Throwing My Dummy Out
I think it takes a special sort of person to adopt children (I never realised this until I adopted my own), it’s a difficult route to take at the best of times but sometimes I feel I am just not the right person for the job. I am tetchy, irritable, fed up and stressed out.
I don’t want things thrown at me by a two year old because I have gently removed my best shoes from his grasp. The shoes he was trying to saw in two with a wooden jigsaw board. OK, so he wouldn’t actually have achieved sawing my shoes in half but they would have looked pretty knackered by the time he had finished
I don’t want my new leather settee crashed into repeatedly with a mickey mouse ride-on. I’m fed up of the stair gates and the ripped wallpaper that I dare not replace yet because Boy has still not grown out of the destructive phase. I am fed up of being a nag, ‘Girl why is your unworn pink jacket on the floor again? The one I put on a hanger only yesterday because it had been dumped on the floor of your wardrobe?’.
I am fed up of ironing and fighting a losing battle with the housework and keeping Boy amused at the same time (which I rarely achieve). I would like to be able to play with my son and he not throw a wobbly because he is so independent that he won’t let me help him with anything, I’m all for him exploring things and leading the play but if I can see he is getting cross with something because he can’t figure it out for himself then I would actually like to be able to help. I would like a day without the word No shouted every five minutes and a hand raised in the stop sign in total defiance. I would like to be not worrying about development, speech and eating issues. I would like my kids to be a bit more consistent about what they will or will not eat (OK I am probably asking a bit too much here).
I would like to be able to ask either of my children to help with something without them fighting over who is going to do it or stubbornly refusing, we are only talking about small things like opening the door for the dog. Actually shall I tell you how that goes?
Dog: ‘WOOF, WOOF, WOOF’. (Dog is scraping the back door impatiently, legs crossed because like Girl he always waits until he is desperate for a wee)
Me: ‘Boy, would you like to open the back door for the dog?’
Boy: ’NO.’ (Always shouted)
Me: ‘OK then. Girl, could you please open the back door for the dog’.
Girl: ‘OK mummy’.
Boy: (looks up in alarm because he does actually like doing things for the dog and Girl is suddenly getting all the attention) ‘NO, NO, NO!’
A tussle then ensues and a race to the door with the kids pushing and fighting all the way.
Dog: Alarmed by the stampede running towards him goes and hides quivering under the dining room table until the kids are brought under control.
Me: (cross by now) ‘Right, both of you sit down, I’ll do it myself’. This involves five minutes of tussling with and trying to coax the dog back towards the door because I know if I don’t as soon as I sit down he will start barking to be let out again.
It’s unrelenting. Some days I can just cope with it and get on with it. Some days, like today I just can’t. I feel like a sulky teenager. I want calmness, I want my own way in my own house. I want tidiness. These things just don’t come with kids, it’s not part of the package.