Have you ever had a coup d’etat with a tipsy, sadistic and slightly vengeful giant squid? I have. Or at least I feel like I participate in one, every time it comes to getting Monster Minor dressed.
I’m hoping we’re coming out of the worst of it now, but as a ‘spirited’ two-and-a-half-and-a-bit year old, dressing Monster Minor is a pissing nightmare. It begins upon announcing it’s time to get dressed. This cues shrieks – not angry ones, but not happy ones either. More, menacing war cries, perhaps his instigation that the battle is to begin. He leaps around the room, hooting his sounds and dodging your clutches as you grab for any slip of clothing.
Once grabbed, the wriggling and manically laughing toddler starts to thrash. I don’t think he means to hurt, but the the yells of ‘I will BAT you!’ say different. Getting Spiderman pyjamas off bicycling legs is FUCKING hard and it’s around this point that I often want to
nut him throw the towel in. Then one of the legs with collide with my lady area and my shouts usually match his.
On a good day, this will calm King Squid’s tentacles long enough to yank his pyjama bottoms off. But the success is always short lived, as the fresh air to the legs seems to give them a rush of energy. The war cry resumes, often with intermittent ‘Come and get me!’ slurs, as the little shit gallops away. It’s often around this point that he will decide to head for his tent, and this move normally means certain defeat on my part. My Stern Mum ‘No you don’t. Do not go in your tent. I WILL BE EXTREMELY CROSS IF YOU GO IN THAT TENT!’ is usually followed by Monster Minor going into the tent.
Tents shouldn’t be a big deal. Tents should provide a cosy sanctuary to cuddle together, reading books and reciting positive affirmations. A tent should be a space we could cooperatively negotiate the getting dressed routine, whilst we gaze lovingly at each other, full of kindness and mutual respect. However. The Monsters’ tent contains two 4ft bears, a scarily realistic looking Border-Collie teddy, various oversized TY soft toys with creepy, huge eyes, several plastic dinosaurs and, potentially, a massive, black, leggy spider that Monster Major convinced me is in there (and he doesn’t usually lie). And the tent is not big. There’s barely room for one Monster, let alone one Monster on speed, being wrestled by his frustrated mother.
I fruitlessly grab at limbs as he weaves in and out of the tent guests, laughing more hysterically by the second. My shouts get more forceful and my threats get more dramatic but this just compounds his laughter and plunges that game further into his court. I’ll have managed to wangle maybe an arm out of his top and begin to pull it over his head when he’ll collapse onto the teddies once again, and I’ll think fuck this bullshit, and walk out of the room.
Normally, I’ll go and sit on the loo and seethe at my self-made half-human’s total disregard for his maker. It takes a few minutes before he realises that he is a little incapacitated by having an arm through the head hole and the neck of his top stuck around his cheeks. He will come out wailing ‘I’m stuck, I’m stuck, I need help!’ (yes, you do love) and spinning around in circles continuously, trying to break out of the pyjama-top choke hold. Around this point, I’ll take a photo and Whatsapp it to Husband Dearest with the most used caption, ‘FFS’, thus prolonging the cries in a vain attempt to prove a point.
Enjoying being able to make a passive-aggressive, ‘I told you so’ comment, I free Monster Minor from the armhole/neckhole jumble. I calmly explain that, because he cannot be trusted in his bedroom, we will now get dressed on the landing (total unnecessary use of ‘we’ – I’m not bloody getting dressed on the landing, I’m getting dressed in my bedroom, with the door closed whilst he surfs through his tent debris like the absurd tool he is) and I expect TOTAL compliance, because I am SO disappointed by his behaviour. This generally buys me enough time to remove a should’ve-been-changed-an-hour-ago nappy and replace it rather haphazardly, because the tiny, tanned, tyrannous legs are becoming ever more restless. Sick of the flailing kicks I keep being struck with, I’ll declare that Monster Minor is to go it alone. ‘Fine, get yourself dressed, I’m not helping any more, you do not kick Mummy and I don’t want to be around you any more
so fuck off.’
Leaving the victorious bundle next to his clothes, I stomp into my bedroom and probably scroll through pages of nonsense memes and mug-cake time lapse videos, instead of using the time wisely. I’ll hear grumblings and movements from the landing but will not peek out as I don’t want to spark the ‘Come and get meeee!’ gambit again.
I’ll have just settled into reading the comments on a post about parking 3cm too far onto the pavement, when Monster Minor will burst victoriously through the door. ‘ I DID EET!!’ he’ll sing and smile so earnestly that I almost don’t notice he’s got two legs in one side of his shorts, one arm trapped into his shirt, two socks on one foot and no vest on. Most Mums would clap and gleefully praise their child on their efforts, telling them what a clever sausage they are (though said child is clearly an imbecile if they haven’t noticed that every day their legs go in TWO trouser holes, because they have TWO legs and does it fucking look like you have TWO legs in TWO holes now!?). I’m not one of those Mums, unfortunately. Sighing a huge ‘RIGHT!’ and muttering about how if he’d have listened the first time, and wasting my precious time, and I have better things to do, and he’s two-and-a-half-and-a-bit, there shouldn’t be this fuss, I bend and unfold and rethread Monster Minor’s body parts like a gangly Rubix cube until the correct amount of pieces come through the correct holes. ‘I hope you have learned how to behave when we get dressed,’ I scold Monster Minor, marching the children down the stairs to begin the day.
…Until I look down and remember I am still in my pyjamas. FFS.