I have no idea when it happened, but I have become THAT woman.
The one who spits on her palm/tissue/finger/napkin/top to wipe dirt off the kids' faces. In public.
The one who carries a disgusting number of dried up, scrunched up, crusty old tissues - in every possible holding place that has direct skin contact. All of which will be pulled out at a random moment to shove up a child's nose, or spat on and vigorously rubbed on a stain.
The one who doesn't really check herself before she leaves the house, resulting in:
a) inside out and/or backwards clothing, often obviously dirty
b) feral wild woman untamed frizzy hair that almost deserves its own "Warning" signage
c) general ashen tone to skin underneath a glistening sheen of sweat
d) previously mentioned old tissues poking out of clothing at various points
e) mismatched footwear
And I could go on, I really could.
When I had Miss5, it was that breezy first-baby phase - I like to refer to it as the Babymoon Period - where all you want to do is take them out, do things with them, show them the world. Co-ordinating your pram with your nappy bag with your handbag with your shoes.
During the Babymoon Period I still made an effort. I actually brushed my hair AND my teeth before leaving the house. I even put on a bit of make up - not a lot, but a little bit. Enough to care about my appearance before leaving the house, and at least try and cover up the black hole's under my eyes.
But not so much that Liz Hurley would feel the need to watch her back with me around.
I did not go out packing old tissues all over my person. The thought of such a thing was repulsive.
My clothing and footwear matched, was somewhat up to date, and semi-sort of-almost-fashionable.
Then I got over the Babymoon Period.
Then I had the twins.
Then everything turned to shit. Well, not quite shit - mostly snot, spew and poo.
As I said, I don't know when I turned into THAT woman. So I don't know if it was a gradual change - one day keeping a tissue up my sleeve, the next day in my bra, the next another one in my pocket. Never to be removed. Forever to be re-used.
I certainly didn't look at Miss5 with some food remnant on her face, assess the crowd in the playground or shopping centre, and wait for maximum exposure to "spit and polish". I had always said I would absolutely not, under any circumstances, EVER be that mother. Too late.
And the thing is - I don't really care. I've resigned myself to it.
I went to my wardrobe, and counted MULTIPLE Nana cardigans (you know, the shapeless, beige/grey/neutral toned ones that conveniently match baby vomit and snot, helpfully camouflaging the carnage until you can get home to clean it - that is, failing a spit covered crusty tissue removing the stains adequately at the time).
So here it is. My earth shattering realisation. I am the BEFORE photo for the makeover. But there is no AFTER photo. Nobody is going to come in and fix me up.
I am destined to be dry mouthed (from all the "spit and polish" work my 3 kids require). Adorned in loose, baggy jeans, or elastic waisted pants (that I've probably had to fight a Pensioner for at a sale). Nana cardigan covering my Mummy Tummy, whatever top I've got on backwards and/or inside out, and the day's kiddy-carnage (stains). Hair wrangled into a ponytail, frizzing out from behind my head like an orb.
Motherhood has stolen my 'care factor'.