There’s nothing like the school holidays to make a Mother stop and think
“What the hell have I done?”
Maybe it’s a little late for this; maybe I should have had this realisation before now. I mean I have been a parent for 11 years. Is it possible, that now, as my kids start to get older, I am just beginning to emerge from the fog that prevents us from going certifiably insane when they are toddlers?
Is there some kind of hormonal/sleep deprivation induced stupor that protects us from the reality of the situations we put ourselves in? There has to be, why else would I have thought it a good idea to have 4 babies in 5 years? Why did I not realise that one day they would walk, and talk, and argue, and fight, and disobey, and ignore, and drive me absolutely bat shit crazy?!
Maybe it’s because my sister and I were such perfect children, that we never did any of those things. That could be it.
We are four days into the holidays, and I am sick of the sound of my own voice already.
Wait a sec.
Wait a minute.
Don’t do that.
Don’t you dare do that.
Dont. You. Dare.
Ok. That’s it.
Ok. That’s it. I’ve had enough.
Stop the noise.
Stop the fighting.
Because I said so.
Oh no you don’t.
Oh no. You didn’t.
Please tell me you didnt.
Apologise right now young lady.
When you behave.
If you behave.
I know I know. There are childless couples who would give anything to have children and I should be grateful. And I am. Perhaps I’d be more grateful if the childless couple and I could come to some kind of… ahem…arrangement?
But then Princess wraps her little hands around my neck and says ‘Mum, you’re so beautiful.’
Deflector, still at 11 years of age, wants a cuddle and says “You’re the best Mum ever.”
The Actor winks at me and says “Love ya Mum.”
Captain Clumsy says “Mum you’re the awesomest” and then almost knocks me out cold with his own brand of headbutt-fishkiss.
And I forget all about the bat shit crazy.
It is true; they make me crazy on a daily basis, particularly over the holidays. But they are my life, my existence, my everything.
I cannot remember a time without them. I cannot recall what it is like to not carry them with me in every single thing that I do. Sure I have memories of my life before they were born, but I cannot remember how it feels to not know them, or love them. Going back to my memories pre-children is like going back in time with a piece of the future, you can’t really go back to who you were, you can’t un-know what you know.
What I do know is this. I wish for quiet now, but in a few short years there will be no more chatter and arguments and constant noise. My house will be quiet and empty and even though it’s hard to believe I’ll probably miss the crazy.
Who knew I’d ever miss night feeds and terrible two’s and Johnston’s Bed Time Bath. But I do. The ‘kids are driving me crazy’ moments are the stuff of memories, it’s the snapshot you’ll look back on and wish you could touch just one more time.
And suddenly there is a commotion in the toy room followed quickly by a loud crash and when the doors burst open with four squabbling tattlers all pointing their fingers at each other, I find it hard to believe that I will ever want to come back to this particular snapshot in time.