Seconds away…and disaster!

One of the things that continues to amaze me about parenting two preschool girls is how a perfectly calm day can turn into a ridiculously stressful and chaotic situation within seconds. As parents, we’re expected to adjust our reactions and emotions accordingly  – and super fast.  I never knew I was capable of this, but the evidence appears to be that I am.   I don’t know whether I should be alarmed or not.

Check this scenario that happened just the other  day:

We’re having a perfectly nice, calm and orderly tea. Girls ask for a glass of milk with their tea. Two year old accidentally pours all her milk over four-year old’s chair, her clothes and the floor. Four year old is determined that two-year old did it on purpose and promptly picks up her milk and literally throws it all over two-year old, the floor and various toys that are lying around. I’m left with a kitchen literally COVERED in milk and two screaming, fighting preschool girls.

If this was a scene in a comedy film, or more likely a Tom and Jerry cartoon,  it would have been quite funny.  In the moment however I was cursing the day I’d been born as I wiped up milk with one hand and stopped my children trying to kill each other with the other.

I decided they should go straight to bed. They actually accepted this reasonably calmly (result!) but there was another minor incident later involving the scooter, the bathroom and a bright pink soft toy cat called ‘Ellie’ (boo!). Finally all was calm…and I hit the bath and  a nice glass of rosé wine.

mum dealing with preschool girlsThat particular incident ended up ok which, with hindsight, makes me feel like smug-super-mum who can deal with just about anything, anywhere and anytime.  I seem to have turned into a robot with an imaginary push button that says “REACT NOW OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!”

Other recent “push button” incidents:

– ‘Bedtime-gate’ incorporating ‘Hello Kitty Toothbrush Battle’

– ‘Car seat enemy shoot-out’ involving loaded apple juice cartons (still not cleaned my car)

– ‘Pink Blanket Ripping Incident’ which included an intense tug of war

What’s also interesting about the push button effect is that conversely I also seem to have ‘unexpected calm moments’ these days, ever since my girls reached a stage of relative independence. For example, I’ll suddenly realise they’re glued to a film and being quiet. I often don’t know what to do with myself in those moments and spend so long deciding whether to make a cup of coffee or do something useful that before I know it ‘calm moment’ has ended.

So: I never knew I had the ability to adjust at the drop of some milk a hat.  I discover new things about my girls every day – but often new things about myself, too.

Coming soon: ‘broken widescreen very expensive Smart TV incident’ and ‘permanent marker on the brown leather sofa’ meltdown…


Working Mum of two, living in Didsbury, Manchester, in a house which breeds washing, mushed up raisins and various toys in the brightest primary colours. Oh, and the odd empty wine glass.

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