Too long for FB contd

Just a quick update on my post earlier this week about The Coughing Child and some random stuff.

We decided to take Isabel back to our normal GP we love this morning and thank goodness we did. The poor gal actually has bronchitis. That other after-hours doctor won’t be seeing anyone in this house again in a hurry.

At least she is on the mend, thank goodness. Thank you for all the kind comments and tweets, much appreciated.


Every night the kids have 30 minutes to play on an electronic device and only after I get home. Some nights I get home and they are huddled around the computer, some nights they are drawing up a storm and other nights I arrive to the sounds of musical statutes in the kitchen. Like last night.

The only thing that is consistent is that the first thing Daniel asks me is whether he can have the iPad. The very minute I walk in the door. He knows he is not allowed to have it before he has had a conversation with me about his day. Sometimes I make him tell me repeatedly how much he loves me. Sometimes I even demand numerous kisses and hugs, just to torture him. I’m *such* a terrible person.

The other night, much to our amusement, I am accosted by Isabel, not Daniel, and we promptly gave her the same terrible treatment of demanding conversation and affection. She humored us for a while, then excused herself and sent in her wingman, that we also sent on his merry way.

We could hear Daniel whisper from the lounge ‘Isabel, it’s your turn, go ask Mom for the iPad’.

And so it starts, the ganging up on the parentals.

Of guilt and responsibility and pressure

Before I start I would like to say 2 things:
1. I haven’t blogged in 16 days*. In my almost 5 years of blogging this is the longest I’ve ever gone without publishing a post. This doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about writing, I spend my life composing blog posts in my head, but somehow I just haven’t been able to put them down here. I’m a little meh and a lot busy. Nothing bad, just meh.
2. My husband is fabulous. What follows is in NO way to critizise him. As husbands go he is amazing. He plans our weekly menu, he sorts out our bills, he diffuses my temper and he generally puts up with all my shit without losing his own.

Here’s the scenario:
At the beginning of winter I was going to buy long-sleeved school shirts for Daniel and Etienne said they never wore long-sleeved shirts as kids as they used to ruin them (he has 2 older brothers), let’s get the school rain-jacket, the sleeveless jersey and we’ll get a long-sleeve jersey for really cold days. We never ended up buying a long-sleeve jersey. Because we’re terrible parents, obviously. This meant that Daniel, who doesn’t ever feel the cold anyway*, had his warm jacket and short-sleeves for the rest.

One morning this week we are getting dressed and the jacket is missing. And Etienne and I look at each other with that Oh Fuck look. It dawned on us that the child was going to go to school in short sleeves on the coldest and wettest day of the year. I was hugely upset and a couple of “I told you so’s” may or may not have been muttered.

This episode serves as an example of how I, and after subsequent conversations, my (female) friends, perceive this:
1. It is always our fault.
2. Regardless of whether someone (read: your husband) else didn’t do what they were meant to and this affects your child it is still your fault. Because clearly you should have gone all OCD on their ass or just have done it yourself in the first place.
3. We really are a little afraid of being judged my other Mothers (Look! That child is wearing short sleeves on the coldest day of winter, what a bad Mother he has!) Ergo: It is our fault. And yes, we all do it.
4. The buck stops with us Moms. Always. Everything is in a way always our fault. When our kids are underdressed it’s our fault. When the sun comes out and we didn’t put suntan lotion on before we sent them to school, it’s our fault.
5. If we made a promise we cannot keep it’s our fault.
6. When kids don’t eat the food we lovingly prepare it is somehow our fault.
7. When a child is being bullied/bullies/isn’t liked we feel like it’s our fault and what did we do wrong?

I am exaggerating a little, but you get my drift. I’m making light of  one episode, but have 3 children and all those little things add up to a massive load.  Mignon’s dry skin under her lip she keeps licking?  My fault because I can’t get it sorted within 5 minutes. Isabel biting her nails? My fault and responsibility to sort out.  And so on and so forth.

Or is it just me that feels like I’m mysteriously doing things wrong that should be blamed on me?

* as I wrote that sentence I was reminded of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing compares to you: It’s been 7 hours and 15 daaayyyysss. Lovely little earworm for the rest of my day right there. You’re welcome.

** the sun briefly came out the other day, even though it was still about 7 degrees outside and he asked if they could run through the sprayers.  The child doesn’t feel the cold.  See also: he prefers to free-ball.  But that could just be a boy thing. I only have a (much younger) sister.