So seriously, are those mothers who NEVER lose their cool and who always remain calm, reasonable and unflappable secretly snorting valium from the dashboard of their people carriers? Do they spend their spare time doing yoga, thai chi and meditation in order to chill out? Are they simply blessed with angelic children who never do anything worth getting riled about? I'm beginning to think so.
Today my children have taken my patience and hit it out of the park, scoring a home run on the driving their mother demeted scale. It's all part of the illness recovery period. Son 1 is still ill (officially). He had a slight temperature this morning and still wasn't eating so I felt it was best that he stayed off school. Son 2 is on the mend but irritable and used to getting his own way. This morning I told son 1 that he wasn't going to go to school, but could stay at home and watch TV and eat snacks. I would have thought any normal kid would have been jumping through hoops to get this. But no, not our contrary fairy.
He immediately began to wail loudly about wanting to go to school. At the exact same time, son 2 started wailing that he didn't want to go to pre-school, he wanted to stay at home and have what his big brother was being offered. I tried to calmly explain to both why they had to stay home/go to school. This immediately prompted son 2 into pulling out all he'd learned in his master drama classes as he attempted to cough up a lung in a bid to prove he was still unwell. Son 1 just kept yelling in ever increasing decibels.
This went on for some time. I tried to get son 1 to put his jumper and slippers on so that he could get in the car for his brother's drop off. He refused (read: flung slippers and jumper around the room and flailed about yelling on the sofa). Meanwhile, son 2 had decided to take matters into his own hands and had removed all of his clothes and was insisting on getting his Jarmers put back on.
In case you haven't tried, it's very, very hard to to pin down two small boys at once. You just manage to get one to hold still and the other scarpers off. You get one dressed and the other has pulled their shoes off. And this was them both supposedly weak and feeble and recovering from ailments. God help me when they're both at full fighting fitness.
Eventually, after a brief but well deserved smack to both backsides (apologies to the anti smacking brigade, I'm with you in principal, but failing in reality) which did little to change their minds other than to increase the volume of their yelling, I could feel myself wavering. Do I give up the fight? Do I call their father and tell him to get off his train and return home to deal with them? Or do I soldier on ignoring all protestations?
I opted for the latter. I grabbed son 2 in all his naked glory and carried him outside into the freezing air to the car. The shock of the cold actually took his breath away giving momentary respite from the yelling. Before he regained it and continued screaming only this time howling: Get me dressed. Which I duly did in the car, strapped him in and left him yelling angrily. I then had to frog march son 1 into the car clutching his jumper before strapping him in.
Now you might be reading this thinking I'm a cruel and vile mother for treating two ailing young children in this way. It did cross my mind that I shouldn't take a child whose just spent a week with a raging temperature outdoors with no clothes on. And it did cross my mind that a sick child really isn't themself and need to be given some leeway. But honestly, I am at a loss as to what else I could do. How far do you give in to the so called sick-bed shenanigans? How much leeway is too much? When are they being a bit difficult vs say completely taking the piss?
I'm afraid my placenta didn't come fully loaded with a manual on how to deal with the small baby that had been attached to it for nine months. A design flaw I feel. And so I continue to stumble on through the child-rearing battlefield hoping that I don't run out of ammunition before the enemy strikes back.
Perhaps it's time for me to get the razor blade and valium tabs stashed into the car cubbyhole. Or perhaps I should just order a jumbo size bottle of rescue remedy. Or perhaps I should just hire a nanny. Whatever the solution, for the sake of my sanity, I need wellness to return to this house. Pronto.