Three and a half is kicking my arse. I have stumbled through the past two days. The triumph of today is that I survived to type this and didn’t hit anyone. Today’s highlight? Driving the two Smalls around the gravel pathway of Crib Point Cemetery (because it was a dirt track and the bumping would hopefully lull them to sleep).
What was I thinking? I was thinking that I was so tired that driving was preferable to being in the house and might also have the added benefit of getting them both to sleep without doing more than hitting the accelerator. The cemetery? I had success a few months back, driving to Flinders and getting both Smalls to sleep. However, the Smallest Small awoke and I found myself careering around the track at Flinders Cemetery – also gravel, and managing to get her to drop back into slumber.
I had forgotten an important, an oh-so-important point. Both of them were awake. I began driving around the track, bordered by headstones, crazily close to the car. Bedecked, of course, with masses of (mostly plastic) flowers. Flowers. Small Z loooooves flowers. Flowers, flowers, flowers.
“Where are we?” she began asking, “Mama, I don’t want to go home. Stay here. Stop the car. Let me out to see the FLOWERS.”
Me, exhausted, realising my error, and not knowing how to gracefully exit the situation without a probable loss of life, said with forced gaiety, “Oh no! We have to go! We’re trying to get Daisy to sleep!” And drove out of the cemetery and off down the road.
Which triggered an enormous screaming bleating wail from Small Z. “TURN THE CAR A-ROUND! Let me OUT! AAAAAAAaaaaaaah!!!!” She continued screaming and crying and trying to physically turn the car around from the confines of her car seat as I drove grimly onward. Small DB, who sits facing Small Z, grew understandably agitated at being face-to-face with an irrationally screaming three-year-old gargoyle, and began screaming as well.
There was nowhere for me to pull over. There was nothing I could do. At one point I almost lost the plot and the car wiggled wildly along the road as I shrieked “SHUT UP!! SHUT UP!!! SHUT UP!!!!!” (And yes, M, I can feel you wincing as you read this.) Finally we reached Balnarring, where I pulled up on a dirt track near the park with a spinning of tyres.
I got poor little Small DB from the car. And walked a short distance away to regain composure. Small Z continued to scream and rail at the world, even managing to open her own car door while still buckled in. I was so angry. She was so angry and upset. It was a horrible, horrible afternoon. I dragged her to the park and told her (ridiculously) to GO AND PLAY. RIGHT NOW.
It was really hard for me to shake off how furious I was. Finally after some more warring, she cut through all the crap.
“I need you to cuddle me, Mama. Cuddle me.” I cuddled her. And then I cuddled her properly. We drove home without a whimper from anyone. And, of course, it transpired the following day that we were all on the cusp of illness, which is why we had all been feeling so awful…and I need to do better with taking my iron/liver. Gah.