Once I became a mum, from time to time (I would say – rather often) I learn the new levels. Maximum level of patience, maximum level of stress, maximum level of sleepiness. They are all maximum until the day when life turns it up the notch and then you say to yourself: “oh I though it can’t go higher”. Oh yes it can. And it will continue, tell it to yourself, Agnieszka, loudly and clearly, repeat it a few times and accept it, although at this very moment you probably won’t comprehend how this phenomenon works neither can you imagine the very next level. It’s like when the astrophysicists tell you there are millions of galaxies and once your mind kind of gathers that greatness, they tell you there are multiple universes too and then you go: “Fuck it, it’s beyond me”. It’s almost like that. Almost, because when you hear about the cosmos you technically don’t need to do anything about it. Just strain your imagination. But when you’re a mum you actually have to be a part of this infinity of levels. And that’s not fun…
Yesterday, I went through another level of maximum (maximum so far, because,as I do repeat to myself, it will be worse). This time it was the maximum of exhaustion. At the end of the day, waiting for San-Jay to come home (bitter-funnily enough – it was one of those days when Sanj was coming home late), I could only sit on the couch and do everything in my power to make Arya WANT to be on that couch with me. When my magic stopped working I turned to drastic measures – I “forced breast-fed” her to sleep. Well, I didn’t drug her and chained her to my bosom of course. Since she loves food (in this case “Alleluia”) it wasn’t too difficult to put her on my lap, take the boob out and wait for her to suck. Thank God, she fell asleep within 10 minutes. Alleluia again!
When Sanj came home he probably thought I had turned into a zombie which was a bit bizarre because on this occasion it was a human who was feasting on a zombie rather than the other way out. But when you realise that it’s a mother zombie, then all becomes clearer : this particular type of zombies is too exhausted to move or eat. She’s just lying there staring blankly at nothing, hardly breathing. Just mumbling quietly to the baby: “Sleep, sleep a little bit longer, just one more minute, I beg you. Eat however much you want, just sleep”.
When I think about the whole day, I probably didn’t do much – I just went to Westfield to help my husband’s cousin choose an outfit. That’s it. Two stops by tube, one shop and the trip back. In your bloody dreams!
London is the worst city ever for mums with babies and for those on wheelchair – you know it when you become one. And you know it so well that you want to cry. It’s a “motherist” and “wheelchairist” place, I tell you. Equality my ass. Unless you live around Oxford Street, you have no access to the centre AT ALL(!!!) if you are a mum with a baby travelling on your own (with a baby of course). No, sorry – you do have access – no one stops you from going. Free country. Go. Good luck though when changing lines or getting in/out from the tube. You probably have two, very interesting options: you either have to grab the buggy in your teeth while your baby is bouncing off your back or you carry the baby in Babybjorn (which after a couple of hours probably will crack your spine, when your baby is no feather any more). Oh yes, you’ve got buses – if you’re lucky you can take just one (probably minimum of 45 min journey) but most often it’s at least two so probably one way trip will take you 1.5 hour. You also have to pray that after waiting for a bus for 30 minutes the driver won’t tell you that there’s no space for another buggy because if he will you’re waiting another infinity for another bus. And then you bravely decide (seeing your baby is still sleeping, “Alleluia!”) that you can probably walk so off you go, half running, thanking your baby for each minute of closed eyes because if she wakes up you will definitely end up pushing the buggy and carrying the baby (which has become your lot recently). Half of the journey is up the hill, and it starts raining (OF COURSE) and you remember how your husband keeps telling you every day how stressful his work is and then you say loud: “Stressful my ass” and a few trespassers just briefly lock their eyes on you but then they realise that you’re not crazy, you’re just a mother, so they pass you by casually. Finally, you come home, your baby’s smile saves you. Because that’s how it is – you stress, you don’t sleep, you fall on the ground with exhaustion and shout: “enough” but then this little one is opening her eyes and smiles and all you see is these two McDonald logo-shaped teeth at the bottom of her gums and you smile back and suddenly it’s all OK. Until you start making dinner, as you always do. Potatoes peeled and in the pot boiling on the stove. You feel a bit like someone else is doing all this and you’re just hanging above them like a cloud. Then you grab the meat, (with your baby under your one armpit, because she just at this very moment has a whim to NOT sit and play on her own) and put the ingredients on the kitchen table, knees bending under you+10kg and then you go: “Fuck it. No dinner today” which is when you throw yourself on the sofa where you stay until your husband is back. Or perhaps even longer. FOREVER, perhaps.