A Gladiatorial Contest

October 20, 2011 at 9:01 am (Uncategorized)

After all my monotonous moaning, guess who is asleep in his cot – and after being transferred from the car, no less?? Will wonders ever cease? We’ve been to swimming this morning, which always tuckers him out, but even so the continuation of this sleep is a bit of a surprise as he woke up as soon as I turned off the engine, so he was awake when I put him back down… I thought I had Buckley’s.

So. Opportunity paralysis sets in. I’ll just stare at the screen a while, shall I?

I really don’t want to complain every single bloody time I get the chance to blog. There is so much that’s so great about motherhood, and Master J is so much fun, so incredibly cute and funny and – I feel sure – so smart, that I am well aware I’ve only presented a very skewed impression of how I am finding it all so far. I don’t really know how to account for that, other than that I don’t have an alternative vehicle for getting all the negative feelings off my chest. Diaries are tricky at present; I can’t pick up a pen without Master J launching himself across the room to try to swipe it from my hands – pen lids are particularly prized – and any attempt to write in his presence, on paper or screen, has been met with a dizzying blur of grubby fingers smearing their way across every surface, shortly followed by the insistent banging and tearing of core materials. But I should get my whingeing done elsewhere, because I would dearly love to revive this blog and restore its spirit.

My time here would probably be better spent telling you of the chaos of changing nappies now Master J has discovered his penis. The existence of his dick is a matter of great interest and amusement, and apparently requires ongoing confirmation each and every time they meet. ‘It’s still here!’ his delighted face seems to say. The instant his nappy is off, both hands plunge downward as though he thinks he has to catch it in time – and judging by the, er, ball skills he shows in more conventional terms, it’s a bloody good thing he doesn’t.

Now, I am all for this lifelong game of discovery – after all, it’ll be the longest relationship he ever has – but it is a little awkward when the nappy’s off due to a number two.

“Hold on, buddy,” I plead. “Just give me a second. Just… no, no… hang on, mate… just… one… little… second…I’ll just wipe the… buddy, that’s poo… Stop! Poo! That’s poo! Please don’t… oh, okay – too late, Mummy! Too slow!”

In what may prove to be his greatest display of multitasking, he also requires a secondary diversion while he’s pulling his penis – maybe this is the beginning of the magazine stash. Right now he favours an incredibly phallic thermometer – hmmm – and a ruled notebook with spiral binding. He also likes to punch one little fist deep into the pot of barrier cream that sits beside the change mat for treating nappy rash. Once he’s done that, he either attempts to place his entire cream-coated fist into his mouth, or he starts reaching for nappies and flinging them about like environmentally hazardous rose petals. The grand finale is the flip ‘n’ dive, whereupon he abruptly abandons dick, diapers and dermatological aids in favour of a desperate bid for freedom. You’ve all seen the barrel go over the waterfall? It’s something similar here whenever Master J attempts to flee the change table under his own steam. And he is strong. Strong and fast. In all honesty, I am frequently sweating (not to mention swearing) by the time he’s wearing a clean nappy and has been delivered back to the relative safety of the floor. I can’t help feeling a surge of triumph each time I do this, quite as though I have unexpectedly defeated a far worthier opponent against all odds. In my mind, a crowd roars approval. I beat my chainmail and shake my sword, a dusty, bloodied but still victorious figure, standing in the centre of the ancient colosseum.



  1. Pete said,

    Wow. Great description! We’re truly grateful that our first (and probably only) one is a girl. Not sure what else to say!

    • doctordi said,

      I wouldn’t trade him, Pete, he is a delightful handful, and I think you may find your little blossom will shortly follow in the exploration department – I think they all do it!

  2. David said,

    Oh my God, this is hilarious. And reminded me of so many men I know who *still*, in their forties, seem amazed by the fact that they have this independent-minded hydraulic device in their pants.

    • doctordi said,

      I take that as the highest compliment from you, David. Yeah, we know those guys too. They’re in a class of their own, though I’d prefer a cage.

  3. Lilian Nattel said,

    Too funny–and so true. Yes you are a great gladiator.

    • doctordi said,

      I keep trying to tell him it’s really nice having someone prepared to do this for him, but he just throws things at me.

  4. litlove said,

    Really, don’t worry about moaning. I found it extraordinarily bizarre to have turned overnight into a complaints bureau, a milk bar and a cabaret, 24/7. it’s essential to get stuff off your chest (and lack of sleep never improves matters) or else you’ll implode! Much better out than in.

    • doctordi said,

      Ha, LL, that is a pretty good summary of the changes in my job description! And you’re right, but thanks for being prepared to listen to it!

  5. Grad said,

    Did you realize that “Mom” upside down spells “Wow”? You are a “wow Mom,” truly. Let the chariot race begin!

  6. Samantha said,

    Hi Di,

    You are very, very, VERY funny! I am going through the start of something similar with my 6 month old; he has yet to discover his penis but he will not lay still on the change table and insists on rolling over to inspect the branded plaque. It’s becoming incredibly frustrating.

    Although I am not in the habit of dispensing unsolicited advice, I hear you re the nap issue as I too am experiencing problems with my little one. May I therefore suggest the No Cry Nap Solution by Elizabeth Pantley? I’ve just finished reading it and highly recommend it. I discovered a number of things I could be doing to help my little swinging cat napper take more of those longer naps (which can be two to three hours in duration and which always take me by surprise). It’s such a shame that babies cannot tell you from the outset how long they’re going to sleep for because you could really make plans to either join them for a nap, or do your own thing. Anyway, you might find some helpful solutions in this book which addresses all possible sleeping permeations (from cots to co-sleeping etc). She also has a website which is worth checking out http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/books/007159695X.php

    And do you know about the Wonder Weeks? Perhaps Master J is in the midst of one of these developmental leaps and hence why his sleeping has become erratic. I know it affects our little one who at best wakes once a night but when he’s going through a Wonder Week, he wakes often. http://www.thewonderweeks.com/

    And please keep blogging. I love your posts. They really make me laugh because I can so often readily identify with your angst at being a mother.



    • doctordi said,

      Oh, Samantha, knowing you are going through so much of the same stuff at or nearly at the same time, it means more than I can say to know I have given you a giggle. I think of you so often, and am so happy getting your updates and knowing all is well and your little man is thriving. How could he not with such love?

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