Sometimes I time everything wrong.
Tonight I let my boy eat the chocolate someone at nursery gave him at 6pm, we pissed about in the garden til gone 7, I let him watch TV until almost 8 in the secret hope that he would fall asleep on the sofa and the evening would be mine. He did not fall asleep on the sofa.
Instead, he is a ball of angry toddler at the bottom of the stairs. He’s refusing to come up to the lovely bubbly bath I’ve run for him.
It’s got your favourite toys. I say. Let’s have a nice bath time. We can play dinosaurs.
My tone is getting pinched and I’m counting to 10 in my head. It’s not working.
With threats and coaxing I get him up the stairs. He is beside himself. He wants his daddy. He doesn’t want a bath. He wants me to put his pyjamas on without going to get them, which would mean ‘leaving him’. He is all exhaustion and melodrama.
I am hungry.
By the time we make it to his room he is curled up in a ball. Tonight he’s not playing any games. When I try to manoeuvre him from a crooked position on a rocking stool to the bed he screams like I’m about to administer some form of medieval torture.
I just can’t.
I wrestle his pull-up on and let him go back to his crumpled position on the chair. It’s a foot from his perfectly good bed. But I just can’t.
I tell him I going downstairs and will check on him soon, because I can feel that other me rising up. The one who snaps and yells at a tired three year old. The one I only show to the littlest, best person in my world.
And it’s there he falls asleep. In the chair. No bath, no stories, no songs. Not even the chocolate brushed off his teeth. I put him into his bed and lather cream on a few spots I’m supposed to have washed in the-bath-that-was-not. And I feel glad that at least I got him into his pull-up.
Tonight, this was the best I could do. Sometimes our best is just a bit shit…