Sunday, 18 March 2012

Motherly love and food fights at Château Deng

Today is Mother’s Day, my very first one as a full-on honest-to-goodness mama. All week leading up to this momentous occasion, I had rose-tinted visions of being told to ‘stay in bed and relax’, a lovingly made breakfast (ferried up to my bed of relaxation on a silver platter), and a smiley, immaculately-behaved little boy. A little boy who isn’t quite a year old yet, but would somehow have grasped the magic and the sentiment behind the day, and presented me with a thoughtfully chosen bunch of slightly wilted daisies picked from between the paving slabs by the front door. I had dreams, people, dreams. I tripped off to bed last night with the warm glow of anticipation in my stomach (though in hindsight, that was more likely to be the bottle of red I’d quaffed earlier). G’night, monkles my baby. G’night, fiancé – it’s your turn to get up early. Mama’s gonna SLEEP.

But OH NO, that’s just not how my son rolls.

5:30AM. A rustling noise issues forth from The Monk’s bedroom, along with his usual tuneful morning greeting, today enhanced with atmospheric coughing and spluttering. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH. Hack, sniffle.”

5:32AM. The bars of the cot are being rattled by what sounds like a yeti. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH. Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba. Ah-CHOO.”

5:40AM. By this point, I’ve given up hope of The Monk (sometimes he’s called Gabriel, but not all that often) ever realising he’s actually quite tired and should in fact be slumbering peacefully, fingers corked in gob as usual. Of course, one of us is still asleep *casts hateful glare at snoozing man-shape on the other side of the bed*

The Monk’s sleeping patterns have gone to absolute shit at the moment, thanks to the stinking cold he got from some other snot-nosed imp at his toddler playgroup. He goes once a week, spends the whole two hours trying to escape through the village hall’s kitchen, and spends the rest of the week fighting off bubonic plague or whatever new and exciting tropical disease kids are into nowadays.

To add insult to increasingly knackered injury, he’s also going through a phase described by one parenting website as ‘discovering his autonomy’. I describe it as ‘being an awkward little shit’. He’s developed an intense distaste of his plastic baby spoons and bowls, like they’re not good enough for his rosy pink ass now; if I have the temerity to proffer a (plastic) spoonful of something otherwise delicious from the hated yellow bowl, I get THIS face: 

"Foie gras-stuffed three-bird roast with gratin dauphinoise? Off a plastic spoon? Bitch, please."
When confronted with the Spoon of Doom, Gabriel's first instinct is to wrench it out of my hand and fling it across the room, but! Mama's got the speed of a cheetah, the reflexes of a prize fighter, and the sheer bloody-mindedness of a woman who gets TOO. LITTLE. SLEEP: the Hand of Righteousness is clamped around the back of his head, the spoon is shuttled into his mouth (and quite possibly halfway down his throat, sometimes), past the Teeth of Peril, and the dollop of culinary goodness is home free. There's a bit of gagging and sobbing involved, but I get myself together soon enough, and all in all it works very well. 

I'm just thankful he can't talk yet, as I'm having night terrors about the boy morphing overnight into a Stewie from 'Family Guy'-style fiend. I'm quite happy with The Monk's one-word vocabulary (the word is 'deng'. I don't know either). On that front, all is good. Or deng. Just about everything in our house is deng, from teddy bears to staircases, plants, and toilets, up to and including door locks and postmen. Maybe next week's toddler group disease du jour will be dengue fever, ba-dum TISSSSH!

Happy Mother's Deng, everyone.


  1. I like it very much! Well done :) xxx

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