I sat here yesterday – okay, not exactly here, because right now I’m forming a pinchproof barrier between the children as they watch TV – starting to type some annoyingly smug blog post about how well things go when I’m solo-parenting because they’re older and because when it’s just me, I have to commit to doing things for the kids rather than trying to get my own stuff done.
And then we spent the rest of the day sniping at one another and not doing anything fun at all, until a very belated trip to the pool redeemed things a bit.
A lot of that was down to my sleepless night the night before, which was mostly not due to Mabel, for a change, but because the night went something like this:
10.30: I go to bed.
10.30 – 12.00 or so: Today’s youth park outside my house to attend a house party down the street.*
2.30: I finally acknowledge the period pain I’ve been trying to ignore, so I get up to take some ibuprofen.
2.30 – 3.00: Today’s youth return to their cars, chatting and sometimes singing opera.
3.30: Mabel wakes up. She’d been asleep since 7pm, so that was a great night, for her. But she was hungry and I had to get her a frozen waffle.** She went back to sleep pretty quickly once she’d eaten it.
5.00: I go back to my own bed.
6.00: I hear Dash wake up. I go to forestall him before he barges into Mabel’s room looking for me and wakes her too. I tell him that he has to entertain himself until 7.00. He’s not happy about that. I don’t care much, so long as he’s quiet.
6.35: Mabel wakes up. She joins me in the big bed and after a while everyone’s up and the day has begun, against my better judgement.
So many things to discuss further here, but first let me dwell for a moment on the way my children constantly seem to demand food and water. Why aren’t they self-sufficient yet? My fridge doesn’t have one of those automatic water dispensers, and mostly I’m glad, because if it did we’d be swimming around the kitchen or skidding on ice all day, but on the other hand then they’d be able to get their own damn drinks. I’ve put the glasses where they can reach them, but they can’t lift down the heavy filter jug and pour it themselves, so that’s no help. And they won’t drink unfiltered water from the tap – which they can’t reach either anyway – because they’re demanding little so-and-so’s.
* Someone down the street is away, and the college kid they have house- and pet-sitting is Taking Advantage. We can’t hear the actual partying from here, but because our street is usually so quiet, and because my bedroom is at the front of the house and the windows were open, I could hear every word as if they were standing beside my bed. They weren’t yelling or raucous, they weren’t even audibly drunk going home – except for the guy belting out arias, probably, though for all I know he does that sober too – but the whole thing just felt like such an affront to civilized society. Because I’m sure I never attended any house parties as a student. Nope. Didn’t, for instance, first kiss my husband-to-be at one.
** Urgh. Feeding children in the middle of the night. It’s against my principles, but it’s also the quickest way to get her back to sleep, so I do it because the alternative is having her nursing all night. I really don’t want to wake at 3am because her body expects a waffle, but she just won’t go back to sleep hungry. I try to be sure she eats a good dinner to avoid this, but there’s no way to make her eat if she’s not interested, and she has the appetite of a gnat most of the time. Telling her “I won’t get you a waffle at 3am if you wake up hungry” has no effect. And not just because she knows it’s not true.
Back to wherever I was. Grumpy yesterday, that’s where. But before the grumps, we did some watercolour painting and some knitting. (Long story. Dash wants to learn to knit. There, that was quick.) I felt like the crafting-est (rather than craftiest, you understand) mother this side of Martha Stewart.
|Such concentration. This was at the start, before Mabel began to suck water out of her paintbrush.
I think my point, now that I look back and see if I can winkle one out of this diatribe, is that I’ve run the gamut of parenting in the past 24 hours or so, from sleeplessness to indulgence to home-schooling. Today we went back to our regularly scheduled light-saber fights and running around the street with friends, and everything was better again.
I also got a lot more sleep last night – so maybe the whole watercolours and knitting thing was just a product of my fevered imaginings.