Cet article est une parodie de l’article original (et déjà comique lui-même) “24 Hours with a Newborn and a Toddler” par la blogueuse australienne Lauren Dubois. En l’écrivant, je fais la démonstration de mes capacités de rédaction en anglais écrit, ainsi que de mon sens de l’humour 😉 J’espère que vous apprécierez !
Let’s start at 3am. Not because it’s the start of the day. There is no start to your day. There is no end. It’s just one long, never-ending, mind-melting continuum of time….
You gently lower your baby into his bassinet and collapse back into bed, hopeful you might get a solid two hours sleep before he wakes again.
You’re asleep before you close your eyes.
A deep-throat, emotional “Miawww” cry resonates somewhere in the room. It’s not your (human) baby, it’s that other baby informing you that now he’s awake too!
A part of your brain wants to kick that beloved cat out by the window, while the other part of your brain hopes that he might just go back to sleep. That part is right on the “might”. Just at that moment, a 6 pounds missile launches at you from the end of the bed.
Your furry friend starts a nuptial dance that involves walking on your stomach, sitting on your chest, and occasionally pouncing on your toes. The choreography ends with him curling up close to your head, bringing his wet nose in the hollow of your neck, his tail across his father’s face while purring like a Harley in your ear.
Then he enters REM sleep. He makes strange chirping noises, and he has muscle spasms. Your aunt has the restless legs syndrome so for one second you think that it could be a family thing. Then you remember that he’s just a cat and you have no genetic ties. Your foggy brain just wants some sleep! Baby breathes loudly. Cat moves in a position that’s more comfortable (only for him). Husband snores. It’s a suffocation of smug comfort and ENT issues.
You should probably be thinking something along the lines of, “oh how sweet, all my loves in one spot” but you’re actually thinking “CAN YOU ALL JUST FUCK RIGHT OFF???” Ahhh… motherhood <3
3.30 – 5am
You’ve blocked it from your memory but whatever it was, it was not restful sleep.
5am – 6am
Cat experts will tell you that siamese are a vocal breed and that you’ll get along with it. They’re right about the vocal part, however, you’ll NEVER get along with it. Siamese cats can perform thirty-minute long monologues, just to tell you about how their day is going, how they saw the milk truck by the window this morning, and how the neighbors dog is so immature, and meow on and meow on. They’re also great conversationalists:
“Daddy’s sleeping, mommy’s sleeping, baby’s sleeping, and kitty’s sleeping too.”
“GO TO SLEEP.”
Whispering in capital letters doesn’t seem to help.
“It’s too early. You have to wait for breakfast time like everyone.”
“Miaou.” (you speaking cat language with a human accent)
“Meow! Meow! Meow…..”
“Meow. MeoOOOWww. MRRROW. MRRRAW. MRRRAW. MRRRAWWW !”
Your negotiation skills fail at 5am. You end up feeding him with dry food, contradicting your principles to not snack between meals. He seems satisfied. You fall heavy like a log back in your bed.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Oh no! After feeding your cat, you locked him out of the bedroom.
Luckily, husband is up and takes the cat downstairs so that you can have “an hour of good sleep”.
Baby is up and flapping his arms. He’s happy to see you! You remember how you should enjoy “every minute of it” because it won’t last and faster than you can see he’ll grow into a teenager and make his life as a digital nomad 10,000 kilometer from you. But there’s no time for carpe diem right now, your siamese runs into the room with his tail like an electrified dust brush. You let him hide under the crib (where he’s not allowed to go, but who cares anymore?) and you bend over the bars with a loving mommy-smile, ready to take your 2 months old for his morning feed, when…
That crazy cat is attacking you! The dust-brush tail has vanished into a full-offensive attitude. You remember how you used to describe your cat to family and friends as lunatic. In fact, he’s clinically bipolar. From a sweet ball of fluffiness, he needs just a few seconds to evolve into a werewolf at full-moon. That’s what he’s turning into now.
You call for help as your siamese stalks and leaps forward in your direction. Husband arrives just in time. He grabs werewolfie by the scruff, locks him in the bathroom (furious meows resonate behind the door) and you’re finally alone, in tête-à-tête with your baby love. Time for feed!
Husband kisses you goodbye, slaps you on the back and wishes you luck. You look at the clock. Eleven hours to go…
Explain to your cat through the bathroom door, that he can go back with the family only if he behaves nicely.
Siamese is playing alone with his spring toy. You feel guilty about failing to provide the daily dose interactive play recommended by your vet. Guilt melts away when you see your hair in the mirror. When was the last time you shampooed? You take a look inside the bassinet. Baby is asleep! Race to the shower.
Scratch scratch scratch.
Scratch scratch scratch. Scriiiiiiitch…
“I’m in the shower!”
Siamese pushes the door open. He loves the sound of falling rain and water fountains. Now he sits down and listens to the shower. Who knew that cats can be such poets? A minute goes during which you both relax and close your eyes.
Clang, clang, BOM!
Your cat jumped on the sink and knocked a few bottles down. A smell of rose spreads in the bathroom. Did your Serge Lutens bottle of perfume just break? Luckily now, it’s just the lid of your cosmetic cream that popped open. You decide to ignore the mess and stay in the shower. The warm water feels so good. Nothing can distract you from it. Nothing, except — baby crying. FFS.
Decide you’re going to go to the park.
After three nappy blowouts, four outfit changes, one cat escape attempt, two bruised knees and one phone call with grandma about why you can’t help her go through the settings of her email box right now, you give up and decide to just stay home.
You sit down to feed the baby.
Throw things at your cat to distract him from scratching the sofa.
Try to convince your cat with meaningful arguments that it’s better to use his scratching post that the house furnitures. But sometimes siamese aren’t as sensible as they seem to be.
Baby is awake and active! You get ready for some tummy time as instructed by your pediatrician. He’s cooing while looking all around him. You admire how well he holds his head now, and you shake his rattle in front of his eyes to encourage him to persist. He holds the position for 40 seconds. That will be your accomplishment of the day! You let out a sigh of relief.
Take longer than usual to change the baby’s diaper because someone ABSOLUTELY needs your help to share the last walking-club pictures to her friend Jacqueline.
Multitasking with grandma on video-call is not a good idea. It means 45 minutes of wrapping and unwrapping the nappy while explaining to your mom how simple it should be to find that blue “Send” button because computer interfaces are designed for dummies. Grandma gets offended and snaps back with derogatory comments about how long changing that nappy is taking. <3 family love.
Make a one-handed bowl of chicken-shreds-in-gravy because the siamese is hungry and your baby refuses to be put down.
Cat takes three bites and sits in front of the cupboard to express his wish to get caviar instead.
Pick chicken gravy up off the floor and consider eating it yourself.
Lure cat to the bedroom with his feathery toy. He doesn’t want to play, he wants to sit on your lap, alongside The Baby Who Can’t Be Put Down.
They both fall asleep, trapping you under their weight which triggers an internal struggle about whether you should try to get up or whether you should accept your fate and let your loved ones use you as their mattress.
After a lengthy, silent debate, your bladder makes the decision for you. In a move that proves you are an actual superhero, you manage to stand up without waking them.
Cat curls up on the blanket and you go to the toilet with a sleeping baby in your arms.
Creep downstairs to make yourself a relaxing cup of tea. Turn on the kettle. This is how your cat knows it’s time to wake up. Baby starts crying. Farewell Tea. Hello circus.
The baby has lost his ever-loving shit and so you walk laps of your hallway, jiggling and shushing while your siamese runs alongside you begging you to open the door to the garden. He is raising his voice sufficiently to be heard over the crying, which means he is screeching like a fucking caged velociraptor and so you tell him to please stop screaming which is completely useless.
Look at the clock because surely it’s time for dinner. Feel like crying when you see you’ve still got hours to go. Have scientific studies been done to prove that time goes slower between the hours of ‘end of nap’ and ‘dinnertime’ ?
2.00 – 3.45pm
Decide to give a second try to going outside. Oh, the good old days when you would go to the park with your cat. Together you were a star!
People were amazed at how a cat does so well on the leash. You would proudly say about him how he really was a dog’s brain in a cat’s body. Before going out, he would wait at the door and be well-behaved. He purred when he felt the rubbing of the collar against his furry neck, because you had done so well with positive reinforcement. Then you would go outside and he would open the way like a prince and loyally stay close to you all along the walk.
You feel nostalgic of the good old days, and you wonder if you could try a walk with baby and with your cat on the leash. Moms are expert multitaskers, aren’t they? It should go just fine! Except if a squirrel shows up. But let’s not think about the worst! After buckling up baby in his stroller, you put his harness on your cat. He looks at you with his big ocean blue eyes and you feel like you’re doing the right thing.
There you are, outside with baby sleeping in his stroller and siamese walking at your side. Your cat stops from time to time to graze. He’s meek like a lamb and he seems to just take the opportunity of this walk to get his fibers.
You walk with confidence on the wooden path. It’s so cool outside. The wind blows gently. Clouds are lovely. Life goes beautifully. Then you see it. You’re now looking at your cat, who’s looking at a squirrel, who’s looking at you both.
“Hek hek hek”
Your siamese makes that evil sound with his jaw when he’s excited about a prey. You’ve learned that it’s called chattering. When he does that, he just looks like the devil. Now he rolls his shoulders like a belly dancer. You walk to him but he hides in a bush — and at the same time you hear a cry from baby’s bassinet. You’re distracted and the leash slips through your fingers. You hear ruffling in the bush.
It’s too late. Your cat runs out of the bush and chases the rodent! You see the tree. The squirrel is losing his shit and going around the trunk in crazy loops. It looks like a Tom and Jerry cartoon with your cat running after him. You look up and you pray to the Lord and all the deities of motherhood that he’s not going to follow the squirrel 30 feet up in the branches. The lord answers your prayers and instead your cat hides into thicker bushes.
Baby is cooing in his bassinet. At least someone is having fun! You call your cat to come back. You try to attract him with a stick and dry leaves. You promise to give him his favorite snack when you’re back home. A jogger passes by and she sees you on four legs with your head in the bushes. You stand back up with an air of dignity. As soon as the woman is gone, you look around for your cat again. You want to call daddy and cry on his shoulders. Your second baby is gone! Vanished in thin air!
You wait an indefinite amount of time, calling your cat again, and again. Baby is not crying yet (such a cutie!) but he’s showing signs of hunger. You decide to go back home, convinced that you lost your crazy loved cat forever.
3.45 – 5.45pm
Baby is content and wide awake. You sing him songs, you make him follow toys with his eyes, you’re his best cheerleader at tummy time. You pull out his Montessori cards for some educational time. You’re being the perfect mom. Your own mother would be so proud of you! Except… no, don’t think about your cat. He’s just gone.
You hear a snore. Actually, it’s you. You’re falling asleep! Nap time.
You open an eye. Husband’s home! You reach out to your phone. No, this is not the typical time for him to come home. Are you waiting for (another pampers) delivery?
You open the door.
Your neighbor is holding out the runaway cat to you. With the sweetest tone of voice, they threaten to call the RSPCA. You think it’s a great idea and thank them for that. You offer them to come in for coffee, but as soon as they hear the baby cry, they hurriedly say goodbye and leave. Now you’re alone again.
Alone again? No, a mom is never completely alone.
Husband arrives home a bit early. Finally you get a small break from the kids. In which ‘break’ means a full 30 minutes in the laundry, sorting and folding clothes without needing to scream at anyone. You are living the dream.
Baby is bathed, dressed and ready for bed.
What’s the meaning of life? Part of your soul has died in the battle.
Reheat something nondescript from the fridge and call it dinner. Sit on the couch and pretend to watch TV while wishing you could just be asleep but refusing to go to bed because if you go to bed as soon as the baby is asleep then your whole life is “taking care of kids and sleeping” and you really need to have a few minutes in the day that are just about you, even if you really would rather be asleep.
Crawl into bed.
Baby wakes up crying. And so begins the night shift.