Most important job of the lot

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Having a second child has well and truly shattered any illusions I had previously harboured about my parenting ‘skills’.

I now know that I make it up as I go along.

Whether or not that was the case with the first one, I cannot tell you because my short-term memory has been addled thanks to an endless cycle of very early morning starts and 18 months of back-to-back Peppa Pig and In the Night Garden.

But what I now know is that sharing your life with two little people is the equivalent of juggling three chainsaws on a unicycle, backwards – it isn’t impossible but you push your sanity, not to mention your health, to the limit while attempting it.

Having been a very content parent of one for well over half a decade, I am not suggesting for a second that having an only child is in any way straightforward, far from it, but at least you do have time to seek advice either from family or friends or one of the countless self-help books that we all seem to stock up on before Number One arrives.

These days, manuals such as How To Tame An Unruly Toddler are safely boxed away in the shed, next to the homebrew kit and fishing rod and anything else that we don’t have time to do.

I suppose the big issue we face is that, due to the hefty age gap between our children, we have forgotten everything we learned first time around and we are now having to start over again.

Our current most pressing challenge is to potty train the lad, simply because the little bruiser will soon grow too big for anything that Pampers makes. Time is against us.

Our rose-tinted memory from first time around is that the whole process was over in a week and while I am pretty sure that wasn’t the case, it certainly wasn’t as drawn out as it is now.

However, there are signs of the corner being turned as this weekend we had our first success, one which was celebrated in our house like an English World Cup victory.

There is every danger that it could be, ahem, a flash in the pan but it serves as a reminder that being a parent is the most important job of the lot.