It was a day like every other day.
Except it wasn’t.
Although the title may imply that I left one of my kids home alone to fend off baddies in a comical way, I am proud to say that for 6 consecutive years I have managed to never leave any of them at home by mistake. Lost one at a market once – I’ll admit to that, but never left them at home. Although, thinking about it, I’m not sure which is worse.
(Side story – We’d gone to this little market in a hall full of tables and trinkets. For a brief moment I thought Seth had him and he thought I had him. Instead neither of us had him. Obviously we panicked and shouted and ran and searched when a little old lady mentioned that she’d seen a little boy go that way. We found him giggling like a school girl under one of the tables – he was hiding from us thinking it was the funniest thing in the World. He’s never left my hip since.)
No, no, when I say that we were home alone, I mean that I was alone at home with all of the kids. Seth had left me to fend for myself while he went on a business trip to JHB. Not even over night guys, he was back home at 8pm. I’m being dramatic, I know.
The thing is, I’m alone with the kids every day. I never show fear because I’m not afraid of them. I used to be, back when all three of them would need me at the same time ALL the time, but things are easier now. Being home alone with them is a breeze. They play, I read, they do home work, I help and make supper, they fight, I ignore them. Easy peasy.
But somehow having the knowledge that Seth was away on a plane to JHB made me ooze my anxiety. Basically – they could smell the fear.
It was like someone had reached inside their brains and switched off the rational flip. OK, let’s be honest here, most kids aren’t too rational at the best of times, but mine are usually easily persuaded to see logic. Until yesterday of course. They fought about everything, who took out the game, why they were cheating, who to pack it away, riding over the other ones toes, shouting at me for disciplining them (can you even?!), not eating their supper, eventually eating it with the biggest look of disgust on their face the whole time (don’t you love that, I love that – slaving away over a meal and then getting that look, it’s just so freaking great), not brushing their teeth when I asked, actually, not doing anything when I asked and then to top it right off, they would not go to sleep.
We have a pretty strict routine. We brush teeth, go to the toilet and then get into bed. Once they are in, we give them a kiss, hug, high five and low five and then read a story. After that we all pray and then I play them their songs. Once the songs are done they are not allowed to talk and I sit there until they fall asleep. Because Knox is in a different room to the girls, we divide and conquer – Seth does one and I do the other.
I get that people don’t understand why we sit there and wait for them to fall asleep, and honestly sometimes I don’t either. But it works for our family and that makes it worth it for us. Bonding and all that.
All of that being said, I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to have your exhausted child fiddling and faffing and not just falling asleep. I don’t know what it is, but it makes my blood boil.
You ever have the same? Or are we the only chops that still put the kids to sleep?
In fact my irritation was at an all time high all day. I was shouty mom the whole afternoon.
The problem with shouty mom, is that their slightly naughty behaviour is suddenly so offensive that you can’t help but flip out about it. But then instead of behaving, they feed off the burning anger in your soul and keep fueling it. By the end of the night I’d eaten all the things. All of them. The guilt was so high. I resolved to chat to them about it the next morning and to apologize.
So this morning I chatted to them about the fact that none of them would be earning a sticker for good behaviour yesterday and then added that I didn’t think I’d earned mine either. They looked at me in shock, so I elaborated, saying that I shouted too much to be a good Mom. They were the sweetest things though, saying that it was OK for Moms to shout and that I should still get a sticker because I was just helping them to do the right thing and they weren’t listening.
So Moms, we think we’re losing it. That we’re the absolute worst, but our kids? They still think that we should get stickers and that is worth feeling chuffed about.