The guilt propeller

It’s funny how a seemingly small thing can propel you into a state of guilt for an entire day. And please don’t offer me any big-girl-panties-psychobabble after reading this, I’m feeling vulnerable enough as it is.

Quite serendipitously I am going out tonight to see Michael Buble. When the tickets went on sale it was just not Etienne’s thing and life got in the way of making alternative plans with friends, so I didn’t pursue it. I’m so very happy to be going with a bunch of cool gals, but anxious about all the things OCD people like myself get anxious about such as parking, driving at night by myself (see psychobabble comment above), not seeing the kids tonight, hoping Daniel does well in his Xhosa test today and so on and so forth.

This morning the kids were up and about earlier than usual, so they were almost ready by the time I was ready and rushing to leave the house, already running a few minutes late. Mignon asked me to do her hair, so I said, sorry darling, Mommy has to go to work now, but Daddy or Norma will help you in just a minute. I also knew that, if I did her hair I would end up doing Isabel’s hair and then another 15 minutes would have gone by and I would be really, really late.

So I said, not today my darling. And, in the mirror, I could see something on my child’s face that was akin to disappointment. I didn’t click right that very second as my mind was already wandering to all the urgent things waiting at the office, but when it hit me I almost turned the car right around to go straight back and apologise and do the best hair ever. For her and her sister, work be damned.

Instead, I have spent a large part of my emotional energy today berating myself and wishing that I made a different choice this morning. Wishing I could take that crushed and disappointed look off my child’s face. An exercise in complete futililty, but still.

Then this popped up in my timeline this morning:

I think our kids need a Yes-day, almost like a Love-Bombing day, but probably something that would be more practical for us as a family. It feels like we live in a world of NO, a world of pushing them to do everything they *need* to do and don’t indulge them often enough or make them feel as important as they should know they are.

For now though, I’ll re-learn the lesson about being in the moment and continuously re-evaluating priorities and moving on. Thinking on my feet at 06h45am is clearly just not my strongest point.

When you love to hate Aftercare

Warning: Ranty post.

Our kids are in aftercare and I have a rather interesting relationship with them. Read: I love to hate them, for various reasons I don’t have the energy to go into right now. They are an unfortunate necessity in our lives.

I know, that sounds terribly ungrateful, but there you have it.

Today, when I collected the kids, Mignon was very upset and crying because the Aftercare lady ‘forgot’ to collect her from ballet. She did, however, not forget to collect the 9 other children that also do ballet.

I then ask the class ‘teacher’ what happened.

‘XXX did say she only came with 9 kids and she was meant to have 10, but we did explain to Isabel.’

You read that right. She said Isabel.

At this point I would like to say that I get that they are identical twins and that it can be confusing, but not knowing which child you FORGOT about is rather alarming.

I would also like to say that ‘explaining’ to a 6yo little girl why she was left behind is just not good enough. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Which is what I kept asking: Why did it happen in the first place?

It probably sounds like a huge overreaction on my part, but coupled with other things that worry me about Aftercare this kind of pushed me over the edge today.

I politely (ish) suggested that if she needs me to give her some pointers on how to tell them apart I would be happy to oblige. No, no, she says, I know exactly who is who.

And then proceeds to hug Isabel and apologise for her being left behind at ballet.

I can’t. I just can’t.

And no, I didn’t have the heart to point out her mistake.

We have spent the last almost 7 years celebrating the differences between our girls and treating each as their own person, knowing that the world will often see them as the same person because they look so much alike, but this infuriates me beyond belief. These people are responsible for taking care of our kids, the least they can do is get it right.

Ok. Rant over.

Ps. I am completely aware of the fact that my anger is partly fuelled by guilt. What. Ever.