"Mum, I want a red apple." "Mum, the red apple is too hard." "Mum, I don't like this red apple I want a pancake instead." "I'm not hungry but I want an ice block." "Mum, I need to peeeee..."
Mothers of toddlers will relate to the constant nagging, the non-stop requests for snacks, the tantrums, the refusal of perfectly delicious food, the toilet-training, the mess, the exhaustion. Toddlers are designed to drive us a little crazy, or a lot crazy, on a daily basis.
I've travelled the world, been smuggled over a Mexican border, spent three months roughing it in India and survived hospitalisation in Laos. None of this prepared me for my scariest challenge to date - looking after two small boys at home, full-time, in the desert.
Don't get me wrong. My boys fill me with unbridled joy. Their innocent smiles melt my heart. They make me laugh when I'm crying. My threenager says gorgeously cute and loving things to me when I least expect it, like telling me he loved me as I cleaned his bum on the toilet after a number two.
But the work is relentless and it is physically demanding. It is unforgiving and it is, for the most part, thankless. There is no time out and there is no pay. It's as cruel as it is beautiful.
After almost four years of mothering two young boys, here are 10 of my burning questions:
1. Birth. Well, that was easy wasn't it. NOT. Can we talk about this a little more mothers?
2. Breastfeeding. Well, that was easy wasn't it. NOTT. WTF. Seriously, we need to talk?
3. Why did nobody tell me that the first year of your baby's life will bring you to your knees with the sleep deprivation and anxiety and excruciating boobs?
4. Where do the shoes go? Toddlers come into the house, take their shoes off and POOF, they're gone! They simply disappear into some dark toddler Bermuda Triangle.
5. What makes plain crackers better than chicken? What makes plain crackers better than every goddamn meal? Why does he want a burger (and crackers) EVERY DAY for dinner?
6. Toilet training. Why so difficult? Why so many pairs of undies in the bin? It's pretty simple No? There's the toilet. Use it. Flush it. No mess.
7. What makes a perfectly average and functioning toddler poop in their pants and then decide to stick their hands in it and smear that poop all over the walls and wardrobe?
8. When will they just go to bed without inciting World War 3 and 4?
9. When will they just eat their goddam dinner?
10. When can I sleep for a week?
That's enough for now. I need a nap but I'll be back with more warblings.
Take care out there mamas.