Saturday, 13 May 2017

More awesome parenting

Today turned into One of Those Days.

The kind of day, when I spent at least 75% of it wondering if it's bedtime yet, and then when it came time to tuck LittleBear up in bed, I ended up holding him extra tight, for extra long, and reading him twice as many pages of his book as normal because I felt horrible for how horrible I'd been.

Let me take you back, 24 hours....

The PTA quiz night. BigBear wasn't feeling quite as keen as mustard, so I tootled along sans husband, and proceeded to have a raucous time with my friends. I think, but am not entirely certain, that I drank the best part of a bottle of Prosecco on my own. And then shared a bottle of beer with another friend, because I'd run out of Prosecco. Subsequently I have been informed that I'm "really competitive" and also that I'm "very like a man". The first of these I hold my hands up to. It's a fair cop. The second seemed potentially harsh to both me and men, as it was based upon my admission that the more I drank the more certain I was of my answers, and the higher the probability was that they were wrong. (It's not the first time I've been compared to a man. In fact, my colleagues have a tendency to make sweeping statements about women, and then append phrases such as, "but not you, because you're not a normal woman, you're more like a man." I digress. There's probably a whole thesis to be written on the men I work with...)

I managed to cycle home without incident, and then had a rather sweaty, disturbed and head-spinning night's sleep. Needless to say, I was not at my perky best this morning. I did start the morning reasonably well, as LittleBear and I cycled to the library and then retired to the local cafe so I could top up my caffeine levels and read the much-coveted books we'd collected to LittleBear.

So far, so splendid.

And then we went to a party.

In a soft-play centre.

With the remains of a hangover.

LittleBear ended up exhausted, dripping in sweat and tanked up on cake.

I ended up hoarse, aurally assaulted and randomly weeping in front of a good friend, and a new friend that I barely know. Because I find the best way to break down the stigma about mental health is to discuss post-natal depression at the top of my voice in a crowded public venue and then start crying.

The afternoon went downhill from there.

Once exhausted, LittleBear and I are both prone to irrationality, irritability, and inexplicable fits of weeping. We indulged in all of these pastimes liberally all afternoon.

LittleBear accused BigBear of kicking him during a game of football (untrue). LittleBear did kick BigBear in a fit of pique. Twice. LittleBear sobbed at the injustice of me scoring a goal in football when he "wasn't ready" and then he became immensely overwrought at his inability to play golf(!) on his first attempt*. Then it became clear that a certain amount of confusion existed about how exactly one played golf - "I threw the ball in the air ten times and I didn't hit it once Mummy!". Things didn't improve when I showed him that the traditional method is to start with the ball on the floor and to swing the club at it. He ended up hurling the club on the floor and stamping on it. Which is a state attempting to play golf has reduced me to in the past as well, to be honest. But nobody really wants him to grow up like me, so we had to Have Words.

Meanwhile I exercised all my best parenting skills: I shouted at him. I ignored him. I told him he was doing things wrong. I threatened to take his toys away**.

And then it was, finally, bedtime. And I cuddled him, a lot. And I said sorry for shouting. And cuddled him some more. And read to him. And cuddled him some more. And read some more. And cuddled some more. And we whispered sweet nothings to each other, and it will all be alright tomorrow. Because tomorrow is another day.

* Instead of the usual collection of random objects in a party bag, the children were all given a miniature golf club and four plastic golf balls. It would probably have been a good idea not to simply say, "yes dear, you have a go with them in the garden while I cook dinner."

** To do myself justice, I did also sit on the floor and write a new story with him, and read books to him, and giggle and play with him. But the crappy bits are easier to remember, and always feel as though they dominate.

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