Saturday, 12 January 2013

On a typical morning at home

I mentally started this post yesterday morning in a cloud of smugness.  We were stuck at home after Andy got a puncture in his car on Wednesday evening.  As I meandered through my lazy morning with the children, I was musing about the fact that it's been a while since we were just at home, with no timetable and nowhere to be.  I'd forgotten how lovely it can be to do things at a slower speed.  I was planning a short post on the importance of taking time at home to relax.  And then it all went to pieces.
It started with an accidental head-butt during a fake sneeze (that's toddlers for you) and escalated when he wouldn't come back to finished getting dressed.  Isaac's going through a particularly irritating and uncooperative phase at the moment, characterised by his tendency to answer every question with a definite "no"!  With my nose throbbing, (seriously it still hurts now, I thought it was going to bleed!) I lost my temper with him.  There was shouting, forced removal to his bedroom and a mummy-delivered dressing, followed by lots of crying, an apology from the boy and from the mummy and a rational explanation of exactly what he'd done wrong (the opposition, not the head-butt).

And isn't that exactly how parenthood works?  The moment you're thinking how lovely things are, they throw something else at you.

As it happened, the rest of our day pretty much followed the same pattern.  Once we were all dressed, we headed out in the buggy to pick up some icing sugar and had a lovely time at the park on our way home.  But before we left, someone ended up on the naughty step for refusing to put his coat and shoes on.  We ate lunch together and Anna tootled happily off to bed.  Isaac followed a little while later, kicking and screaming all the way.
We had a noisy, chaotic, fabulous afternoon when my mummies and their babies came over to celebrate one little boy's birthday.  I love these women; the only thing we had in common when we met was our health visiting team.  But over the last 2 years, we've spent so much time together that we used to joke about co-parenting our children.  Now most of us are back at work, things have changed again but we still get together once or twice a month on a Friday afternoon to drink coffee, eat cake and enjoy each other's company.  And that's the answer to the unpredictability of raising children.  Good friends doing the same things you are. People you trust with your worries and frustrations as well as the achievements and delights.  I'm so grateful for my little tribe.

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