Tuesday, 13 November 2012

cycles of life

Summer is here! Finally after what felt like the longest, wettest winter of all time we woke up on Saturday and the chill was gone. We threw on our summer dresses, donned our hats and headed to the beach. Bliss. Its simple: I am happy when the sun shines and the sea sparkles.

And its about time I felt a twinge of excitement for life, what with nausea and then my large belly, which doesn't fit into anything wintry anymore, bringing me down somewhat over the past few months. My poor husband has had to endure more than one unreasonable display of hormonal tears and emotion, but at least he can now pack me off to the beach where I can wallow like a happy whale in the ocean while the girls joyously amuse themselves for hours.
At the moment the farm still looks green and lush before the onslaught of the long hot days. And the feeling of abundance is in the air with new vegetables popping up, eight new calves, new baby chicks and me with my ballooning belly. It's a time of new beginnings, growth and change - all the things that put a skip back into my step.
And the twins keep growing. In exactly a month they will be five, a milestone I have been looking forward to since the terrible two's. According to various parenting books, five is supposed to be the "year of grace" for many parents. We await with anticipation to see if this is true. So far I am not seeing any graceful behaviour - they seem more bent on annihilating each other these days than anything else. I try to drum in the deep, connected twinship that they should share and just how lucky they are to have each other, but all I get are indignant responses. It seems this age is more about competing than bonding. Hopefully they do share a deep bond - unseen by others but still very much there.
As part of baby preparation I have tried to embark on "operation independence" with the twins. My reasoning goes that by the time No. 3 is born they will be five-years-old and capable of taking care of their own immediate needs, like dressing, bathing, eating and, we very much hope, wiping the under carriage! I thought if I run a mild form of drill, repeating the exercises daily, eventually muscle memory will kick in and they will be able to perform all necessary tasks without major adult  input required. But 6 months down the line I am wondering if my approach is ever going to work!
To be honest it's difficult to remain consistent with these drills as they take up so much energy and it's often easier to wordlessly perform the tasks for them while they continue in their fantasy world of never-ending chatter. Sometimes it feels like I am dealing with two experiments who have been given large doses of hallucinogenics and told to perform some basic human functions, like foaming up some soap and washing your neck. However, under the influence of child wonderment, these tasks are simply not possible as one tends to forget moment by moment what one is trying to do and mostly gets side tracked by the cool bubbles one can make with a bar of soap.
I have a sneaky suspicion that all my "drilling" with its monologue of orders has left them deaf and blind to my mere presence and has instead become a form of hypnotherapy that sends them into a world that only children can reach. Leaving me alone and repeating myself dumbly in the bland and boring world of maternal duty.
So I have decided when defeated, do nothing. And apart from the essential daily needs like a good teeth brush and a couple of soapy scrubs a week, the rest of the time they can figure it out for themselves. And maybe one day they will return to planet Earth long enough to actually perfect these essential bodily duties for themselves.
I think my latest efforts at controlling the outcome have yet again back fired and reminded me to allow growth to take place in the time that it takes. They will grow up and they will, hopefully, be able to wash their own orifices and do all the other necessities required of grown humans. In the mean time all I have to do is wait, and watch with wonderment, the ever unfolding miracle of life and growth which is all around me.

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