The news from America over the last week has not been great, and I’ve found it quite hard not to share the Donald Trump GIFs/videos/twitter posts doing the rounds. I try not to because while the most powerful man in the world is hell bent on destroying everything that is sensible, tolerant and kind, bitching about it on Facebook feels a bit pissing-in-the-wind-ish. So far I’ve shared nothing, except for this post, which was so brilliant my right hand completely ignored my brain and clicked on the share button anyway.
This morning did not begin well. Actually it didn’t begin well six times. Thanks to the physical effects that come with late pregnancy, from 11.45 pm through to 6.23am I got up six times. Andrew had got up around half five to do the baking that he does every week with the students, so by the time the boys were ready to get up, I was the only grown up.
After Raff had his bottle I realised his nappy had leaked all over his sleeping bag and pyjamas. Raff hates getting out of his sleeping bag as much as he hates having his nappy changed and putting on new clothes. I don’t know how he’s amassed such reservoirs of fury over his two short years on this earth, but he has. And they’re impressive. Anyway, about three minutes into his new nappy he did a poo, so we had to go through the entire battle again.
Things calmed down, we ate our breakfast and as the boys were playing angelically with Lego Andrew popped home and I smugly told him we were coping fine without him. Then the bastard left. And I realised I hadn’t done the dishes. The only way to keep Raffy happy while I was doing them was to let him wear the clean bowls from the dishwasher as hats. Which was a great idea, until one of the hats fell off and smashed on the floor at the exact moment Raffy’s toast popped.
This was high stakes drama. Unless I got the butter onto the toast immediately it would go crunchy and he wouldn’t eat it, which, considering Raffy hardly eats anything these days, was a far greater danger than leaving Raff barefoot in a pile of broken china.
The dog I managed not to swear at when she got under my feet, the washing machine was not so lucky when I realised that in my rush I’d put the wrong programme on. Then Raff copied the Bad Word. Then I realised that the kitchen clock had been telling lies and we had three minutes less than I thought. It is hard for me to put into words my rage at being tricked like this.
As we got into the hallway Bear demanded I turn his coat sleeve the right way round at the exact second that Raff’s trousers caught in the buggy harness as he was trying to escape. But somehow, we all got out the house…
Then had to go back, because we’d forgotten the packed lunch. And then the school bag. And then Raff wanted a banana and so I had to take off his gloves. We staggered, ten minutes late, up the track to school. A running commentary racing through my head about how no, nobody would actually die if we were a bit late for school, but actually, this was a total fucking disaster of a morning.
And I’d forgotten my gloves.
And why, when other pregnant women just seem to float from one place to the next could I only manage a fury-waddle.
Bear asked if he could push the buggy and fine, yes, he could but not like that.
And as I was showing him how to push the buggy properly he paused.
‘This is lovely,’ he said.
And I snapped ‘What? What is lovely?’ inwardly shrieking that nothing is lovely about this morning, nothing, nothing, nothing.
‘We’re just all here together,’ he said.
And with that flying kick to my throat he resumed his wonky buggy pushing and we made our way to school.
My point is this. That while the so called grown-ups are getting carried away with everything that is wrong, our kids do a brilliant job of focusing on the things that are right.
OK, they’re not sorting out Donald Trump or abortion rights or the refugee crisis…but then, neither are most of us. And it seems a bit stupid to go around wilfully ignoring all the tiny happy things, as we focus instead on the huge crises that make us sad.
So as of now I’m not sweating the big stuff. I will be calm and grateful and pay attention to the little things. I will stop being a gigantic stroppy drama queen. I will copy my wise little boys and take snatches of happiness where I can.
And I will truly mean this.
Until 7am tomorrow.