Sometimes, when you have children, it’s only too easy to concentrate on the bad stuff.
The fighting, the whinging, the endless requests for help, the crying, the mess, the sleep deprivation, the trying to keep track of everyone’s stuff and schedule and the incessant cries of ‘muuuuum’. These are the little things that can really grind you down. If you have more than one child, you’ll find they often operate a tag team system just to make sure you don’t accidentally get a moment’s peace and quiet.
But then, just when you are at the absolute end of your tether, you’ll have a lovely family outing where no one melts down, or you’ll find one of your kids reading to another or them all playing together sweetly. Your heart just melts, the fog lifts and you just think ‘Yes, *this* is what I gave up my child-free life for’.
Then child 1 hits child 3, child 3 screams blue murder and traumatises child 2 and child 4 who both have noise sensitivities, and immediately join in with the communal wailing. This scenario is, of course, completely hypothetical.
These Good Times can be few and far between, so I advise you to store them up in your head. Video them if possible, at least get a photo, and use them as a repository for when times are grim.
On Sunday, we walked down to the end of our street and went to our local Christmas Fair. It was cold, but we were all wrapped up warmly and had a really nice time. DD2 and DH went on a scary ride together while the rest of us took bets on who would cry or throw up first.
The kids had a go on the teddy tombola ( because we definitely need more stuffed toys in this house) and DD3 won a teddy almost as big as she is.
She’s not a small almost-7 year old, so that’s a 3 foot teddy she’s holding. Apparently he’s called Snowflake.
Anyhow, the point I was trying to make is that the other kids were not nasty or jealous about her win at all. I have to admit that this state of affairs is relatively unusual in our house as our children are absolutely fixated on everything being ‘fair’, but I was very pleased by their reactions. During out afternoon, they didn’t demand to go on every ride, DD1 helped me take DD3 and DS to see Santa, and even DD2 didn’t throw too much of a tantrum when I confiscated her light sabre for trying to run her siblings through with it.
All in all, it was a very pleasant outing.
This generally kind and tolerant mood has persisted , off and on, for the last couple of days. This morning I caught my older two playing piano duets together.
Of course, they were doing this when I’d actually asked them to get their coats and shoes on for school and they were completely ignoring my request, but you can’t have everything. So I sat down, chilled out, asked them to do it again and videoed the moment.
At times like this I feel my sheer bloody mindedness in insisting they all learn the piano up to grade 5 is paying off. These are simple pieces, so they are sight reading them, but most important of all, they are enjoying themselves. They are also co operating, which could be considered nothing short of a bloody miracle.
I can only put it down to Christmas Spirit.