A less proud mummy moment occurred this week. I am afraid to say I let my daughter eat a leaflet.
Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Usually when I am studying and completely engrossed in what I am doing and the baby goes quiet, those mummy alarm bells start to ring. The thought that she may be climbing the stairs or the bookcase, pulling pages from much-loved novels or running sticky snot-filled hands through the rug/cushions/curtains, is usually enough to draw me from my preoccupied state and bring me back to reality.
Precious study time
But on this particular Wednesday morning she seemed to be happily playing with a box of wooden bricks at the other end of the room. So I snatched those precious moments to sneak into office corner and log in to the course I am currently studying. The Digital Mums course is great but it tends to do one of two things…
- Draw me into whatever the topic is I am meant to be learning about (GREAT)
- Send me off on a tangent which leads me to procrastinating and finding 3,781 “Really Interesting Things I Absolutely Have To Read Right Now” (not so great)
On this rather chilly mid-week morn it was, I am ashamed to say, the latter that had grabbed my attention and rather than working on the first draft of my campaign, I opted to check my emails which lead me down a Twitter-led-social-media-scheduling-rabbit-hole. The rhythmic background sound of wooden bricks hitting the floor, the cupboard doors and the walls subsided (at some point) and I was aware that Mini Cooper 3 had shuffled her way up the room.
A few moments later the silence was palpable and I turned to see what the banana-fuelled scamp was up to. She had a leaflet in her hand. It was made of firm paper and she was enjoying rolling it up into a tube and unrolling it again. Satisfied that was an acceptable pass time for the 14-month-old I turned back to the laptop with the intention of filling whatever few minutes I may have left before she demanded my attention. The vortex of social media sucked me straight back in and I was lost.
When I turned again a few minutes later I was aware the leaflet had gone from hand to mouth and that there was a certain amount of testing out the feel of the smooth printed card against her face and lips. Once again, I was too excited by the thought I may be allowed a few more seconds to indulge myself and did not make eye contact/any noise to suggest there was anything wrong with her actions or (and this is the guilt moment) any moves to remove the leaflet.
Still I continued with my task. Still I allowed myself to think this was a good situation. Baby happily occupied on the floor. Me ensconced in office corner, researching what I should be studying (but not actually studying what I should be studying). Everyone’s a winner right? It was only when the sucking noise became just too irritating that I looked again. That’s when I saw it. The remnants of the leaflet. The chunks of chewed card and gummed paper. The toothy, wide-eyed smile of a child who believes she has earned herself an extra snack and has made a mess at the same time and who is excited by all of that at once.
Baby Number 3
Now in times gone by my reaction to this would have been very different. My thought processes would probably have gone something like this…
Mini Cooper 1 – Is he breathing? How much has he swallowed? What was in that ink? Is it stuck in his mouth? Do I need to take him to the doctor, no, the hospital?
Mini Cooper 2 – Is he breathing? How much has he swallowed?
My reaction on seeing Mini Cooper 3’s light lunch was merely; is she breathing? Oh that’ll be a nice nappy.
So yes, I let her eat a leaflet. It’s not something I am proud of. Now, you would be well within your rights at this point to ask why I am writing about this on the internet for everyone to see if it is something I am not too proud about. The point is, this is reality. This is real. Studying (or doing anything) and juggling children (I don’t recommend actually throwing them in the air) is rewarding but boy, is it hard.