It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Well, that’s refreshing

New Baby arrives in her mummy’s arms. She looks a little out of sorts. So does baby. Both their normally cheerful faces are out of kilter. Baby looks solemn-bordering-on-grumpy, and mother has tension lines around blue-shadowed eyes. Not a good morning, I’m guessing.

“Not a good morning,” Mum informs me.

She thrusts baby at me. This is not standard. Usually mum holds baby for a minute or two while we chat, and hands baby over only as she is leaving. (This as per my instructions. Far less misery all round that way.) I’m thinking mum has reached her tipping point, poor thing.

New Baby, beginning from a baseline of grumpy, and now startled to be in my arms so abruptly, bursts into howls of outrage.

“She’s had a rough, rough morning,” Mummy informs me over the ruckus. “I’ve never seen her so bad, ever! She woke up at five, and it’s been cling, cling, cling ever since. She wouldn’t let us put her down for a second.”

We ascertain there’s no apparent health issue. No fever, no snottiness, bowels normal, no rashes.

It’s probably teeth, mum suggests, and I agree.

In truth, I don’t have any strong feeling re: the teething. But at this age? It’s always “probably teeth”. If you can’t figure out what the heck else to blame it on, teeth are a pretty fair bet, since they spend much of the first two and a half years of their lives teething.

So if mum needs a reason, we can blame it on teeth. Why not? Could very well be. (Or not.)

Mum leans in to her red-faced daughter. “Have a good day, hon,” and plants a kiss on the sweaty head. She looks up at me. “To tell the truth, I’m kind of happy to be leaving her right now.” Her glance falls to her still-roaring daughter. She kisses the now-snotty nose. “Cheer up today, missie, or I might just not come back!”

I burst out laughing. “Nothing like a mother’s unconditional love!”

Mum laughs with me, and the lines of tension around her eyes ease. She heads off to her nice, quiet office. I’m pretty sure I detect a visible bounce in her step.

I like the frank parents. Parents who can admit when their child is being a pill, parents who can admit when they’ve had about enough of it, parents who can admit that they don’t always enjoy this whole parenting gig, even when the child’s not being objectionable.

Parents who don’t expect perfection of themselves don’t expect perfection of me. Parents like that can laugh at the child’s foibles, don’t get tied up in knots if another child hits a milestone first, or if their child goes home with a bump, a bruise, or (heaven forbid, but it does happen) a bite. They don’t get all angsty or competitive. Parents like that are just… easier.

I like New Baby’s mummy!

May 16, 2011 Posted by | daycare, parents | 11 Comments