It was snowing this morning as I herded cats (not literally – just my 3 squirmers) into the car. Big deal. It’s snowing all over the country. Ah, but I live on the coast, it normally never snows here. And it was Baby Trout’s very first sight of snow <fanfare>
I have gigabytes of photos and videos of her elder sisters’ first reactions to snow. I have none showing my baby’s little face lit up in wonder / screwed up in confusion at the white stuff. I have failed as a doting mother. I couldn’t even describe to you her countenance upon meeting snow – it was, alas, one of Those Mornings…
I’d finally been referred to the physio about my ballooning shelf stomach (not from cake or beer. But on the plus side it props my saggy boobies up), but meeting the appointment meant dropping Minxes 1 & 2 off 30 mins early at nursery. They knew I was stressed and in a rush, so (shocker) were good about not spilling breakfast over each other (just the floor – fine, I can sort that out tonight, though any burglars would have been horrified at my slovenliness), letting me put hair up in bunches / lashed down in a plait as appropriate. They even got dressed in the clothes I chose for them with only a token show of defiance (“Why can’t I wear my wellies with my ballet skirt, Mummy? Why? Why?!”) The morning routine was going too smoothly, so Minx-in-training asserted her presence and pooed long and hard just as I wedged her in her car seat. I thought about just leaving it (well, that’s what nappies are for!) but the memories of her horrific nappy rash as a newborn still haunt me. That, and the realisation that I’d not get a chance to change her for 2 hrs meant that I had to un-layer her from all the outdoor kit, take off my muddy shoes, threaten her sisters with toy confiscation or worse if they moved from the spot, and raced up the stairs to win the 100m Nappy Dash Hurdles.
Just as I uncaked the nappy and released the pong, I heard the ominous sound of the front door opening. With a roar that would frighten your average gang of tough hoodies, I leapt downstairs, gingerly holding the semi-clad, still gungy, baby in front of me. I yanked the 2 wannabe escapees in with one hand, waggled a cross finger with the other hand, locked the door then ran back upstairs to de-gunge the now mildly-surprised looking baby (she’s very chilled-out…).
5 mins late now. Try again. Outdoor clothes onto protesting baby, shoe-horn into car seat. Cram wellies onto one minx. Replait hair of other minx. Cram wellies onto first minx again. Zip jacket up of second minx. Threaten to sellotape wellies of first minx to her knees if they’re removed again. Open front door, step out into blast of snow and wind. Wet foot. Shoe failure. (Shoe forgotten) Slam door shut. Curse at snow trail. Put on shoes. Curse at trail of mud. Open door. Drag out 2 minxes. Lose hold of both as they make for the snow in a practised “break, break” Red Arrows manoeuvre. Open car door with teeth and dead-arm both inside. Slam door while they rattle about inside the car, finding sunglasses, pulling on hats, pulling out plaits, discarding jackets. Run back for car-seated, wailing baby. Heave into car. Run back for armful of bags (nappy change bag, bag of things to post, bag of things to return to shop because I was over-charged, bag of change kit for Minx 2, bag of packed lunches, bag of bags (shopping day – Save Our Planet)). Strap 2 minxes into seats. Negotiate nursery rhymes CD or silence (nursery rhymes – I can screech to it louder than the volume control goes, saving me the misery). Run back to house to double-check door (Still unlocked. Damn). Start car. Skid off drive. 10 mins late. Realise it’s going to be a long journey…
Even at the nursery, things go into go-slow. My fingers are too cold to strap the baby into the sling, and she’s hyperventilating at the cold windy gusts. One sister runs to the door, the other waddles. ? Looks like they’ve moved the little kids to the big kids’ room, so drag everyone to the *other* side of the building. Nope, they’re just hiding. Settle one minx in her classroom. Discover Duck minx has wet herself. Waddle back to first room and haul out a change of clothes. Consider crying at the lateness but get distracted, so don’t. One nursery teacher smiles benignly at my fast-approaching-vortex levels of stress; the other offers to change Wet Duck for me (I love you – thank you!).
At the physios, it takes me a further 9 mins to find the stupid place, running back and forth in the pelting snow with my little but very unstable car-seat-on-a-pram-chassis, baby minx’s eyes not leaving my face for a second (Oh right. *That* portacabin with the sign in letters 6 feet high. Didn’t see it. Oops). But on the bright side, the physio thinks she can help not only my rubbish stomach and subsequent perma-backache, but she wants me to join in with the group fitness thing going on in the New Year. “Take the baby with you, it’s fine”. Wow! I am now overwhelmed.
So. I know it’s a rubbish excuse for missing my infant’s reaction to snow. It’s further evidence to my current theory that time spent on myself is time soon sabotaged. My back will be painful, stiff and useless for a while longer, whether I’d made it to the physio on time or not, but the baby will never see snow for the first time ever again. I’m sure I will feel guilt over even more substantial things in the future, but tonight it stings a bit. Sorry, R. I’ll take a video tomorrow and pretend it was the first time. No one will ever remember or know that you weren’t a real Snow Virgin in years to come. Honest