…are just not worth getting out of bed for.
Do you know the ones I mean? It’s not so much that you got out of the wrong side of the bed, so much as the bed was in the wrong room, in the wrong house, in the wrong neighbourhood.
Then you have an “ah-ha !” moment. And you realise it was not the bed’s fault at all, but that your head has managed overnight to firmly lodge itself in the depths of your own backside. I’m having one of those days. Here is how it played out.
Being a parent is a twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year gig. But sometimes the Brain that does the parenting takes an unexpected sabbatical. It suddenly stops understanding what it’s job is and begins to think that it should be allowed to do non-child things instead. At this point the conflict begins. Demanding children. Brain in denial. Motions are gone through. Everyone is fed, clothed, bathed, cuddled and ferried from home to playgroup and back again. Then it sets in….
Also known as The Mutiny, it involves the Parenting Brain actively switching off to what it sees before itself. Then the small people start the rebellion. Hah! She’s not allowed to switch off. Let’s see what we can do that is not naughty as such, but might just be enough to be irritating and gain attention. And then comes The Conflict.
Children an inch away from becoming feral creatures around the house. Mess. Muck. Noise levels that would make the neighbours’ ears curl. Laundry piling up in the corners. Clean, mind you. The Brain has not sunk so far as to have dirty laundry piling up.
The Brain, desperately trying to cling to a non-child (or household cleanliness) related activity, suddenly explodes.
What is going on here ?!?!
It exclaims this as it finally notices the carryings on that have been the hard work of two small children and one on-strike from housework Brain.
“Why on Earth are you doing that ?!?!” is the first thing to pop out of the Brain’s mouth. [Out of sight and earshot, in the back room of The Brain, a small voice says: “They’re being children. Remember them? They like mess and noise. It’s their raison d’être.”]
Followed by other imprecations and demands that indicate the Brain believes it should be able to leave the room for a smallish amount of time without the entire enterprise that is the Oh Waily household, from falling apart at the seams.
The details are not for the squeamish, so I shall spare you them.
At this point, enter a question levelled by another frustrated Mother of a pre-schooler, that has the Brain thinking about how it wants to parent.
Oh. Yes. The lovely “How to Talk” book that the Brain loves so much because it is such a humane way to raise children. What are the tenets of the book again? Oh. Right. Engaging with the children. Hmm. Acknowledging their feelings? Hmm. Not today, then? Oh. Dear.
At this point the Brain begins to feel somewhat uncomfortable, as though it has a nasty case of pins and needles. What’s that? Conscience. Realisation. Wake-up call.
It appears that the Brain has been recalled from it’s attempted sabbatical by a case of the guilty realisations. And it now, more or less, understands that everyone in the house is happier when it is on the job and not slinking off in a fit of the sulks to try and have time all for itself. At least not while there are things to be attended to. What it does after hours* is it’s own business, of course.
* when the children are asleep and dreaming of the next day’s worth of mess making.