And the parenting awards keep rolling in…

Now there’s an idea!

Monday mornings at our house are always fun.  It is a mad scramble to get everyone dressed, everything brushed and out the door before the first bell goes at school.

Today started out slow, it took special skills to coax the kids out of bed.

It also took major patience to get them fed and convince, especially the girls, to get dressed.  Daniel was on a roll and quite happily playing with the iPad as reward for being ready early.

As I was packing Mignon’s ballet clothes into her suitcase (yes, I should have done this last night, judge away) Isabel comes into the kitchen looking for her boots.

Here’s the thing about twins: they are great to have around when one forgets the words or tune to a song they learnt in class, as there’s always someone to help.  They really are double the joy.

But man, sometime they are double the pain in the behind. Double the drama, double the stubborn, double the powers of convincing required.

Someone gave us a pair of Wellington boots with hearts on them ages ago that are already quite worse for wear.  We have lots and lots of pairs of Wellies, but this particular pair have always been a bone of contention.  Because, well, they have hearts on them.  Isabel usually wears them because SOMEONE (not me) wrote her name on them one desperate morning a long long time ago.  So technically they aren’t “her” boots, they have to share and take turns.

But this morning she wanted those boots and when she came into the kitchen looking for them I had a feeling we were in for a challenge.  Mignon was already wearing them.  When she found Mignon hiding out in our room wearing those boots there were tears.  At approximately the exact time we were meant to be leaving the house. When those meltdowns happen I have a little scream on the inside and I admit: I panic.

See, I’m really bad with picking one child over the other and terrified of making one child feel left out/disadvantaged in any way (my own shit, I know).  So mostly I leave Etienne to mediate, which he is spectacularly good at.  We usually have strict rules about ownership, but for reason these bloody boots slipped through the muddy cracks.

So we tried to coax Mignon into taking them off, which felt wrong to me, besides the fact that she mutely stared at me, refusing to budge. Then we tried to get Isabel to wear another pair of boots in that high-pitched “look at how lovely these boots are” voice.  You know which voice. THAT desperate we’re-late-but-I’m-going-to-humor-you-for-5-more-minutes-until-I-lose-my-shit-voice

Isabel cried actual, desperate, heart-wrenching tears.  I couldn’t bear it.  So, I offered a Mother’s desperate ultimatum: if Isabel doesn’t stop crying and give Mignon a turn no-one can have them.  They will go into the bin.

Cue more tears, more mute, immovable stares. And Daniel’s helpful little taunting voice in the background saying how cross Mommy is.

I lost the plot, took them off Mignon’s feet and chucked them in the bin.  The recycling bin nogals.

I know, I’m horrible.

Isabel was crying full-steam when they got into Etienne’s car saying how she promised to share if only I wouldn’t throw the boots away.  Promise!  Promise! That was like the knife twisting in my heart.

Which meant we were all unhappy, go ME!

We had a little make-up at the car with some serious hugs and kisses, but I felt like shit.

Thing is, I had visions of sending them to school with that one pair of boots between the two of them and the potential fighting there and I was just not prepared to cause more problems. I keep thinking about what the lesson was that we were all meant to learn and if I royally fucked up my kids this morning.  I also keep thinking of what potentially would have been a win-win for everyone or whether one of my kids (I can’t even decide which one because neither of them was really wrong!) had a lesson to learn from it.

Then I entertained (and swiftly abandoned) the thought of going out and buying new boots.  But then I would have had to buy 3 pairs of new boots and that’s just silly.  Besides, they have lots of boots as it is.

I don’t want to raise children that won’t want to share with each other, but I also don’t want to raise children that can be easily victimized or aren’t independent.  I battle with this a lot and I’m just really, really grateful that we have Etienne, he is often the lone voice of calm in a sea of emotional turmoil.

How do you deal with this kind of thing in your house? 

Is it an issue at all?