I went out to have coffee with my two kids the other day. Not that all three of us were having coffee, rather I was having coffee, and they were present. Correction: I was trying to have coffee and their presence was making it difficult.
My sons are 3 years and 7 months old. Although there is a difference in age, when left to their own devices, they want to do essentially the same: move in space and touch everything in sight. The older one, Kroshka, runs. The younger one, Knopka, crawls. None of which is ideal in a coffee shop.
I sat at the table with Knopka on my lap. Kroshka was on the opposite side of the table with his babyccino. First, he needed a spoon to eat the foam — I am raising a little gourmand. I got up and got him one. He finished the babyccino in three gulps and ventured off to explore the cafe. As the front door was open and a Christmas tree obscured my view I had to lift my butt off the chair ever so slightly every time I wanted to make sure he’s still inside. Meanwhile, Knopka was planning an escape off my lap but not without taking my cup of coffee with him.
Then Kroshka wanted to pee. Up and to the toilet we went, me still holding Knopka. As we opened the door to the teeny-tiny restroom, I realized I had to help Kroshka onto the toilet seat and how was I supposed to do it while holding a baby? I told him to wait and ran to grab the stroller which I pulled through the whole cafe only to see that Kroshka unspooled half a roll of toilet paper while I was gone.
Rolled the toilet paper back on, laid Knopka in the stroller, took him out immediately because he cried so instantly and so loud as if I lowered him into hot lava, not the fanciest German-made stroller (we got it second hand, just in case you think I am showing off).
Crouched down in front of the toilet seat (definitely not showing off), squeezed Knopka between my lap and my chest so my hands were free, and put Kroshka onto the toilet seat. Felt like a freaking Cirque du Soleil acrobat. And, as the three of us could not fit into the tiny restroom, all of this wasn’t even done in the privacy of closed doors.
Which is when I thought: has Kim Kardashian ever done this? Did she ever have to put one kid onto the toilet seat while holding another kid while her cappuccino was getting cold on the table?
I often wonder about Kim Kardashian as I am walking four flights of stairs to my apartment while carrying a baby, two bags of groceries, a purse, a few toys, someone’s hat, someone else’s scarf, a stack of letters as thick as Tolstoy’s War and Peace because German bureaucracy is real, with a toddler holding on to my trousers the whole way up. Did Kim K ever have to do that?
Did she have to cut an onion with one hand because the toddler was hungry and cranky and the baby would not stop crying when asked to stay on the floor for just one minute, please, pretty please, just one quick minute? Did she then have to pick him up and chop the onion butcher-style into three huge chunks — there’s no name for this cut for some reason. And why do all dishes start with onions anyways? So did she?
Now my husband also plays this game. We moved recently, and as things like a bed, a dining table and a wardrobe take first priority, we’ve been living without curtains for over a month. Being completely exposed at night isn’t even the worst thing about not having curtains. The worst thing is not being able to block out the light when putting the kids to nap.
The other day as husband was covering the windows in kid’s room with cardboard, he asked: “So do you think Kim Kardashian ever had to this?” And all I could think of was: “Probably not. But do you think she ever had to put a pair of pants over her baby’s head to cover his eyes because there was enough cardboard for the kid’s room, but not for the bedroom?”
In her recent Instagram Stories Kim Kardashian showed the moment she came back home at night: toilet paper all over the living room. It was a welcome sight to see — for me, probably not for her. My first thought was: kids are kids. My second thought was: but did she have to clean it up?
I bet if I had a chance to ask Kim Kardashian these questions, she would fire back with: but did you have to protect your kids from paparazzi? And have you ever been so scared for their safety that you hired bodyguards? And have your babies been criticized by random people on the Internet?
And then I would probably say “nope” and retreat in disgrace because I’d much rather deal with the pants-on-the-head situation.
The truth is when I say “Kim K” what I really mean is “other moms”. Motherhood is a lonely business. You mostly see other mothers pushing a stroller in the street or lovingly watching their kids at the playground. You don’t see them rocking a baby to sleep for an hour or picking up rice kernels from the floor after a meal. The tough, the annoying, the ridiculous is always backstage, invisible. You get a feeling that all the other moms have somehow figured it out and you are the only idiot struggling.
When Kroshka had the 4-month sleep regression, I used to put him to sleep by walking with him around the room while breastfeeding. I was sure I was the only woman in the history of mankind (womankind?) to ever do this.
I have never seen a real mama put her baby to sleep. But I have seen mamas on TV. And they always do it by sitting in an armchair and feeding the baby or by walking around with the baby and shushing. Not both at the same time. I was convinced my situation was grave until I read another mom’s story in which she described how she was bouncing on a fitball while breastfeeding in order to make her daughter sleep. She didn’t just do what I did, she went a step further than me in this madness. Oh the joy!
It may sound like I am deriving joy from another person’s misfortune, which is not true. I feel sorry for the mom; I feel happy that I am not the only one who constantly finds herself in ridiculous situations.
While the part of my brain responsible for logic knows that nobody has it figured out, there’s another part that constantly requires proof. It would be nice to watch Kim Kardashian spool toilet paper back into a roll, you know? Even if she only did it for the cameras and threw it out afterwards, because the monstrosity of a toilet paper roll that’s been rolled by hand would not fit her minimalist bathroom.