Monday, 4 July 2016

Up the hill and into the wind.

As a mother there is probably nothing worse than the fear that you are outright shit at it. I know that fear well. I'm pretty consistently envious of those people who seem to have a special 'mommy' gift - those who instinctively know how to fix everything with a stick of gum, three peppercorns and a paperclip, like MacGyver with mammaries. The ones who make their own paint and teach their kids origami by age 2. The ones whose kids know how to paint the kitchen by 4 and the fecking Sistine Chapel by 6. The theatre-goers, the kite flyers, the lesson driving and duck feeding and paper boat making kind of moms. Not me, I'm pretty sure I'm utter cack at the mom thing. Like I've fallen from the Titanic and just about doggy paddling. But I seem to have on a wet suit so at least I won't freeze. And hell yes, I've got a child to 4.5 without great trauma but...

Then we started potty training.

You can almost hear the game show wah wah wah wahhhhhhhhh sound they save for the big loser. Then again, who's the loser - me or my living room floor? Now endlessly damp and trodden on from me racing to and fro, pottty chair aloft, trying not to spill, racing down the hall to dump it out and back in time with hopes he really WAS finished when he stood up and not just overeager to hit the 436th rendition of the dance routine from the Chessington Penguins of Madagascar Cheesy Dibbles show, all with his bits wafting in the breeze like the day he was born. If I hear 'keep your eyes on the prize' once more I may have to pack out my ears with what's left of the toilet wipes. Then too, if I ever see another toilet wipe again I'll be glad...largely because I keep flinging them to the side like the tape during a Christmas wrapping sesh and can never find the damn things when I need them. And why in the HELL can I not pull one out at a time? It's always a clump of four. And then I tear the packet so it doesn't close properly leaving the next blob of four slightly dried out and useless. I swear someone's hidden a camera somewhere and we're headed for next week's You've Been Framed.

This is entirely for the birds. And there really IS not enough wine.

And there we have young son, that fantastic champion of inclusion and all things equal, who is so utterly typical in this situation it makes me want to cry. And he actually DID make me cry yesterday. But only after he showed he knew he needed a wee, then proceeded to set up the potty, position himself...and piss on my rug. Wa-hey, the glamour is endless! The excitement unstoppable!

The stains, semi-permanent.

But come on now! For the love of all that is good and holy, I've run a bloody marathon! I've done some amazing charitable fundraising. I've been a proud voice for Down's syndrome awareness and disability rights, and equality and progress, yet here I am stagnating on wee. Ah this life, this life this glorious life. This typical life.

Life 1, mommy 0. Life wins. Always, life wins.

I'm knackered just thinking about it. I'm knackered because I've been battling that 'I am utter crap' fear for what feels like forever - that fear which camps out in your head, builds a giant fire pit and starts burning all your achievements, then smears ash about your face and prances around like Keith Lemon taking the piss out of Fearne Cotton. But I stop and look at it and realize I'm not crap. Crap is crap. And everything I am experiencing here is shared, and normal, and typical and every mom from every corner of the world has done this thing...when their kids do their thing.

Aside from feeling like I'm a candystriper who's drawn the short straw and with it, bedpan duty, it's all part of the journey as an old friend once said. The road is truly long and we all share it. Sometimes it's streaming with wee and we can do little but clear up the mess but there we all go forth and by God, we live. We all live the same.

The other day I was out for a run, chugging up a particularly challenging slow incline. I set my tempo and pushed forward, all while pondering this behemoth potty training challenge, and before it the diagnosis challenge, and the family challenge, and my long-ago bullying challenge and all those life challenges that had brought me to that very hill, in that very place on that very day. Those rolling hills, those peaks and troughs, just like life. All of life. I realized that in any life worth living we are always headed up the hill and into the wind. And never will we see what's on the other side unless we dare to make the climb.

Progress. Baby steps. Climb baby climb. But first pass me another packet of wipes, will you?

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