Up until last week, my mummy meltdowns had mainly been frontloaded in the first few weeks of my daughter's life, when, head spinning, struggling with feeding and still feeling excruciating post-c-section pain, 'Ican'tdothisIcan'tdothisIdon'tknowwhatI'mdoing' was my morning mantra. Then somehow, around seven weeks, a magic switch was flicked and I suddenly felt a vague sense of being in control and partially clawing back some sleep and sanity, spurred on by the fact that I was no longer fighting a losing battle to breastfeed and little miss had deduced that peeing on her mummy at every change was actually not cool.
Last weekend, I regressed, and it was barely my baby's fault. She's picked up a sudden habit of favouring her longest nap of the day at 5pm, frustratingly close to her bedtime but not late enough to start the routine unless we want a daily 4am wake-up call. I've pulled out all the stimulating stops to try and keep her awake a little longer, but no amount of playtime or waving her favourite Vtech penguin around is enough to stop the stubborn little minx's eyelids going south.
Later that night, I made the mistake of deciding to stay up well past my usual bedtime to watch some Saturday night dross, only to be woken up at 430am by a baby who was so awake you'd think that her last feed of the night was Pro Plus tablets washed down with a triple espresso rather than the usual 6oz of Aptamil.
Clattering through the kitchen bleary eyed and frustrated, I caught my dressing gown sleeve on the door handle and knocked a full mug of much-needed coffee onto the carpet. Up the walls. Down the stairs. Behind the radiator. We'd asked ourselves when we'd moved in whether recarpeting our home in light neutral tones was a wise idea when we were seven weeks off parenthood, but I'd reckoned on baby puke and worse being the likely stain sinners, not Nescafe Azera.
Every expletive that I don't want my baby to ever learn, let alone say, erupted from my mouth as I ran wild-eyed into the bedroom to wake up my slumbering husband, then when I inevitably caught my sleeve on another door handle beating it with a muslin seemed like the best option. Husband dutifully fetched the Vanish carpet cleaner while I bundled up my daughter, who seemed to be smiling wryly and rolling her eyes at her manic mummy.
By the time the coffee had been scrubbed from all surfaces, leaving a faint aroma of cheap station cafe, it was time to laugh, and concede that losing your cool over the mundane mishaps that parenthood brings is perfectly healthy, even character building. Knowing that we're teetering on the brink of four-month sleep regression, further immunisations and (gulp!) teething, I have no doubt that I have many more to come. And, as my husband up-ended his Sunday dinner over my knees that very evening, I sensed I'm not the only one!