Posted by mothership on:
Today was one of those days when I wanted to give back the children and just sit quietly listening to the friendly sound of ice tinkling in my glass of nectar while a slave rubbed my feet with aromatic unguents. Actually I’d even have settled for a glass of lukewarm water, a pair of socks and a tub of Vicks VapoRub as long as there were NO CHILDREN there.
The day started out innocuously enough with us waiting, interminably waiting, for the oven-repair man to come. We spent this time productively planting some carrot seedlings which Four had begged me to buy her at the garden center. I like to see little ones digging in the dirt and getting into growing things, so together we prepared the soil and put them in. One helped by grabbing handfuls of earth and flinging them on the pathway so we could all walk over it and tread it into the house. When I told him “No” and redirected him (I hate that term, he’s not lost traffic) he merely giggled and ran around me to get more to throw through my legs, thus getting half on me, half on the path. Bonus!
Finally the oven man arrived looking very efficient and dapper in a sort of appliance-repairish way. He was tall with neatly clipped grey hair and an important looking tool belt. He wore slightly hilarious knee length shorts with boots and longish socks that gave him the appearance of a handy but elderly schoolboy.
Four instantly fell in love with him. She followed him into the kitchen and talked incessantly at him while he fixed the stove. She gave him a small bead she found on the floor and became upset when he didn’t understand that it was an important token of her love. I had to physically restrain her from throwing her arms around him and kissing him on the belly which she, alarmingly, does to people that are in favour. She cried when he left and moped for an hour or two.
Then she asked for chocolate.
Later on we took One to the doctor for a round of shots. While we were there I mentioned that One was not really talking yet, was that a problem? Doctor said not necessarily, but if he’s not saying a couple of words in a couple of months we will have to DO SOME TESTS. Strikes fear into mother’s heart. My boy is an idiot! Paranoia is not helped by the fact that I am currently reading a chapter in an Oliver Sacks book that deals with ‘idiot savants’ and I wonder if One is actually retarded and we haven’t noticed because he is so cute and he has uncanny skills with balls (he can actually dribble and he dunked a short basket the other day). I reason to myself that One does talk actually, all the time, it’s just that nobody understands him. I torture the baby for the rest of the day shouting words at his face and denying him food and water until he says something that sounds vaguely like a
We had packed One a bottle to comfort him after having five nasty jabs and I explained to Four that she could have the lollipop that was meant for him as he is too little to have them. One gets a bottle, Four gets a lolly.Simple as that. However, Four decided at some point later that afternoon that she also wanted a bottle. A bottle? At four years old?! I hear you ask in horror and astonishment. Yes, believe it or not, she still wants a bottle every now and then. We’d got her away from them pretty much completely by two and a half, but when One was born it was like crack – she saw it and she had to have it. We didn’t have the heart to deny her. And we just lie about it to the doctor and the dentist and so far we’re pretty sure we’ve fooled them.
Anyway, she starts asking for a bottle of milk and I say no, she had a lollipop, One had a bottle, that’s the deal.
Then she starts whining and threatening “If you don’t give me a bottle I won’t be your friend”.
I harden my position – one is not supposed to pander to terrorism.
She ups the ante, lies on the floor and screams at the top of her lungs.
One lies on top of her, thinking it’s a great game and shrieks too.
Four hits one for being on top and squashing her
I tell her not to hit her brother and pick him up to comfort him.
One hits me because he’s angry and he wants Four to comfort him
Four kicks me because I picked up One and she’s jealous.
I send Four to the naughty step where she screams MEAN MUM MEAN MUM for four minutes until I come and see her, try to talk to her and she hits me again so I put her back on time out and try to deal with One who is torturing the cat (trying to get her to speak, perhaps?).
Four works herself up into a state and has now remembered, all of a sudden, that we don’t have a TV anymore and starts sobbing that she’ll never see TV as long as she lives and it’s all my fault and she wants a bottle and I’m a mean mum and she wants her dad.
I start getting a migraine.
One starts to fuss because he has a slight fever from the shots.
I try to calm a by now hysterical Four down and get her to breathe and speak to me which works for a few minutes, but then she remembers she wants a bottle which I have denied her and it all starts again.
This goes on for over an hour.
Just as I’m about to give in as I have lost the will to live so what does one damn bottle or the undermining of my pathetic authority matter, Husband walks in carrying a bag of groceries, which, for him, usually means chips and beer.
He listens gravely as I tell him about Four, drama queen extrodinare and her lost love, her mean mother and her jonesing for her habit. About One, mute-boy who is probably retarded as punishment for all that dope I smoked in my erstwhile youth. About me and my headache and my lack of patience at the end of the day and how I want to run away and join the circus, surely it's more peaceful?
He nods understandingly and hands me the bag.
Everyone needs a bottle sometimes.
If you like this post, check out more at http://motherhoodthefinalfrontier.com