Following the drama of Blue Bear sustaining a head injury earlier in the week I thought I was done. Then on Friday afternoon I had to deal with Brown Bear shoving a sticking plaster up his nostril, which as an airway required medical intervention. Sort of. I wasn't going to spend my Friday evening at A & E so I decided to take Mum action. Nostril free of obstruction I hoped to catch a break. What was I thinking ? These are my boys we're talking about.
They think they're indestructible.
And that's the problem. I'm currently channelling fear, panic and guilt because I'm booked in for a two day retreat this week. Is it completely irresponsible to leave my boys behind and go away to sleep alone, meditate, be creative and practise yoga ? Don't get me wrong, I'm excited that I can go to the toilet without someone asking me where I am or following me in crying because I left them alone for 20 seconds. I can sit and read, or write, or do nothing at all instead of waiting until late at night when the kids are asleep and I'm tired and drained of energy.
Hubbie is taking care of the Bears and the cat while I lounge around, sleep in, have a facial, a massage and reflexology. I trust him completely - he's a fantastic father. The problem is the kids have no concept of danger. They throw themselves headlong at things, off things, into things. We barely keep them alive when it's two of us doing it. When we're a (wo)man down the stakes are just too high. Parenting my 5 yr old and 2 yr old is a constant cycle of running interference, being one step ahead and being able to stand the sight of blood (or worse - have you seen a plaster come back out of a child's nostril ?) when you've misjudged it.
The so-called parenting experts (Supernanny, Gina Ford) made great claims about what parents should do without having been parents themselves. They gave credance to their rules and advice by insisting that they had cared for many children over the years. Yes, cared for. Been paid to look after. Not been subjected to 24 hours a day - day after day - of relentless tantrums, fighting, food refusal, selective hearing and seeming desire to break the people charged with keeping them alive. We do this because - despite everything - we love our kids.
|Movie treats for Mummy & Son|
This weekend I've been spoiling Brown Bear to help boost his 'Mummy love tanks' (it was in a book about love languages - stop looking at me like that.) Movies, popcorn, ice cream, lots of attention just for him and Hubbie has been spending time with Blue Bear. I had hoped that it would be special and wonderful and we would connect and he'd see that I love him so very much. At times he is so jealous that it feels like I can't do right by him. He demands all my attention and deems any time I don't devote to him as neglect or proof that I love his brother more.
So, this magical Mummy / Son time I envisaged just didn't happen. He carried on as usual and I felt like I'd been taken for a dope. I can't point to one thing as there is so much, but the overriding one is he just won't listen. You warn him not to run in the house just as he slams into a door and screams like he's lost a limb. You ask him not to stick his foot out to trip up his brother and then he stubs his toe or Blue Bear bites him in retaliation. Cue another bloodcurdling yell. He emits a series of high pitched squeaks and squeals - much like a human fax machine. This is the worst as I have hyperacusis and every sound is like a fine knitting needle being pushed into my ear.
I'll be getting an honest to goodness break from being Mum. Hubbie gets to experience hell for three days without his wing (wo)man. So I'm taking my time out with good grace and gratitude. Yes I'm very, very lucky. I'm also realising that I deserve it. I mean the boys are still alive aren't they ? That's got to be worth something.
Thank you Hubbie. I love you. I wish you luck. If you need me I'll be chanting in Cornwall.