Thursday, 9 May 2013


Best friends... or closest of enemies?

Who'd want to be an only child, huh? No one to play with, no one to share with? Sounds a bit dull to me. Blissfully quiet though.
Recently, I've spent most of my time splitting up arguments and refereeing disagreements about, well, everything. Case in point, the walk back from the bus-stop we use to get to and from nursery. There are two options - 'the road way' and 'the step way'.
'Which way shall we go today?' I asked the other day.
'Road way!' shouted G.
'Step way!' screamed T simultaneously.
A stand-off ensued until I suggested we take turns in choosing.
'So, who will choose today, and who gets the choice tomorrow?' I asked.
'Me today!' yelled T.
'No me!' demanded her sister.
There is simply no way to win. Given a choice, they will automatically demand different things. Or the same thing, if that makes it harder. They battle over every toy, every space, every scrap of my attention. And they have extra competition too, in the shape of a bossy 19-month-old, who thinks using the phrase 'Excuse me!' means you can barge through anything - and anyone - you want without taking prisoners. T, especially, has lost all patience with being one of three.
'Me! Me! I have something to say to you!' has become a familiar cry.

 Sometimes, there just isn't enough Mummy to go around
And this little bundle of cheekiness doesn't help!

When I drop the girls at nursery, they always wander off to play hand-in-hand, best of friends, facing the world together. But back home, they are in competition for everything. It's exhausting. And their fights aren't even what I'm really sick of. The sound of my own nagging voice is almost unbearable.
'Don't do that! Stop fighting! Get off your sister! No, don't draw on that! Take turns! You need to share! Stop licking the window!'
I'm horrid. I signed on for the nappies, the sleepless nights, the wrecked body... I didn't know I was going to become a monster.
'God, all I ever do is tell them off,' my husband complained to me recently. 'I sound like such a grumpy old man.'
A grumpy old couple. How did that sneak up on us? Does it happen to all parents? And do you ever get to turn back into the easy-going, fun-loving human you're pretty sure you used to be? I'm beginning to feel sorry  for my children. If I'm sick of the sound of my own whinging, goodness knows how they feel. I just want to have fun with them. I want to be a playful, happy, laid-back earth mother. Just how old do they have to get before I have a chance at that?

Photos copyright SS Kelman

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