Down to my level, I mean. Down here, where I’ve spent the day negotiating the Somme…oh, sorry, I mean ‘trying to deal with face melting tantrums from both Smalls without completely losing my mind’. They don’t happen at the same of course – no, they stagger them just to fill my heart with a little more joy and laughter.
Sorry to begin the month on such a crappy note, but since getting conjunti-fucking-vitis on 11 September? The Smalls have been sick. C-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y. And M joined them about a week into their malaise. And each time I think they’re all getting better? It’s a trick. They get worse.
Just to put the icing on that particular cake, two days ago Small DB got her tantrum suit on. The one with all the bells and whistles – the spitting, the biting, the smearing her face with saliva, the scratching, the kicking and sometimes? She tops it all off with the vomiting.
Have I mentioned the humbling aspect of parenthood? The first time around it’s humbling because you had no concept of how fucking hard it could be. So hard that you were happy to have remained mentally and physically intact by the time the first year came around. The second time? It’s humbling because all those things your first kid didn’t do and you thought other kids were weird for doing? (And here I mean the Nappy Change Resistance Movement which has seen me contorting myself, pretzel-like, to pin down the bits of her I need to keep still in order to get a nappy on her butt – and I mean the Running Into the Road Because I’m Mad At You game…)
Small Z never did either of those things. I used to watch other people change their screaming writhing toddlers and just kind of stare blankly and unhelpfully. Uncomprehendingly.
Not anymore baby! I know Small DB is not well yet. Our sleep is again shot to hell. She is half sick, tired, frustrated, but ohhhh – my patience snapped tonight. She scratched me, hit me, kicked me and finally bit me. So… I bit her back. No – I didn’t rip a meaty chunk from her baby arm, but I didn’t gum her either.
I gave her a nip. I am sure that this is not the prescribed method for child-rearing, but my main aim is to teach her what I will not put up with. And also, this has been the hardest day that I can remember having for months and months…and months. Which didn’t exactly stack things in her favour. She got a shock and returned to the scratching and kicking approach while I drowned myself in motherguilt. How novel.
Three hours prior I got to participate in Small Z losing her sauce in the kind of spectacular fashion that you only think of in the context of Other Peoples Children. But this time it was my nearly five-year-old lying kicking on the ground screaming, “If you don’t buy me that pack of stickers I will….I will….”
(It used to be that she would then say that she would flush me down the toilet with no life jacket and no canoe and would not hug me until I was dead. Maybe she has lost her edge a little?)
“…I won’t let you have any tea. When you want a cup of tea, there will be…NONE FOR YOU!! And you won’t have your PHONE either.”
She zeroed in very precisely to they two things that get me through my days! Nicely done. Less wonderful was her screaming, “BAD MAMA. You’re a BAD MAMA!” whilst clinging prone to my leg. I sat down with the Biter, sorry… the Bolter, sorry… Small DB, to sit it out. I had bought them a packet of stickers each…but Small Z found another one that she couldn’t live without… “YOU ARE GOING TO BREAK MY HEART! YOU’RE BREAKING IT!! YOU’RE BREAKING IT”
I had several thoughts on what I wanted to break. It wasn’t her heart. Actually, I had more of a Queen lyric in mind… I want to break free….
Prior to us leaving the house on our ill-fated journey, M had come home looking grey. He had felt much better this morning and had obviously pushed it too hard. I have very very rarely seen him sick enough to just crawl into bed, but that’s what he did. That lucky, lucky man. So it wasn’t like I even had him to take the reins for ten minutes when we got home – which would have enabled me to either;
a) run to the bottle shop for alcohol
b) gone and given the back fence a good kicking
c) gone and…well – just GONE! – hello desert island…
d) all of the above
So we just got through it, taking Small bites. (Ha ha ha…yeah…not really so funny.) In the four hours since dinner I have had to change Small DB’s nappy twice, and both times it has been like trying to give a tablet to an enraged cat. It’s disastrous, horrible…and if it was anything BUT the nappy I would just abandon trying. But seriously – the alternative is poo and wee throughout the house, or rampant nappy rash. Not an option. I’ve been consoling myself reading every comment on this post…
And just while I’m signing off, for those that have managed to read this far into the whining drivel of my existence…let me finish with a flourish. I have to mention the EXODUS that has happened, one that is not improving my mood. My two friends – my lovely J in the next street, and my lovely neighbour? They’ve both moved away in the past few days. It’s like a conspiracy of isolation 🙁 No more Friday night G&T’s delivered to my door… no one to make me cups of tea on days like today when I feel my grip on the world start to slip.
I’ve known about J leaving for months, but decided not to think about it because it wasn’t going to be pleasant. But now that it’s happened…I realise just how much I will miss her. We’ve been propping each other up for a year or so now, counselling each other back to sanity every other week. Of course we will go and visit…but we can no longer just ‘drop in’ on our way back from the shops. J – you were my emergency contact for Small Z at kindergarten…I don’t have anyone else I can put down that doesn’t live an hour away!!! Why must you insist on getting on with your life?!
Gah. I’m going to return to being a tough loner.