The Best Laid Plans...

P1176347 - Version 2
I’m not sure what the end of that saying is. If I were writing it, it would be “The best laid plans…will be thwarted by your toddler”. I make plans every day - all of them doomed. I plan to get Little A up, dressed and out within an hour. Then, invariably, one of the following (or several of the following in any combination) will happen:
  • Banana mushed into hair;
  • Bowl of half eaten Weetabix turned upside down on head;
  • Refusal to wear socks;
  • Removal of nappy while mother looking for trousers;
  • Peeing on socks once nappy removed;
  • Throwing toothbrush of mother into toilet;
  • Picking toothbrush out of toilet and trying to brush teeth with it;
  • Throwing self on floor and going totally limp when mother trying to leave house;
  • Adopting plank position and going totally rigid when mother trying to put in pram;
  • Screaming as if skin were on fire because banana is being washed out of hair;
  • Screaming for new banana.

Other ridiculous plans I make include:
  • Finishing a book that is not either Dear Zoo, Noisy Pirates or Where’s Spot;
  • Getting through a day without having my glasses knocked off my face by an angry swipe;
  • Going out for dinner without secretly wishing I was already in bed asleep;
  • Blow-drying my hair (I think the last time I properly blow-dried my hair was June 2012);
  • Doing fun, crafty activities with Little A that do not end up with Little A’s mouth turning green and/or blue handprints on the sofa.

What I need are fewer plans and an ability to be fully functional on four hours sleep. I read on some website that, when you become a parent, “Happy Hour” is the hour between when your child goes to bed and when you do. I’d say right now, it’s more like a Happy Quarter Hour. There have been times of late when I actually go to bed earlier than Little A.

Luckily for me, at some stage I managed to convince Mr Oh that putting Little A to bed is a daddy duty. As a result, I’m usually done parenting at 8pm (and ready for bed) and Mr Oh is in full command of the ship. Now Little A has generally been a good sleeper. A bath, a massage, a bit of dancing (he likes Daft Punk), a book, a bottle and he’s out like a light until morning. It was for this reason that Mr Oh felt fairly secure making an arrangement to meet friends in the pub at 10pm last Saturday night to watch the rugby. Oh, the plans…they’ll be our downfall. The toddlers, you see, they sense the plans. And they do not like them.

That night, Little A did not go to bed in time for Mr Oh to watch the rugby. He refused and, really, what can you do with a child who refuses to sleep? They can’t be forced to sleep, they can’t be reasoned with and, sadly, they can’t be drugged. There’s nothing for it but to wait until they themselves decide they’ve spun it out long enough to thwart your beloved plans. In this case, that was around 2am (nowhere to go at 2am).

You may ask what I was doing while Mr Oh’s one night off a quarter went drifting off into the abyss. The truth is that I was asleep and not particularly inclined to be awake. Would I not take over for a few hours and let the poor man go out and enjoy himself? Well, I would have except for three things:
1. Just the previous night I myself had been on Little A duty as Mr Oh had a “work dinner” (the “quotes” do not in any way imply that his “work dinner” was anything other than above board - it’s just that all-you-can-eat sushi isn’t what I’d describe as a tough assignment). I, too, foolishly had plans for that particular night - I planned to sleep. As midnight approached, I was lying in my bed while Little A sat by my head, pulling my ear and singing ‘La-la eh-oh’ repeatedly for the best part of an hour while using my forehead as a drum.
2. I was coming down with a head cold which was kindly given to me by Little A some days earlier when he decided to put his banana (that he had been chewing) into my mouth by way of showing me that he was finally grasping the concept of sharing.
3. I was feeling nauseous on account of the second baby which is proving that it is perfectly capable of thwarting plans despite the fact that it is unborn and about the size of a lemon.

I think that it’s safe to say we are doomed to be thwarted for the next five to ten years at least.
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