lady killers it’s all worth it. Cute boy is still around; still cute, still fights fires and is still pushing me one step closer to a mental asylum every day. But I’m all about glass half full, and in the big picture I consider myself pretty damn lucky.

Does my butt look big in this?

We all have our own insecurities, and our inner drama queens make them 938 times worse than they really are. Interestingly, I’ve found men can be just as bad if not worse than women at setting themselves impossible standards to live up to when it comes to body image. Im sure I’m not the first to discover this, but its often your supermodel friend, or that ripped guy pumping 100kg weights at the gym with his pinkie finger that have the lowest self esteem. And seriously, why is that?

When I was pregnant, I thought the world was going crazy. “You look AMAZING” people would say to me. And “Oh my god, have you like bolted on that belly?”. Guys, I was 20kg heavier than I was before I started, and I’m pretty sure 87% of that was in my ass. As hard as I tried, I was never one of those women who just loved being pregnant and couldn’t wait to do it again. You know the kind that study ‘calm birth’ and just BREATHE through labour pain as if it doesn’t feel like being decapitated with a blunt knife and simultaneously kicked in the vag with a stiletto heel. Ya. Not me. Hated it. The swollen feet, sore boobs and sweaty back, but more than anything else I was done looking like Alan out of ‘The Hangover’ movie (yep the beard too) and I wanted my body back.

So you can imagine my horror when the day after I had Henry I looked down at myself and not only did I still look pregnant, but now the hospital was claiming that there was no longer a baby in there causing it. Great. And now, I’ve got a tiny human relying on me to keep it alive – which as all you mums will know, doesnt exactly leave much time for Zumba Mondays. I have to admit, before I had Henry, I had never struggled with weight before. I would hit the gym every now and then for fun, and although I didn’t live on donuts or anything I could smash a few and still do up my pants. Then all of a sudden I popped out a kid and now I walk past an ice cream shop and put on 800 grams.

For the first year of Henry’s life I worked bloody hard. I went off sugar, exercised almost every day even if it meant squatting the baby, and I started eating green stuff. But even at my best, I realised that I was never going to look the way I did before and that’s something I had to work through in my own head. I mean, I’m not going to be back up on a podium in a mini skirt any time soon – but it would still be nice to wear my jeans and breathe at the same time.

Ok so after all that, here is my point – and what inspired me to write this whole thing. Not long ago I was in the kitchen at work preparing my cardboard and air salad for lunch, and a lovely colleague walked in and said to me “why are you always eating like that Laura, you’re so skinny”. And automatically, for the rest of the day I walked around like I was Adriana Lima. Even my pyjamas looked flattering that night – and I got thinking when I was home strutting up my hallway wearing angel wings later on; how much people’s words genuinely affect the way we feel about ourselves. And any girl who has cried themselves to sleep after a negative comment will tell you the same in reverse.

So girls and guys. Build each other up. Be careful with your words. And most importantly don’t let what you think of yourself be shaped by what other people think of you. Because that’s just exhausting.

No Advice Column

Since I started my blog I’ve had so much amazing feed back from both girls and guys out there, and more recently in particular single mums. I’ve said before that the reason I started posting what is essentially my diary online was to remind people that although the struggle is real it’s also perfectly normal. It was to say I know what it’s like to rock in the corner in the foetal position wondering what the jail term would be for throwing my own baby against a wall, and more recently I’ve wanted to tell people that dating as a single mum (or even dating in general) can sometimes be compared to poking yourself in the eye with a cactus. Of late I’ve received some lovely messages, some of which asking me for advice – and as flattering as it is, it concerns me that perhaps I haven’t properly communicated my main message. So this blog is to confirm that I am in fact a hot mess, and you would be better off asking for life advice from my two year old than you would be from me.

Please find below a list of topics I have absolutely no authority on whatsoever and why;

Pregnancy:

I spent almost my entire pregnancy spread eagled on my neighbours lounge in front of an industrial fan eating blueberry and lemon glazed scones from Bakers Delight. I developed severe hypertension and a thyroid disorder, which meant I couldn’t go to the gym (shame, I know) and it was such an effort to get myself up that one day I made an extension cord into a lasso to pull the TV remote toward me.

Child Birth:

I was so determined to be good at this. I spent $300 on a calm birth class, and watched every episode of One Born Every Minute available on youtube. I read an article on water births and decided it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I just had to have one until my Obstetrician looked me dead in the face and said “Laura, those baths are only as clean as the Nurse who cleans it”. Gross. Not that it mattered anyway because my calm, drug free birth turned into an epidural followed by an emergency caesarean and I may or may not have assaulted a nurse.

Mum life:

Henry has almost choked to death on a rock, rolled down an entire flight of stairs, fallen off a marina into the bay and half drowned, and just last week he licked fly spray off the floor. He has slept through the night maybe 6.5 times in two years, once he ate chocolate for breakfast because I couldn’t be bothered to explain the benefits of weet-bix or deal with his whinging, and please refer to my previous blog about the time he brushed his teeth with toilet cleaner.

Dating:

Guys, dating and successfully dating are two very different things. I’m living in a studio apartment that was built in 2000BC and the only bedroom is just big enough for Henry’s cot. Not exactly a bachelorette pad. Between full time work and full time keeping Henry alive, I barely have time to shave my legs let alone sit around and swipe on Tinder. Admittedly, I’ve been consistently flirting with an oiled up fireman and his washboard abs but ladies and gentleman I will dead set solve the Da Vinci Code before I can give anyone insight into the inner workings of the male brain.

 

Now I want to be clear –  I’ve got no complaints. I have amazing family and friends, a fabulous son (albeit, bald), and a fling with a fireman who makes me laugh. But please don’t look at my Social Media and make the mistake of thinking I have it together, because while you’re doing that I’m probably lying on the mattress in my lounge room with a toddler foot in my mouth googling “How to tell if a guy likes you”.

 

 

 

 

Dating (with) a toddler

I’ve been a mother for almost two years now. I’m not sure that I’m any more confident in my ability now than I was when I started, but I’ve definitely learnt a lot along the way – and Henry is still alive so that’s something. Dating on the other hand, I’ve only been at for three months – and I honestly cant definitively say which has been more difficult. Upon reflection however, I’ve noticed a few things in common between the two – and it got me thinking that perhaps both roles are informing the other and one day ill wake up and be super awesome at both.

The first mind blowing similarity I’ve found is that no matter which boy I’m with, I’m always going to need at least one outfit change before I walk out the door. With Henry, that’s for obvious reasons. I set my alarm an hour before he wakes so I can have my hair and makeup done, and be dressed head to toe so I don’t have to do so with him clinging to my legs and licking my face. It takes me another hour to get him weet-bixed and dressed, pin him down long enough to change his nappy, and drag him to the door with my bag, his bag, and 872 packets of baby wipes. Every single time without fail, JUST before we walk outside he will touch me with a dirty finger, or dribble on my shoulder, or throw a banana at me – and every single time I take a big deep breath and look at him and say “Oh you are CHEEKY” but in my head I’m actually saying “oh you are a TURD”. Now how could this possibly relate to Cute Boy you ask? Well, admittedly he hasn’t thrown fruit at me yet (although its still early days), but what he DOES do is this; – He will wait for me to try on 23 outfits before I finally decide on one I can be seen in public in, and he will look at me just as we are about to leave and say something very non committal and casual but laced with meaning like “is that what you’re wearing?”. And you know what that means girls. You either look like a potato, or you look hot and he doesn’t want to let you out. What a gamble.

Secondly, the age old battle of communication. One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with a 2 year old, is their inability to tell you what they want. Like seriously, is he hungry or has he hurt his foot? They say mothers have the patience of a saint, but somehow I think I missed that boat – because it doesn’t matter how many times I hold my breath and count to three, if you get a dummy thrown at your head enough times at some point you’re going to lose your shit. Its kind of the same with dating. Now as those of you who have been reading my blogs know, Cute Boy and I are currently in that weird phase of any new relationship – where we do couple things but we haven’t really had ‘that conversation’ yet so technically we’re not a couple. So anyway, every single week we play this fun game, otherwise known as a Mexican Standoff – where we stand in the meat section at Coles and he says “hey what do you feel like for dinner” and I say “whatever you feel like” and then we both aimlessly stare into space until one of us cracks and picks something they probably don’t feel like but its cold in the fridge aisle, we’ve already been there for 37 minutes, and that steak ain’t going to cook itself.

On a positive note though, and I guess the reason I’m still engaging Cute Boy and haven’t given Henry up for adoption yet – is they both make me smile every day. Henry, I would take a bullet for; and as the layers VERY slowly but surely peel away from the mystery that is Cute Boy, I have come to care for him more than I expected to. Now those of you who know me are aware I’m not easily entertained. I need an intellectual challenge, and someone with the energy and sass to match my own – none of which are easy to find. So even though they both drive me up the wall, i’ll give them this – there hasn’t been a boring day yet, so for now watch this space.

 

 

 

Successfully Single.

Last week I was sitting on the edge of a cliff at sunrise looking over the ocean with a cute boy who could smash a plate on his stomach. I know. Sounds like a movie right? And to anyone who saw us, it probably looked like one too. But what those people don’t know, is that I go home to an 11kg toddler who still requires rocking to sleep, and who occasionally shits on my bathroom floor.

I first started this blog to reach out to mums who were sitting at home wondering what they were doing wrong. I learnt pretty quickly that there is no right way, and that even women with the most perfect instagram asthetic, and post partum six packs are still going to end up with cracked nipples and hairy legs. Now as I embark on my new adventure as a single mother, I have a whole new insight into the world of dating or as I like to call it, ‘the train wreck that is my life’.

As we all know ladies, even at the best of times dating is a challenge. I mean how long until you break it to them that you don’t have naturally luscious eye lashes and Bondi Sands coloured skin? And let me tell you – trying to make sense of the feelings of a 31 year old man is more complex than the 4000 word essay I wrote on Statutory Interpretation in law school. Add to that the fact that I’m running on about four hours sleep a night, and my alarm clock is the shrill scream of a 2 year old which can only be compared to a small animal being brutally murdered – and now you’ve got some idea of what I’m working with.

So let’s talk about the first three months of a relationship. The awkward ‘getting to know you’, ‘are we or aren’t we’ first three months, where you’re hesitating enough to protect your feelings but also secretly planning your trip to Europe together in five years. Girls, you’re still making the effort to wash your hair every two days, and guys you haven’t farted in 12 weeks. This is the make or break time, when you’re getting to know their habits, meeting their friends, and doing a thorough self-conducted psychoanalysis of why they’re still single.

Enter Cute Boy. Fire fighter by day, bachelor by night. Charming, funny, and did I mention the fire fighter thing? He takes me on dates, makes me dinner, and when I had an asthma attack at his house he told me I looked pretty when I was half-dead. In the last three months, I’ve learnt almost as much about myself as I have about him. The thing about being a single mother though – is that I’m in no rush for a happily ever after. I’ve got a little man in my house that already runs my life, and to be honest – part time dating has its perks. I get my mum time, Cute Boy gets his Cute Boy time, and we are both better people for it.

So. No my life isn’t a movie. And yes I’m so tired that I recently answered my own mobile phone saying “Ambulance, what town or suburb?”. I’ve got no dating or parenting advice because I’m learning as I go. But what I can confirm, is that no matter how perfect people look on the outside, everyone at some point feels like putting on a shower cap and smoking a cigarette. And that’s OK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are we officially dating?

A few months ago my Dad looked at me in exasperation running his hands over his bald head, (which incidentally is probably largely a consequence of my teenage years) and said “Laura for a very intelligent girl, you’re very stupid”. What he was referring to was my impulsive nature, which clearly came from the milkman because everyone else in my family likes to carefully plan their days, starting with their first trip to the toilet and ending with what time their first REM cycle will begin.

He was right though. I make very quick decisions which are often ill informed – a trait which i put on my tinder profile as “mysterious and exciting”. Now as you all know my mysterious exciting side was in full force in 2014 when I decided to get engaged at 21, married at 22 and drop 15k on a wedding, only to separate three years later. As hippie as this sounds; rather than get tied down in regret, I like to look at it as a learning curve – and I can guarantee you I’m a better woman for it.

So fast forward to 2018. Im 26 and more or less divorced, with a toddler and a 25k HECS debt. In other words, a bloody catch. Even so though, I gave myself a very serious talk about rushing into dating, and decided to put it on the back burner until such time as Henry wasn’t so needy and I had the time to shave both legs in one shower. But then 10 weeks ago, a cute boy slid into my DMs. He was witty, and just arrogant enough to get me interested but not annoyed – and so for the first time in my life, I went on a date with a stranger.

Let me set the scene for you. Its 36 degrees, Im hungover, and I’ve had 4 hours sleep. Good start Laura. Im sitting in front of the mirror with a fan blowing my hair around like I was starring in a Schwarzkopf add and I’m trying to slap makeup on my face, cursing my alter ego Sweaty Betty who had taken over my body. Its as good as its going to get, I jump in the car and start the 40 minute drive to cute boys house. Makeup – Check. Hair – Sweaty, but Check. Deodorant x 4 – Check. Tell someone where I’m going in case cute boy is an axe murderer – Check.

On arrival, I note that cute boy is definitely cute. His house was clean, and well decorated, and even though his bedroom looked like it belonged to a 16 year old skater. I decided I could work with it. He says he’s going to take me to lunch. Awesome, I’m starving and I’m hoping he’s not expecting me to eat a salad. We jump in his two seater ute – the trademark of a bachelor, and drive to a burger place. “Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll have salads there” he says. I looked at him half in amusement and half in alarm hoping he hadn’t read my mind because at that exact moment i was thinking about how sweaty my butt was on the leather car seat.

Lunch was nice. I ate a burger, and held in a wee because I thought I should be ladylike. We left, and cute boy kissed me on the road – “lets get the first one out of the way” he said. Would have been romantic if i wasn’t busting for the toilet. So we get back to his place, its still 393 degrees, I’m beginning to feel the tequila shots I had the night before, and he hits me with “lets go to the beach”. Oh man. I should have had the salad. Im imaging what my melting face looks like and thinking it can’t get much worse, so sure lets get the mum bod out. I throw on my bikini, and decide it will be fine I can still look glamorous I just won’t get my hair wet. You can can imagine my horror when I realised the “beach” was actually manmade baths which require jumping off a cement platform and entirely immersing oneself in the water. Awesome. I must have done it gracefully, because as I came to the surface of the freezing cold water trying to get my breath back cute boy looked at me in concern and said “umm i forgot to check – can you swim?”.

Now to my point. Ten weeks, 8938 text messages, and a million dates later cute boy is still coming back for more. He now knows better than to try and feed me salad, he’s faced the ultimate test – meeting my friends, and he lets me leave my shampoo in his shower. My best girlfriend recently asked me the question of the hour.”So, are you officially dating?”, and I realised I actually don’t know. So ladies and gents, I put it to you. What constitutes official? Is it simply not dating anyone else? Or is it the day that “this is cute boy” becomes “this is my boyfriend, cute boy?”. And more importantly, does it really matter?

Table for three?…

As a mother, dating has proven to be a whole new kind of challenge. And not the normal kind of challenges like spinach in your teeth, or peeing quietly during the night. I’m talking full on crazy stuff like “hey this dinner has been really nice, but I have to get home to read Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy and go to bed at 8:30”

Recently I went to breakfast with a guy. We made plans for 8am. In my past life this would have involved two hours getting ready to achieve a perfect “I didn’t get ready” look, a pep talk with the girls at around 7:30am, and 4 outfit changes at 07:58am. What it actually involved, was making two bowls of cereal because one was pegged at my head, washing my hair because of said cereal pegging, trying to dry my hair with a 12kg baby climbing my leg like a tree, and the only person who got a last minute outfit change was Henry because he shit himself.

Anyway, I went to breakfast in the skirt I pulled off the dirty washing pile, half wet hair, and a pep talk from yours truly. So I’m sitting there eating my breakfast thinking I probably should have ordered less so the cute boy doesn’t know I eat like a sumo wrestler and also that I probably would have thought to order less if I had the required prep time this morning, and to be honest I would have shaved my legs as well.

Now luckily the cute boy was blinded by my charm and dazzling personality, and for some time now I’ve managed the juggling act of being a mum and the perfect date all at the same time. But next comes the elephant in the room, when do the two worlds collide? And all of a sudden instead of worrying about your average run of the mill issues like “do I sleep in my makeup” and “when do I start leaving my toothbrush in his bathroom” – I’m dealing with when do I let the cute boy and the human I’ve created in the same room as each other. The worst part is they’re yet to write an article about this in Dolly magazine so it seems I’m on my own.

So ladies and gents this brings me to my conclusion. After collecting data from very reliable sources such as gossiping at work, and online quizzes I’ve realised that there are absolutely no rules. There’s no handbook that someone forgot to give me, because lord knows if there was I would have found it by now. So for now I’ve got one foot in both doors, and it’s working just fine. It means sweat pants by day and little black dress by night, and to be honest if anything I think the juggling has made me better at both. And really, is forcing your date to watch Wiggles Dance Party going to benefit anyone?

Oh. And I already left my toothbrush 😉

She’s a single mum…

A few weeks ago I was at the airport service desk having some issues with checking in my bags, and the attendant had to call her manager for assistance. I wasn’t really paying all that much attention to what she was saying on the phone, but what I did notice was that she referred to me as “a single mum” like it was going to make some kind of difference to the outcome of my bag check. I mean what kind of difference could it possibly make? Are there special prices for single mums? Different coloured bag tags? And for that matter, how did she even know I was single? I mean aside from the baby attached to my chest, the lack of wedding ring, and apparently the large sign pasted on my forehead🙄

Anyway, so Mr Manager walks over and after much deliberation solved my bag issue, but not before giving me pity eyes and a metaphorical pat on the back. It’s funny how life stages can really change the way people look at you, and in turn affect the outcome of subsequent events. I have no doubt if I arrived at the airport with a husband and a baby, or even a group of girlfriends that I would have been standing there arguing for a lot longer and probably would have left $120 poorer due to my overweight bag 💼

When I first had Henry I got “young mum” a lot, which was nice I guess only because it’s better than “old mum” – but still curious that people feel the need to distinguish between them. The difference between “young mum” and “single mum” though, is that for some reason the latter carries the connotation that I’m struggling through life, dragging my baby into Centrelink to pick up my welfare check at 9am on a Thursday so I can buy ciggies and a new dressing gown. So I would just like to clear a few things up – Firstly, Centrelink opens at 8.30am on a Thursday. Secondly, I’m doing just fine. I’ve got an amazing family network, who love my son more than they love me and I’ve got fabulous friends who drag me out and force tequila shots down my throat when I need it.

Now don’t get me wrong, being divorced with a toddler at 26 certainly wasn’t in my life plan, and it’s really gotten in the way of my career as a Victoria’s Secret Model. But what I’ve learned is not to get caught up in what might happen next week, because let’s be honest ladies – sometimes getting through the day without murdering your child or taking up heroin is an achievement in itself. I have challenges I never planned for, like opening a first date with “hey I’m divorced and I’ve got a 2 year old, what’s your favourite movie” – and that has definitely been a road block but I find if you look super cute while you say it, it’s not so bad.

In conclusion, I love my kid more than life itself, I would take a bullet for him – and being a Mum is a big part of my life, but it doesn’t define the person I am. And honestly, my biggest worry right now is organising dinner time around Married at First Sight – so don’t feel sorry for me.

Kids on a Plane – Part One

Kids on a plane. Kind of like snakes on a plane, but worse. Flying with kids is kind of like childbirth; painful, messy, loud, and once it’s over you forget how bad it was and one day you’ll make the stupid decision to do it again.

So let me set the scene for you. I’ve got the whole day planned out: the flight is at 10am – will have to wake Henry, organise his clothes, then probably wake him again. That’s half an hour down. I’ll need fifteen minutes to wrestle his dummy out of his mouth, and probably another five to treat any battle wounds. He will need breakfast, so that’s half hour to clean the floor, walls and ceiling and maybe the inside of the cupboards and at least 20 minutes to restrain him and change his clothes twice. So I’ve worked out if I get up at 1am we should be out the door by 7. We decided to get the train in, because “oh my god Henry will LOVE it, he will be sooo cute on a train!”. Unfortunately, the passengers of the train we interviewed after the incident wholeheartedly disagreed. We finally made it to the domestic terminal, carrying enough luggage to circumference the US border twice, and almost left Henry on the train (on purpose). Now this may sound like an embellishment of the story designed for your entertainment, but I shit you not – the lifts were broken. “Out of order, apologies for any inconvenience”. Inconvenience is the understatement of the year CityRail – I had to strap my toddler to a suitcase and carry him up 1937 stairs. Just kidding, I gave him to the least serial killer looking stranger I could find at the bottom of the escalator and asked him to carry him up for me while Aunty Mel and I carted up the pram, cot, car seat, and 87 bags.

So far so good. Waited in line for half an hour – I’m chasing Henry up and down the barriers and asking him in my loud nice mummy voice to stay still while secretly pinching him in the back. We are sweaty, our hands are blistered, I’m pretty sure I’ve pulled a hammy but we’ve made it through security to the gate. Collapse onto a chair, and I’m thinking I might hit up the shops for a well deserved latte and by this point I was thinking I might take up smoking as well, and then Henry looks up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and says “Poo Mummy”.

To be continued…