It’s a new year and that means lots of reassessment, fresh ideas and approaches. Eat less, exercise more, write a lot, and watch TV less. Mmm, sounds worryingly like last year’s list… and the year before. And actually a lot like the year before that. Less new and fresh, more rehashed and recycled. Maybe it should be called Try It Again Year?
Lots of “oh, I’m going to plan my weekly menu every Sunday so I know what I’m cooking all week”s, and a few “Right, no more chocolate Monday to Friday”s and even a couple of “right, I AM going to get up at 6am and go for a run”s. But while we are busy renewing ourselves, the reality that January 1st is in fact just another day with no actual seismic shift in the universe is demonstrated by our children and the ever constant certainties of parenting that show no regard for new years, never mind new decades.
Despite all my resolutions, the revolution of parenting remains as dormant as the snowdrops. As I contemplated the ten new things I was going to change this year, I realized they have no impact on the ten old things that will stay exactly the same:
1. There will always be another poo-ey nappy to out-stink the one before. It will always be done seconds before you leave the house.
2. Kids will ALWAYS get sick on a bank holiday when the doctors are closed.
3. Kids will always get sick – and pass it on to you – when you have visitors so they all get sick and you get labeled the House of Pestilence.
4. There will always be some smug single man who designs children’s toy packaging for a living. He may even do it as a hobby, since only someone with a passion for destroying the fraught mind and fingernails of mothers everywhere can come up with the engineering feat that requires a screwdriver (I kid you not) to unpack a Peppa Pig toy from the packaging.
5. They will always wake up before me, and I will always want to go to sleep before them.
6. They will never eat their home cooked tea with same wild abandon they eat chocolate and sweets. I will never get over this.
7. There will always be dishes to wash. Always.
8. They will always start screaming and fighting as soon as I start talking on the phone.
9. They will always show up the child in me. The petulant, tantrum throwing, sulky, “It’s MINE!” selfish child that is.
10. They will always make me smile. Even through gritted teeth.
So, five days in, and the hinge has fallen off the chocolate cupboard so often has it been raided in its groaning post-Christmas splendour; I haven’t managed to actually leave the house, let alone go for a run (I’m blaming the pestilence and the snow)…. (and the large amounts of left over chocolate); this is the first thing I’ve written in 5 days (see next excuse); and I’ve got stuck into The Wire series 4 boxset with such vigour the TV is smoking. So on the whole, my Try Again Year has already sludged down the slippery slope to Same Old, Same Old Year. Good to know some things never change. Even in a new year.