I’m sure they’re conspiring against me. I think they’ve been planning it for a while, possibly before the holidays. They have a plot to turn me into a demented waitress/chef/maid. There are three of them and only one of me. I only have two hands, two feet and one, not-quite-fully-functioning brain. I can’t decide if they are more like a plague of locusts or a nest of baby birds, mouths open, constantly chirping for food. No sooner have I done three slices of toast than the first baby bird has finished and is hungry again. Then they’re all thirsty. In the time it’s taken me to write this blog post, they’ve worked their way through nearly a whole loaf of bread!
They all want me to ‘Look! Look!’ at them all at the same time. I’m not an owl, my head doesn’t independently swivel 180 degrees. I’ve just about managed to get them to take turns when speaking, but inevitably, whichever one is speaking, sensing that they have their chance to take the floor, talks incessantly for ages and I struggle to concentrate on what she dreamt last night, the story that was told in assembly or another humorous ‘what if’ scenario that she’s come up with, whilst the other two jiggle and hop around desperate to interrupt.
They decide to start an activity that needs my time and attention just when I’m stirring a cheese sauce or risotto and then get in a huff that I can’t sort out their knitting, read a story or build a tower right at that precise moment. Whenever I sit down, they lean on me or sit on me or climb on me, until I give up and go and potter round the house again. The youngest is climbing up and down and round and round me and my chair as I type. I’m desperate for my husband to get home at the end of the day so that he can share the attention giving and listening and be a climbing frame instead of me. He, of course, delights in it, having missed it all day and I admire his enthusiasm. I am genuinely in awe of single mums and mums whose partners or husbands work away frequently and for long periods.
Parenting geniuses and gurus would probably tell me that all this can be sorted out by managing their expectations and organising my time and theirs better. I know this. I’ve read books, blogs and articles. I’ve been on parenting courses. People will also tell me that I need to make the most of this time, I’ll miss it when they’re grown up and I should be grateful for having any children at all. I know this too. Of course I do. I love them all to bits, even when they’re pulling their best scowls at me, and furthermore I refuse to be guilt-tripped into writing a fluffy, parenting blog full of the best moments that leave out all the tear-your-hair-out, exasperating moments just because I should be (and am) grateful. I’m only human and parenting is as exhausting as it is rewarding.
I’ve tried to threaten them with the thought that Father Christmas might leave soot and cinders in their stockings this year, but they look at me sceptically, knowing that the Big FC will never fail them. Of course he won’t. I can’t wait to see their faces on Christmas morning.
Merry Christmas Everyone!