Georgia, our three year old, is the devil incarnate. I can actually feel the prim and proper mom’s judgement seething through the screen and into my soul before this is even written. To be fair, she isn’t always the devil. Truthfully, Georgia is the most polite, goofy, sweet and deeply caring little soul you’ll ever meet; however, on occasion Dr. Jekyll disappears and Mr. Hyde comes out to play.
As a parent, be honest. Albeit you love those kids deeply, there are times you envision wringing their little necks like something from a Looney Toons Cartoon. So, let’s talk about that which goes unsaid. The other side of parenting. The stuff they don’t teach you in prenatal classes for fear of first time moms and dads going into instant shock. The moments you talk about later… much later… and refer to as “Well, it’s funny now…”
I give you, Exhibit A: The Thrashing Seal. We’re sitting on the couch post-feast and Georgia’s in my lap. She’s lovingly staring at me while we sing the wheels on the bus (for the 10 millionth time today) and she pauses. “My just love you, Mummy”. Her little voice is so sweet and innocent I can’t help but feel that string in my heart tug, the rock drop in my stomach, and I desperately try to hold back the flood gates in my eyes from busting like Niagara. Half hour later she’s in the bath. A normal Monday afternoon. She’s playing with toys, getting a tad too excited, and I can see my sweet little baby fade and the Devil set in. I could almost swear her head twisted round, not unlike that of the Exorcist. “Georgia, settle down. No splashing!” I try to soothe the demon rising within. Slowly, almost robotic, she turns her head toward me. Face somber and pauses for a moment. Her eyes lock mine and she smiles. S#&t! If you’re a parent, you know that look. The one that says, “I accept your bet, and I raise you, Mummy”. I scramble to my feet as quick as I can, but it’s already too late. She’s now standing, pouring her bucket of water to the floor and screeching with delight. “Georgia! Stop that!” My attempt to be stern is all but futile. I swipe the bucket, but she could care less. She’s belly-flopped into the tub like a fat seal and thrashing all the same. Covered with soapy bubbles and water, she’s too slippery to grab and I end up joining her in the tub… Fully clothed. Bursting with laughter, she’s actually cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West as she exits the tub with stealth, Mission Impossible style. “How the hell is she so fast?” Naked, soapy, and filling the halls with water she runs free like a high-nudist-hippie on a save-the-earth protest. As she runs free through the halls, I swear I can hear The Charlie Daniel’s Band’s, The Devil came down to Georgia slowly rising in my ears. Sigh. To all the perfectionistic moms out there… tell me now, how adorable and sweet this moment is. Georgia, 1; Mummy, 0.
Exhibit B, The Poop Machine. Potty training is a b*$#@, I think any parent can attest to that; however, Georgia naturally became interested, on her own accord, at a young age. “Hey, this potty training thing might not be so bad after all” I thought to myself as she pleaded with us to buy the little green potty in the store, but let me tell you I was wrong. Dear lord, was I ever wrong. So, Georgia was just shy of a year (yes, I said one year) when she developed an interest in the potty. Truthfully, at that age I don’t think she was motivated to use the potty with the thought of being diaper-free, so much as, it was a new toy that poop and pee went in. In hindsight, I now see the actual appeal. Fast-forward to three years old and she still wears diapers at naps and nighttime, but generally goes pamper-free otherwise. Before I begin, let me answer that begging question in the back of your mind, yes. My kid bathes a lot. I realize every written story results in Georgia in the bath, but she’s three. Tell me your kid isn’t a disgusting, sticky, filth-ridden mongrel throughout the day. If they aren’t, they probably aren’t living a fulfilled childhood, in my point of view. Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, the bathtub. So, we’re twenty minutes into Georgia’s afternoon bath and she freezes, mid play, like Jeff & Jodie in Today’s Special. “Mummy, my need to poop!” I fly across the room like Superman, scoop her out of the tub, and plant her tiny little butt on the potty. We sing songs while we wait and I notice she’s getting fidgety. Quickly she grabs the shampoo and with all her might squeezes until it erupts like Mount Vesuvius. “Georgia!” I’m desperately trying to stop her, but wildfire is already burning in her eyes and she’s dancing around the sticky puddle like an Indian Chief. As my tone becomes shrill she books it out of the bathroom and leaves me to clean up her soapy mess. As I am almost finished mopping up her wet-soapy-blob, she reemerges at the bathroom threshold, taking caution not to fully enter. Annoyed, I say nothing. “Mummy…” She pauses and waits for my response. “Yes, Georgia”. Sensing the disdain in my voice, I can see she’s hesitant to continue. Panic seethes through my body. Poop. She had needed to poop. Damn it! I’d forgotten. I quickly change my tone and urge her to continue. “What is it, baby?” She stares at me a moment further, judging my sudden change of disposition before she answers. She points down the hall and says “My poop on my chair” and flees like a dog let off leash. Eff. Are you kidding me, child?? I venture down the hall, into her room, and see a large, steaming, pile of poop on her crisp white faux-fur mat seated atop her chair. Georgia, 2; Mummy, 0.
Exhibit C, The Mud Bath. Not unlike many littles of her generation, Georgia loves Peppa the Pig. If you’re unacquainted with this shrill little beast, you likely don’t have children yet. Generally speaking, her love for Peppa is irrelevant in life except for a particular wickedly wet Wednesday in April. By lunch hour, Georgia had pleaded with me dozens of times to go outside to play. Annoyed that my answers had repeatedly fallen on deaf ears, I swiftly picked her up and carried her to the window. “See” I say with direction. “It’s raining outside. We can’t play outside if it’s raining”. She lets out a large exasperation of air and rolls her eyes. “Mummy, Peppa plays outside in the rain and jumps in muddy puddles. My can too!” Wow. Three years old and she’s already sassing me. God help me at sixteen! That ridiculous little swine has me beat. She’s right. It isn’t pouring, just spitting and Nanny and Pops had conveniently bought her a full rain gear outfit… Let me pause here a moment and say, in hindsight, this is where Wednesday went terribly wrong. As a parent, do not, under any circumstance, encourage rain play. There is no way in which it will end well. Moving on… Having been outside for some time now, she was actually playing quite well. Small jumps in muddy puddles, hunting for worms, and catching rain drops on her tongue. “This was an excellent idea” I was beginning to think, but not unlike most days, Georgia was prized to prove me wrong. Do you remember Slip and Slides when you were a kid? Good. That visual will be helpful here. Meandering along, staring at the ground, and hunting for worms Georgia hit a wet patch and ate it, face first. Wicked. Picking up speed to check her condition, I can hear laughter rising as she rolls to her back. Before I can reach her, she’s on her feet and running. Down the hill she goes, like a frog leaping into water. At one point her brightly coloured pink jacket was glistening in the rain, but no more. By this point, she was an accurate representation of a dinosaur-sized poop. As I finally catch up with her, that same evil fire danced in her eyes. I began to strip her down to her boots, but as I bend to remove her last article of clothing she runs free like a wild horse, naked, muddy, and dancing. Eff you, Peppa. Eff you and your stupid muddy puddles. By the time I wrangle her, hog tie her, and get her to the door Georgia, Mummy, and Bex (a.k.a. the dog) are heavily slathered in mud. Yet again, another trip to the bath. Georgia, 3; Mummy, 0.
At some point, after she’s had her, “My just love you, Mummy” moment and falls asleep peacefully, I’ll tell you stories of how sweet, innocent, and caring Georgia can be; but, for today’s purposes, I think I’ve made my point. I remember sitting in our prenatal classes. Charlie, my husband, gleaming with hope and pride is holding my hand. The two of us so excited for this sweet little baby to enter the world. The instructor is talking about how incredible and life-changing having a baby is. Little did I know, the the woman was a two-faced fanciful dreamer. Sure, she didn’t technically lie… having a baby is life-changing. And, at times it is incredible. But, sometimes it’s just incredibly exhausting. That’s what they neglect to tell you. Albeit, I’m quite sure there’s no point in terrifying all the new and hopeful couples before the little devil arrives. But, all I know to be true is that I am more acquainted with the song The Devil came down to Georgia now than I ever intended to be and Georgia’s score card has now risen to insurmountable digits. I look forward to the day where we can sit back, glass of wine in hand, and say “It’s funny now…” Plotting and planning which epic photos of our sweet little devil child will grace the highlight reel on her wedding day. Until then Georgia, keep up the good work. Mummy and Daddy came from the digital generation, we’ll make sure to record every beautiful loving moment, so that one day, these special moments can be relived by you too… and your new husband.