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.
That 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…