Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mum on the edge

G&T - 27 months   M - 5 months

This has not been a good week. With the latest in a seemingly neverending stream of colds (no pun intended) knocking the usually fun twins off their game, we've had long days and even longer nights. Sleep has been disturbed and daytime naps curtailed by, well, there's no nice way to phrase it, truly epic amounts of snot. With all of us feeling rotten, it's no wonder tempers have been frayed, and on the worst day, the twins' constant arguments took me to the brink. From the moment they got up a good hour early, before even 6am, things were on a rocky footing. Every toy was fought over and every tiny sisterly disagreement escalated into a shrieking, crying frenzy. All of which, of course, also meant poor little M barely got a wink of sleep. When the twins too just couldn't be persuaded to take their lunchtime nap, there was only ever one outcome. My ears ringing from eight hours of ceaseless whining, sobbing and screeching, it was all I could do to stop myself running outside to lock myself in the shed with a pillow over my head. As I heard myself screaming, 'Stop screaming at me!' at them, I knew I'd lost it. Emotionally and physically wiped out, I lay down on the floor next to where M was playing in her jungle gym. M, by the way, had found my end-of-my-tether roar hilarious, which perhaps doesn't bode well for disciplining her in the future... Anyway, as I tried to calm myself by taking in her cheeky smile, the twins, a little shell-shocked by my outburst, quietly sat down a few feet away. After a minute or so, T picked up their nursery rhyme book. She opened each page in turn, looked at the picture and started to sing. Somehow, without me noticing exactly when, she'd learned practically all the words of every one. When she stumbled over Wee Willie Winkie, G piped up, 'Knocking on the windows...' as they both surreptitiously snuck looks at me. I, of course, melted. Suddenly, they were my gorgeous, cheeky, bright wee girls again. My favourite little people, who I love more than anything in the world. OK, so I'd lost it another seven or eight more times by the point T finally succumbed to exhaustion on the landing as I ran the bath, but I at least I had the nursery rhyme memory to fall back on. It's true that being a parent is by a million miles the hardest job you'll ever do. The lack of sleep, the worry, the neverending demands... But I can't think of any other career which offers so many moments of such heart-melting happiness. And when the next cold hits, I'll just have to keep telling myself that...