As you could probably tell from my last post, I've been feeling the need to balance this blog out with a bit of the nitty gritty since the lofty ideals I sometimes write about are very nice and noble, but hard to follow through every minute of every day. I seem to be pretty good at being wise after the event, and many of my lessons seem to have been learnt the hard way. If I am going to be 'inspirational' as some of you seem to think me, I can only do so in a spirit of total truth and honesty. There can be no bullsh*tting y'all. Although its temping, believe me.
Well today has been a bit of a punch in the stomach as far as reality-call goes.
Since our youngest went on what I now realise was an ill-advised sleepover to some really dear friends (who are completely lovely, and we've swapped kids with them several times before - so this is no reflection on their character), Alf has been acting seriously moody and unpredictable. He seemed really happy to go there and I think perhaps he just got himself a little freaked out somewhere along the line, but didn't know how to verbalise this out loud). Last night he woke up at about 1am and for an hour and a half wanted us but didn't, wanted a drink but then refused it, wanted raisins but refused them, didn't want cuddles, didn't want to be soothed or spoken to, but then if we said 'ok then we will go to bed and leave you in peace', got EVEN MORE hysterical. All I wanted to do was hug him, scoop him into my arms, rock him, and tell him I loved him, which I tried to do but he fought me vehemently. It was really distressing as he had seemed ok with the sleepover thing but turns out, Mummy made a bad call. Ouch.
This morning he was much the same, crying at 7.30am because he wanted a lolly that his older brother had bought the night before from the tuckshop at youth club with a bit of his pocket-money, and we had an hour of hysterics over that. After a bad night, we were now waking up to a very bad tempered boy.
Later in the morning we made a cake, and at one point I left the room to help Indie find his shoes to go play outside, so Alf decided to eat the leftover cake mix from the bowl and so got it all over his face and hair. With sticky, crusty little bits now in his hair, he flat out refused to have his hair washed - he hates bath-time at the moment so this is stressful for all as it is. I had a choice - either cut his hair off so it was super duper short, wash it, or let it encrust into his hair making washing it later even harder to do. I opted for the wash-it-out-now option.
This turned out to be a heart-wrenching affair. Trying to stay patient, patiently explaining the angle he must tilt his head so he doesn't get water in his eyes were met with hysteria. I did not keep my cool. By now, I was getting pretty exhausted by all this, and I just washed his hair as best as I could whilst he struggled and cried and tipped his head at exactly the wrong angle.
After this I just wept. My hubby, who has been working 16hour days just lately, held me as I cried. Alf was already over it, and running around being mischievous and laughing at his nakedness, shaking his booty at everyone.
I cancelled our friends coming to visit us for the afternoon, and felt positively glum. I felt like a complete failure, like a fraud for writing anything in the vein of helping other parents. I wanted to run away, to get away from everything, and everyone.
So we did the next best thing. I packed the children in the car, and we drove to the beach. Wild and elemental, sunny and bright, the big wide space of the open beach seemed to undo the horridness of the morning.
The wind swirled around us, and we saw many birds, found a new woodland by the beach, took in the pretty villages on the twisty winding roads that lead away from these flatlands and took us to someplace else. It felt like a great escape, a release, like we could all breathe again.
Sometimes when things get intense, when everyone starts to bicker and the weight of the world seems too heavy, these wild walks are just what we need.
Tonight, we're going to get wrapped up and go for another walk, a moonlit walk to shake off the days blues. I will hold Alfie's little hand and continue to tell him how much I love him, as we look up at the moon. I can't wait.
Tommorow is a brand new day, and who knows what joys it may bring? Hopefully Mummy won't make any silly boo-boos and get it all wrong. We live and learn.