It’s fair to say I’m not a particularly patient person. In fact, my first real knowledge of the word came with Take That’s comeback single, when I crooned along with Gary Barlow, still not really sure what this “Patience” word actually meant.
But in the last couple of weeks I have come to know the term rather well.
Being a mother requires a huge amount of patience. Which I now know to mean a huge amount of biting one’s tongue and deep breathing. This doesn’t come easily to someone who was used to chasing down stories and meeting hourly deadlines pre-baby (I have yet to meet a truly patient journalist).
Although patience entered my life the day my baby was born, it has been ramped up a level over the last couple of weeks. Frog’s six new teeth and her new-found love of independence means I have been forced to do much deep breathing recently. There’ve been points when I’ve been breathing so heavily I sound like I’ve either run a marathon or am mid-way through giving birth a second time. It’s not a pretty sight.
Case One is the getting dressed scenario. This includes any kind of dressing activity, be it changing a nappy or putting on a pair of shoes and socks. She may not be walking yet, but boy my 15 month old can move. I have to sprint to keep up with her.
And she has the Forward-Lean-Roll Technique down to a fine art – so that she can slip out of the tightest grip to escape a nappy being placed firmly on her behind. I defy even the most skilled Judo champion to keep this baby pinned on the floor when she wants to roll over and crawl away.
Case Two is the one I dread the most. It’s the pushing buggy scenario. Again oblivious to the notion of walking, my daughter still demands to push her own buggy. So this involves me carrying her while she pushes, proud as punch at her newfound “freedom”. Ignoring her upstretched arms and shouts of “Me me me” just leads to a piercing high-pitched scream which can be heard from the other side of the village. So I dutifully unstrap her and carry her, while she keeps both hands firmly on the buggy and pushes with all her might. Getting home from a twenty minute walk yesterday took nearly two hours. *Deep breath*.
The thing is, while Frog tests my patience to extremes, she seems ever eager to show me how it’s done.
Nowhere is this more evident than in her second favourite game (after “Push the Buggy and Drive My Mother Mad”) which involves placing five pebbles in a glass pot, one at a time, and taking each pebble out, one at a time. Over and over and over again. For an hour. Seriously.
I don’t know whether to be proud or disappointed. That is one trait she most definitely does not get from her mother…