Sometimes I see these beautifully compliant children standing nicely beside their parents at the supermarket and I wonder if they’ve been doped.
Their parent is often casually blipping their groceries through the self-service check out, taking their time as though they’re not harbouring a child-sized time bomb in their trolley, and these lovely children are waiting patiently, maybe they’re even helping and smiling and chatting cutely.
My kids don’t do that.
Ever, that I can recall.
I guess it may have happened once or twice but the other mortifying experiences are burnt into my brain.
Sometimes I see child in a cafe and they sit nicely on their butts and drink their drinks happily without blowing bubbles, spilling it, digging their hands in it, or fighting over whose glass is whose. They dexterously dip their chip into a little tomato sauce and politely eat it.
My kids don’t do that either.
Recently in the supermarket my two were screaming at each other in the meat department.
They were loud. Really loud.
Not having an argument per se, more like screaming like two cavemen over the final dinosaur drumstick before the apocalypse set in and everyone died horrible deaths from acid rain and starvation. Know what I mean?
Using my public mothering voice I asked them to please be quiet as the other customers did not want to hear their screams, growls or blood curdling war cries.
D Man was laughing manically between screams, tormenting his sister who was trapped in the pram, darting out of her reach before she could tear a clump of hair from his scalp, and Kiki was busting it up a notch from Feral to Foul.
I asked firmly for it to end.
I whisper-growled with the quiet death tone for them to stop.
There was a grey-haired, bespectacled lady perusing the lamb cutlets who was trying to pretend we did not exist. Fair play. I could seriously have walked out and left them there, hopping a cab to the airport and diving onto a plane to Puerto Rico.
When the final screech made my ears bleed I hissed at D Man to quit it and he proceeded to pull down his pants and waggle his penis at the pork cutlets.
Madame Grey Hair could no longer resist and she gave me a withering glare coupled with a tut.
‘I know, they’re foul and should never be allowed out. Their mother should be ashamed.’ I said in complete exasperation.
Lately I feel whenever I ask them to do anything they do the exact opposite. Even if it endangers them ; running on the road, wildly swinging sticks or sporting equipment, or just slapping each other upside UFC style.
Trying to get D Man to get dressed is unbelievable.
I ask him politely 10 times to get dressed and it’s not until I lose my shit, threaten violence and walk half way out to the car that he takes any notice….. and don’t get me started on bedtime.
Or teeth cleaning.
Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m failing motherhood.
I regularly lose library books, children’s socks and my cool.
I always forget the nappy bag, and 9 out of 10 times it doesn’t matter, but that other time?? Yep, at the mercy of kind strangers in the midst of a poonami.
I thought I’d be a Madonna-esque mother. Not pointy bra and crotch grabbing Madonna, but more like a gently smiling, blue swathed virgin, without the virgin bit.
I doubt Joseph ever walked in from a day hammering wooden nails and Mary thrust a whining, squalling, grubby faced Jesus in his hands as she hissed was going for a run before she killed someone.
I also doubt her sandals would have coped well cross-country.
There’s definitely a couple of minutes a day where they’re delightful, sometimes it’s even at the same time as each other. I love them dearly, don’t get me wrong, but I am struggling.
I’m not afraid to admit it to you for a few reasons.
One is that you’ve already seen my many lumps and bumps both literal and figurative, but also because if I’m struggling then surely, amongst all of those with it, onto it, composed, groomed mothers, there’s a couple of stragglers limping through to bed time daily wondering when the relentlessness will ease.
Since I started writing this I’ve had a mega breakthrough with D Man by taking away TV privileges. Do something the first time I ask, or that’s it for the day.
One small win for Mama Bear and I feel like I can cope for another week.
It’s all about the little victories when the battle seems never ending, innit?