Waiting 

Parents are usually pretty happy to tell you how boring having kids can be. There’s the obvious tedium of Frozen for the nth time, sitting in on Saturday night because you’re knackered and can’t get a babysitter, or sitting with crap coffee at soft play while your kids run riot in the ball pit.

But no one ever explains that it’s mostly boring because you have to wait. You’ll spend all your time waiting. You know those studies that have shown an average person spends a year of their life just queuing? That has nothing on parenting. So many hours when you could be doing other things that you’re stood, staring into the middle distance, just waiting.

You wait three minutes for that second line.

You wait nine months for your baby to arrive.

You wait five minutes of back rubbing for that stubborn burp so you can put the baby down to sleep.

You wait for six extra laps of the block while they nap in their car seat.

You wait three episodes of Peppa Pig and two readings of Mog the Forgetful Cat for a tiny wee on the potty.

You wait one tantrum for them to choose a pair of shoes for nursery; one heavy basket of laundry for them to go up the stairs first; one wardrobe of clothes while they get themselves dressed; one dishwasher load of clean dishes while they put toppings onto a pizza themselves.

You will stand for decades, silently screaming, keys in hand, while they put their wellies on the wrong feet because, “No! I do it my OWN, Mummy!”

The seasons will change as you wait for them to climb into the car themselves.

Empires will rise and fall on the walk back from the corner shop. “Look! A leaf!”

So. Much. Waiting.

I know that there is more to come. Waiting to hear about school places and exam results. Waiting for them to get their license so they can drive you to the pub for once. Pretending to be asleep but really waiting to hear them come home safe after a night out. Waiting for them to leave home. Waiting for them to come back and visit.

If this were a different kind of blog I’d acknowledge how fast the time goes, and how these moments are precious, as they find their independence.

But right now I have to get to the supermarket before it closes, and I just wish she’d pick a hat to wear, already.

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