Parenting in the fast lane
You know how you meet someone and for some reason you are just completely in sync with each other? It might be because we have known each other for such a long time (26 years!!) or because our backgrounds
are quite similar, but Etienne and I have almost always been like that.
Even in the early days we would be sitting in a restaurant and someone would walk in the distance or we would drive past something. I would notice something and start: “Did you see that..” and Etienne would finish the sentence and be 100% spot on.
We have this thing where we finish each other’s sentences. And arb stuff sometimes that’s not even remotely connected to what we were talking about at the time.
“Remember, we still have to…… check school hours for next year” when we are sprawled on the couch after being spewed out of the nightly vortex that is our children.
One of the sure ways I know that we are out of touch with each other is when we stop doing that or we get it wrong. Then I know that we need to regroup and sort out some stuff. And then, when it’s sorted out we get right back to talking in half sentences. It’s uncanny and downright weird sometimes. I often think “How did he know I was going to say that?” or when he starts a sentence I am blown away when I just know what he is going to say.
That is why I think it freaks him out when he doesn’t understand why I feel low sometimes and I can’t explain why. And the door is closed for him to understand without me actually saying anything. Because I don’t really know myself. Depression is SUCH a bitch.
Do you have this in your relationship too or are we just weird?
PS. He offered to bath the dogs yesterday morning to give me a chance to catch up on some Christmas gifts I am making. He kindly dressed the kids and coached them nicely on how to hold the garden hose and the doggy shampoo. Eventually, after hearing she sheer exasperation in his voice I go outside. And there he was, desperately holding on to Lily with Daniel clutching the bottle of shampoo and the girls shrieking away
in mirth at the very unhappy dog. Wet Husband, not so wet dog, dry children lined up against the wall canning
themselves. So we ended up sorting out the dogs and only then I realized that the neighbours’ back door that looks out on our back garden was open.
And I was wearing was a short nighty and no bra.
And here are our ablebodied assistants driving the tap:
Saturday morning was one of those few Saturdays that we didn’t have to rush off anywhere, so I thought it a good time to go back to bed for a little snooze after all the kids were up and (mostly) fed.
I had just snuggled in and was drifting off after reading a couple of pages of my book when I get rudely awoken by Isabel shouting from the loo: “Paaaapppaaaa, vee my booouuuude af!!!” That girl has a set of lungs on her, let me tell you.
Doefdoefdoef Etienne comes down the passage, the rest of the
circus children in tow. At this point I could still block out the noise. I could even block out Daniel jumping on the trampoline right outside our bedroom window, but I couldn’t block out his frantic screams followed by Etienne trying very hard not to laugh hysterically. Funny how I know his way of laughing by now.
Doefdoefdoef down the passage Daniel comes, “Mamma? MAAAMMMMAAA daar was ‘n spinnekop op die trampolien!!” (Mom, there was a spider on the trampoline!) Apparently he was jumping on the trampoline and must have disturbed a little rain spider that must have gotten the fright of his life and dashed across the trampoline for cover. I asked him how big the spider was:
Then Isabel came into the room to show me how big the spider was:
And JUST as I thought the children were simmering down, I had to deal with this little face up close:
All this before 08h00 on a Saturday morning..
ps. Daniel is normally very into bugs etc and he had some Millepedes in a jar the other night. The next morning through the din of the girls I vaguely hear him say he is going to put his Shongololo under the tree for the day. A minute later he is back, completely distraught and crying: Jack (the dog) ate the Shongololo! He cried all the way to school where they thankfully distracted him very quickly. Poor boy!
pps. Don’t you just love the word Shongololo? It’s such an awesome word.
After spending my day on the verge of tears yesterday and doing my best OCD/OTT thing I rushed out the door to my poor, desolate, deprived and neglected child.
My parents had collected them from school so I had to collect them from their house. I arrive at the house and find the 3 kids sprawled over the furniture happily munching on popcorn and watching a Barbie movie and ignoring their long-suffering mother. I really didn’t know whether I should be happy or sad.
Fast forward to bedtime.
We did an extra long read-and-cuddle-time, me with the girls and Etienne with Daniel and going-to-sleep-time didn’t go too badly. Normally when they are asleep they stay that way apart from the odd wet bed/fever/snotty nose/bad dream etc.
At this point you need to know:
We moved our room around recently. Since we have had children Etienne has always slept closest to the door. i.e. he generally gets up more than I do. Now I’m the one closest to the door. Which is not a bad thing as I generally sleep like the dead. (this has incidentally backfired nicely on Etienne as the dogs bark directly outside the window and Lily has taken to sleeping on the trampoline) (yes, Lily the dog)
That is, when I’m not dreaming up a storm of bizarreness as I have been lately. Really weird dreams which I know is just my mind’s way of processing, but it’s still stuck to me the next day like dog poo on a shoe. So, last night I decided to use some, erm, chemical assistance to sleep i.e. an anti-anxiety tablet. And half a one nogals as I don’t generally take anything to help me sleep.
At 10pm I was happily in bed, children checked on and tucked in, house quiet, alarm activated and drifting happily off to dreamland.
At 01h00 I surface to a doefdoef coming down the passage and the vague shape of a 3 year old looming in the doorway. It’s Isabel. “Mamma, I’m cold.” Drag myself out of bed through the haze and tuck her back in bed with a kiss and a cuddle.
01h30: “Mamma, I’m awake”. Etienne gets up and does something.
01h45: “Mamma, there’s a scary man” Etienne gets up grumbling and mumbling and deposits her back in bed.
02h00: “Mamma, I need to poo”. I get up (very slowly) and switch on the bathroom light and tell her to call me when she’s done.
02h10: “Mamma, I can’t make a poo” whilst looming in the doorway. At which point it got a little ugly and we asked her very nicely to go to bed.
02h30: “Mamma, I’m awake!” Etienne and I: “Go To BED!”
03h00, 03h30, 04h00 and so on: dogs barking. Allegedly. Because I was sleeping.
I’m getting too old for this…
And then, this morning, when we finally managed to drag Madam out of bed, she insists on wearing these shoes my Mom bought her yesterday. In 9 degrees Celcius weather. The pure fugliness of these shoes know no end. And notice the battle scars on her shin.
Tonight I am so tired I don’t even have the energy to switch on my laptop. I don’t think I’ve been so happy to see a Friday in years.
Not happy in a I-hate-my-life kind of way, just happy in a I-really-need-to-gather-my-thoughts kind of way. And in a I-really-miss-my-kids kind of way.
I can tell the day of the week by how many hugs Daniel needs at night: 10 on a Monday and 10 x 10 by a Thursday. Isabel asks for a glass of water on a Monday and water, medicine, hugs and kisses by a Thursday. And Mignon wanders around for a couple of minutes on a Monday and by Thursday night we can hear her down the passage singing songs until she eventually passes out.
They are such little troopers. I feel really bad about yanking them out of bed so early in the morning and dropping them off at school when it’s not even properly light yet.
But. We do what we need to.
Ps please hold thumbs, we are hoping to add another canine child to our family. Details to follow..
Pps I blogged from my phone. Just so you know.