Forgive me - I've had a week of #MumFailsthat I would like to confess to.
My first is demonstrated in this picture of my little treasure Phoenix half way up our stairs. He is 9 and a half months old. He can sit on his own, crawl around like a little puppy, pull himself up to stand, stand for a while without holding on. He can't quite walk yet and until this moment I didn't know he could climb on his own!
#MumFail number one was; being on my phone! Something we mums should probably get points on our mum licence for, but when you're running a business and home alone with your (as Jason Manford brilliantly puts it) small, suicidal, psychopaths, it's pretty hard to completely abstain from reacting to the phone beeping at you. After all, it might be Hollywood calling or that big deal you've been waiting for, so you can pack up and move to warmer climates at long last.
I was putting his pram bedding back on, after washing it like a good clean mum and Phoenix was all innocently playing at my feet. Clearly he was plotting, the great escape, but it was not showing on his adorable little face. My phone beeped and I had a quick look to see if it was my agent texting to say, put the washing down and get on the next plane to Hollywood, you've made it kid. Of course it was actually his father, texting me from work to say, he'd be back at lunch. I started to text back, "Cool" and as I then went to type the kisses, it struck me that there was an eerie silence, the sort of silence you only hear when 'The Child' is up to no good. I like to call him, 'The Child' when he's being a bugger, which is probably #MumFail number 2, as (a) that's just mean of me and (b) he's only 9 months old, so surely he doesn't know when he's up to no good? Or does he?
Anyway, I stalled the typing of the kisses of romance to the bloke and I looked up to see the picture you see now on this blog! 'The Child' half way up the bloody stairs!
#MumFail number 3 then happened. I'm pleased to say I didn't shout (this could have made him panic and then fall). However, I'm not so pleased to say, instead of calmly going up the stairs and cooly removing him from the treacherous situation of, imminently falling down the stairs and landing on a wooden floor at the bottom, resulting in a trip to A & E, no doubt. I put my phone in to camera mode and sweetly called his name so he looked at me for a photo opportunity! What the fuck was I thinking? Pushy mum alert. Was I looking for the money shot of my own precious baby falling down the stairs? Luckily, my craziness then subsided and I finally calmly approached him and made him climb down. (I've been teaching him to climb off things since he could sit - see my 'BEST TIPS' page. Thank gawd I listened to my own mum about that).
I now have what I like to call, 'Holding Pens', all over the house.
In the office - It's his play car
The kitchen - his walker or his pram (with pram harness on!)
Lounge - Summer Infant Pop 'n' Play Pen
Garden - same as lounge
Utility - pram
Bathroom - walker
Hallway - Pram
Bedroom - his cot
Nursery - travel cot
That's it! I dunno what I'm gonna do when he's walking though? Of course a stair gate will have to come in to play at some point but there are so many hazards in my house, I think I may have to gaffa tape him to me!
I managed a final #MumFail that day too. Of course four fails in a day is not an horrendous number when it comes to parenting foibles but I think if I totted them up from the day he was born, I'd have more fails than I do twitter followers! The last one was pretty spectacular though.
I took him out on a 'pram walk'. It was a lovely day and he was particularly lively, so I thought I'd save myself chasing him about the house and take a trip and enjoy the great outdoors. He had his sun cream on (verified blue mum tick for me) and he had his little hat on. I was ahead of the mum game! The fail came at the end of the walk. He had taken his hat off and chucked it out of the pram for the hundredth time and I thought, "Oh what the hell, we're nearly home, his head probably needs a bit of sun so he doesn't get rickets or whatever it is they are claiming we can bestow upon our kids nowadays." So I left it off, I let his head breathe, haha if there's such a thing. Sounds like something my grandma would have approved of anyway.
This is when a lady passing us, felt it prudent to say to me, "Your baby should have his head covered in this weather." Now, of course she was only looking out for my baby, the thing I love above all else in this world. So ideally, I should have thanked her graciously, popped his little hat back on smiling and gone on my merry way.
However, I did not do that. I don't know why but there's a mum-zilla that I think lives in most of us when we become mums and it's triggered by what we see as any threat or perceived criticisms that we think people might be making of our ability to be a mum or our children. It's similar to the road rage that some of us experience when driving - so let's call it, 'mum rage' and this mother of all mum rages came over me in a flash. I'm ashamed to say I told that poor women, "Go fuck yourself you nosey, know it all witch".
Total and utter #MumFail. I should have just said, "Bless you for looking out for my baby, I'm just letting his head breath for a minute or two as we are nearly home". But oh no not me. I gave her full throttle, white van mum rage! I didn't annihilate the lady though, I just annihilated my own decorum.
I will get a grip on this unseemly trait, not so much for, 'Nosey, know it all witches' but because I don't think Phoenix needs to see his mother behave like a fishwife. To his father maybe haha but not to strangers, unless they really deserve it and that nosey old cow, did not.
Of course, not seeing your baby is climbing the stairs and then taking a picture of it was a HUGE #mumfail and I will endeavour not to make that mistake again. I treasure him above all else and I would have been devastated if he had fallen down the stairs - but he didn't and I have learned from my mistake of not getting 'holding pens' in place sooner.
I'm not saying we should wear our #mum and #dad #fails like badges but I wanted to share this with you so you know, parenting is tough. If you had to take a test in it no one would come out, top of the class. Have a little humour about your parenting skills. Sometimes I think Phoenix is actually having a wry smile at me struggling to be the best mum I can be and getting it all arse about tit. I'm sure it won't be too long before he's parenting me!