Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

It is just over 3 months until my girls turn four, officially leaving toddlerhood behind and embarking on the next phase of life as Little Girls. A phase which I am already finding a lot more fun than the "eat, sleep, poo" phase and the "I can walk and talk, but see no reason" phase.
After nearly four years of wishing for a little extra sleep in the mornings instead of dealing with a dirty nappy at 5am and having tea demanded at 5.30am; we now don't see them until 7am! Charlotte, who is so determined to grow up, is now in the habit of dressing herself - including socks and shoes - before coming to say good morning and Anna has finally seen the light and realised that sleeping later is actually quite nice.
Although this is a very warmly welcomed development, I have caught myself feeling a bit rejected and starved of their warm little bodies on a cold winter's morning.
However, along with this growing up - there was a time when I was so overwhelmed by them as babies that I forgot they were going to grow up at all - comes a whole lot of new challenges that make sychronised feeds, mid-night wake-ups and 18 nappy changes a day seem like a walk in the park.
Firstly and most notably you can't pull the wool over their eyes because they know that "weetbix doesn't have sugar in it already, ok Mom" and "the biscuit Anna got is definitely bigger than mine!" You definitely can't dress them up to look as cute as you'd like them to. If you put something off until tommorrow, there is no way of getting out of it. And ofcourse the most difficult to adapt to: you can no longer talk about them in front of them, or swear, as they now, very inconveniently, understand almost everything. I find this one the hardest and hence it came back to bite me:
It was one of those days when your chíld decides to have a problem with everything and today it was Charlotte who challenged me at every point right up to throwing a tantrum in front of the school's admin office - an ideal position for the school staff to observe my excellent parenting skills! But I stayed calm and tried to meet her needs, no luck, she continued to scream and stamp her feet as mothers and teachers gave us a wide birth. And then, as if she felt my level embarrassment was not high enough, Anna promptly whipped down her pants and tried to show me her privates!
To hell with concious parenting! Panicked and crimson with embarrassment at the chaos my children were creating, I scooped them up under my arms and marched to the car.With both of them screaming, I managed to strap them into their safety chairs. Determined to get out of there as fast as possible, I'm sure I uttered more than a few vulgar words as I battled with the f*&#$ing seatbelts.
Once I had gained a bit of composure they got a calm yet lethal tongue lashing. The trip home was silent.
The afternoon unfolded quite pleasantly, considering its start, until Charlotte pushed me a little too far again -insisting on climbing on the roof of the car - she ended up in her bedroom with the door locked.
Time out for Charlotte has never been very successful, she doesn't grasp the concept of "be quiet and it will be over in 3 minutes" She gets quite angry, really angry. So I expected the thumping and screaming, but boy did I stop in my tracks when I heard: "Mom, I can't get this f*&#$ing door open!"

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