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Between adolescents and toddlers

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It is so hectic around here all the time these days.

On the one hand I have Rhubarb. He is the very essence of thirteen. He is moody and sensitive and temperamental. He is sweet and loving in moments but the TAAM never seems to be far below the surface. I teased him this evening that every single utterance he makes seems to be a cliché of teengageness, his response was “Whatever, Mum”. I couldn’t stop laughing. We all know all of the stereotypical teenage moody and sullen behaviours. I knew what to expect except yet I am shocked daily by the sudden, awful reality of it.

I have a distinct feeling of helplessness. I want to knock on his skull and ask if he is actually in there. There is just no logic to it, I could say something teasingly to him in the morning and incite a stream of moans and muttering and yet find the same thing would be a fun joke to share in the afternoon. I don’t know whether I am coming or going. It requires supreme patience and I can see so clearly how we could lose our grip, how he could become a complete stranger to us if we are not careful to keep some lines of communication open.  I think in this I have to have some faith that he is the boy I know, that he will remain so at his core as long as we can keep things in his life reasonably even.

I am decidedly paranoid that I will do something horrifically wrong at some crucial age and send him spiraling off into an abyss of delinquency. We will just try and do the right thing and hope that we make it out the other end of this teenage thing intact.

At the other end of the spectrum, I have a nine-month-old baby who has decided that she is ready to walk. She is most definitely not ready to walk, in my opinion. She is not psychologically ready for the reality of being that far from the ground and the physical aspect should be beyond her as well. Her balance is horrific. This does not deter her. She cruises the furniture at lightening speed now, she has taken up to two steps independently. Today she is nine months and two weeks old. This is far from reasonable. She is too short for one thing.

I have had two other children walk prior to ten months of age. It is not funny. I may have to fashion a baby helmet and padding for her because as it stands she is a danger to herself and others. The kind of danger she can get into while standing doesn’t bear thinking about. She tried to climb a large bookshelf the other day. She has also developed a passion for trying the various taste sensations that are to be found around the floor of our immaculately kept home. She seems to like things ‘seasoned’ with dust and lint. She tried to take a large bite of the dog this evening, repeatedly. The dog likes to roll around in all manner of crap in the back yard. She is not a culinary delight.

Poss has been claiming illness all week. We believed her on Monday, thinking that she was coming down with our cold. This failed to happen. We sent her to school on Tuesday. Today she managed to pull out a temperature at breakfast time and Beefcake was forced to send her back to bed with her ‘tummy ache’. She has seemed fine all day. I suspect that she is fine but I have been wrong before and I do not wish to again retrieve a vomiting child from school under the accusing glare of the receptionist, who already knows we are bad parents.

Pudding is being his usual boisterous and vibrant self. This evening, whilst he demonstrated some new ‘moves’ atop Grub’s cot, we shared this:

P: “Mummy, you and Daddy are my parents”

Me: “Yes darling we are”

P: “I am very clever”

Me: “Yes you are”

P: “I am also funny”

Me: “You are funny”

P: “A poo comes out of a bum, ha!”

Me: Laughing more at his uproarious laughter than the actual ‘joke’ because really, poo has been done – “Oh you are hilarious”

Beefcake: “And you are very strong”

Pudding: “Yes, I know, and I have power.”

Things tick along with all of us. I wonder sometimes how I can do them all justice, they all pull me in such different directions. The volume and variety of children in our house leaves me a  bit torn sometimes.

In what directions are you being pulled?

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8 responses

  1. I love the window into your life, and while I am totally dreading the teenage years, I am dealing with a walking baby as well and I’m trying to ignore it. She’s my baby – I don’t want her to grow up yet!!

    HeatherPride’s last blog post… Fat Girls Club, Week Three: Food on a Budget

    • Thanks. Oh I know, I just want to shut my eyes and make it all go away. She demonstrated walking in front of a friend today, it is definitely a reality.

  2. Just reading that made me feel tired! I have 2 kids, 3 years apart, and even they do me in half the time. My husband works about 90-100 hours a week (he’s self-employed) and has next to no energy left over. I admire and resent him simultaneously. I pick up the slack with the kids, am trying to take on a little of Hubs’ paperwork to free up time for him (but I find it mind-numbingly boring) and my house and brain are over-flowing with half finished projects. I usually feel like I’ve lost my sense of self completely. Is this what mothering is? Will things change when Bad’s bigger?

    badness jones’s last blog post… April Funnies

    • Oh babe, it is so hard. There will be phases like this but it will get easier as they get older. Before we had Pudding it was getting easier for sure. Parenting is all-consuming though. No other job is so demanding.

  3. I so identify with that and I only have three. I think on a daily basis how stupid I was to have them all so far apart and that if I had had them one after the other in rapid succession things would have been easier.
    I lie to myself, of course, but you know how it is!

    • I know, I think about how nice it would have been to have them all close together, I have prolonged my own torture! Really though, can you imagine being at home with three or four kids all really close together. It would kill me!

  4. i struggle w/ that paranoia of feeling like i’m going to do something to screw up my kids too. they’re 12 and 9 and one of my main fears is that they will grow up feeling about me the way i feel about my parents. or that i will screw them up as badly as my parents screwed the three of us up.
    and i love pudding’s conversation–going from him being clever and all to poo coming out his bum. that’s priceless : )

    creative kerfuffle’s last blog post… band of merry commenters

  5. I walked at nine months and so did one of my sons. Very steady on our feet we were. My girls were 10 months old when they took their first steps, the youngest didn’t walk until he was almost one. He knew how, but with three older siblings carting him everywhere he just didn’t need to. When they all went off to school after the christmas break he walked all over the place behind me because I wasn’t going to pick him up every five minutes…

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