Keeping Mum

Dita De Boni looks at the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

Squirly Mummy

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Placing my daughter on her change mat on the bed, I turned around to find her a t-shirt, only to hear an almighty THWACK.

Already screaming (me, that is, she was taking a breath before belting out hers) I found my lovely little eight-month-old flipped onto her back on the floor. She had fallen off the end of our highest double bed, knocked herself on the forehead and cheek bone, and rolled over with gusto.

So many times I have read it in books, and so many times I have secretly thought: what kind of idiot puts a mobile child on the edge of a double bed?

As it happens, I am one of those idiots. My daughter is about to start crawling, but she hasn't quite yet, and so I've been lulled into a false sense of security about quite what she's capable of.

But I should have realised that a child that can fling its weight forward can easily overshoot a bed and go flying.

Luckily my daughter only has a small bruise under her cheek for her troubles. While I still wake up at night in a cold sweat about the incident (and STILL wake up at night in a cold sweat about tipping my son out of a shopping trolley onto a footpath over a year ago) they both seem to have forgotten these triflings and still display none of the common sense one might expect to gain from having suffered these quite shocking falls.

My day of horror wasn't over yet though. After consoling my daughter for about 20 minutes (and my toddler consoling me for my distress! which was quite sweet) we trundled up to the shops where I faced the ghastly task of getting my son's hair cut.

As readers of this blog may remember, the last time a cast of (close and loving) thousands tried to trim his locks he reacted like we were pulling his fingernails out. Taking the advice of one of the readers of that blog, I decided to take him to the community barber.

Poor community barber. I can't say we presented a very pleasant picture, right from the outset.

After my daughter's head-thwacking I was already sweating, wondering if she needed a CAT scan. I thought a walk might do us all good, but couldn't find any clean clothes to walk to the shops with so was forced to wear my winter outfit, with predictably disastrous results.

Sweating as if I was wearing a nylon body stocking, my exertions were further amplified by the fact that I was rolling my two stocky children up a steep incline on a double buggy with a flat tire.

Daughter was grumping. Toddler had an inkling of what was ahead and was already grizzling on approach. Barber's face fell at this dishevelled, bruised trio, two of whom were chewing - inexplicably - on toothbrushes (the children!). Toddler, on seeing the barber's chair, began howling.

Let me "cut" to the chase. The barber had to cut my son's hair while I held him standing and squirming on the barber's chair, while holding a crying baby chewing a toothbrush in my other arm.

Sweat was pouring off me. My son's nose was running copiously as a result of all the crying, his face a veritable riverbed of tears and nose run-off as the electric clippers were produced...

Some 10 minutes later and the torture was over, the kids, still whimpering and still chewing toothbrushes, were back in their trolley, mum had paid the $10 dollars and we were off. To the park to swing. To the cafe to fill ourselves with sugar. Back home, to collapse in exhaustion.

As we were leaving a little voice could be heard from underneath a newly-shaved head of hair.

"Mum. Haircut. Do it again!"

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