barcelona · dad · ex-pat · fatherhood · motherhood · mums · parenting · summer holidays

A girl’s best friend…

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“Oooo, think I spot a muddy puddle”

Ah, my new bestie. We meet regularly, sometimes multiple times in one day, takes all the crap I give, helps me get out of a mess and often helps drown out the noise of my simultaneously screaming munchkins. I am, of course, referring to the king of all white goods – the washing machine. Undoubtedly, a far less luxurious item than diamonds, but I’d put money on the fact that any mother would take the metallic square box over a sparkly stone any day. The reason being is that from the moment your little cherubs enter your lives so too does an endless stream of food/poop/puke/mud and any other sticky substance they can get their hands on. This results in a new found love for any appliance that helps you restore the superficial aesthetics of your family.

So strong is my love for bestie, that last week when he/she (sex yet to be determined, but let’s be honest anything that efficient has to be female, right?) decided to go on strike I thought my world was coming to an end. Luckily hubbie came to the rescue and earned himself God-like status in our household when he got bestie back into action.

To help you better understand my growing dependency on an inanimate object  let us take today as an example of one of those days where me & bestie get to spend more quality time together than me and hubbie. We begin as most days do with a standard laundry load. 59 minutes later we’re done & I’m optimistically bidding farewell to bestie for what I hope to be at least 24 hours.

Two hours later and the boys have immersed themselves in sand, followed by water that’s now cemented itself into their clothes like, well, cement. No problem, into the basket for the next load. By 10.45am we are on to the second wardrobe change of the day.

Another two hours later and we are fast approaching wardrobe change number three. Kids can give models a run for their money with the number of outfit changes that take place within a 12 hour period. The formerly white T-shirt modelled by Lucas now resembles a Pollock masterpiece with a mix of pesto green, strawberry red, banana yoghurt with a little battered fish sprinkled in to add a level of texture. Into the laundry basket we go.

Leo meanwhile has managed to pull off his bib, as he does in an act of sheer defiance each meal (don’t know why I still bother) and his ‘I’m daddy’s favourite’ outfit is now caked in a deep orange that can only be down to a hearty Ella’s kitchen pouch mixed with damp biscuit. These works of art can wait another day or so before meeting with bestie.

By mid-afternoon we are firmly on to wardrobe change number three. This time we have reached the swimwear portion of the show. Thankfully a relatively clean activity, give or take a muddy towel or two.

By nap time we hit wardrobe change number four. Thanks to the summer days this consists only of a nappy. I decide as Leo hasn’t gone into the pool he can stay in his swim nappy – no harm there. One drenched sheet and mattress protector later I make a mental note to myself that swim nappies don’t really perform the duties of a normal nappy, hence the puddle of pee awaiting me.

At this point I decide to give in and make a swift yet effective 44 minute date with bestie as clean sheets are one of the only clean things we can cling onto in our filth-ridden household. Note, as the day progresses the wash cycles get shorter as my guilt for damaging the planet one laundry load at a time takes hold of me.

By evening I have just about gotten over the fact we have used the machine twice already, but console myself with the fact the day is almost over and no more meetings with bestie are scheduled.

Dinner time. Both kids eat well. Really well. Surprisingly well. Um, maybe too well. Minutes out of his high chair and Leo empties the majority of his lovingly homemade dinner all over a freshly dressed Papa. Well, he is his favourite after all. Oh yes, it’s not only the kids who require multiple wardrobe changes in a day. As we rush him to the shower we brush past multiple items that also get covered in the remains of his dinner, along with my clothes as I attempt to undress him without covering him in his own puke. Parenting one-on-one.

Determined not to do another load I hand wash the vomit-stained items and ease my conscience of environmental damage. As we make our way back from hosing down Leo I notice Lucas squatting down in a corner ready for his post-dinner poop. As we are currently fighting the potty training battle I rush him to the toilet knowing I am probably too late. As I place the understandably defiant Lucas on the toilet and begin singing the self-composed toilet song (don’t judge until you’ve potty trained a kid) he is half way through his business. Without wanting to go into detail, the end result of this particular mistimed toilet excursion is poop ending up in places it never should be.

Bestie, it’s time we meet again today. And so, by 7.45pm I admit laundry defeat and arm myself with an ever-decreasing bottle of detergent ready to load up that machine with the remains of the day. A swift  32 minute eco-cycle later (guilt overcomes me) and I am greeted with that oh so comforting fresh meadow scent and I think to myself, who needs diamonds anyway…


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