Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why my kids are good for me.

I had a tantrum last week. One that a three-year-old would have been proud of. In front of the children. However much I plead temporary hormonal insanity (otherwise known as PMT), my little internal Jiminy Cricket was telling me: you could control this if you wanted to... But I was cross and bothered and I chose to let it out.

Here's why it happened:
  • I go out to tap 3 nights a week. (Stress Factor #1 - means dinner must be cooked, served and eaten before 6.30 so that I can leave the house by then)
  • I've been trying to cook nicer dinners for Fixit and myself. (Stress Factor #2 because I am competent but not gifted in the cooking department)
  • I have to cook different stuff for the kids. (Stress Factor #3 - additional meals to be dished up at the same time)
  • I am doing all of this at the last minute so to speak because that is the sort of person I am and I don't think after spending my entire adult life being this sort of person that I am ever going to change.
  • Fixit had been inexplicably and relentlessly late for the previous month. He knocks off at 5pm and it does not take more than half an hour of actual travel time from work to home; there is very little chance of overtime, the workshop just shuts, as in game over, he's not a corporate or salary slave, he knocks off at 5pm so why is he not getting home until 6.30???? *ahem*.
  • Climber decided to dress up as Spiderman. Which meant Cherub had to dress up as Buzz Lightyear. The Buzz Lightyear costume could not be located which resulted in small whinging hungry child pulling at my clothes as I was frantically trying to dish up the meals at the right time without spoiling the nicer more complicated meal I had lovingly prepared for Fixit who was LATE. AGAIN.
  • I had PMT.
So my tantrum involved stomping (naturally), some swearing (although obviously not as much as I would have liked due to small people being in the same room) and ranting at the absent Fixit along the lines of "Just once I would like some HELP would that be TOO MUCH to ask, knocks off at 5pm, try to fix a nice dinner, why am I the only person who can find anything in this house..."

Well, you get the idea.

By the time Fixit got home, I was done. I couldn't be bothered working up another head of steam and besides which I had to finish stuffing my face before running out the door to go to tap, after which I had to set up the hall in a complete flurry and then try to become calm-lovely-prepared-tap-teacher.

But back to why my kids are good for me. Clearly my foot-stamping and raised voice had worried the poor Climber. Cherub, he's three. He couldn't care less. But even before I left the house Climber was making gentle offers to help me. And when I got home that night I found this had been left for me on the kitchen table.

With instructions to turn it over. Which revealed this:

In my absence, he'd requested a photo of me to put by his bed because he missed me:

(You have to picture the sleeping boy in there, I took the photo the next morning.) And just in case you're interested this is the actual photo which shows Climber and me when he was just 2 and Cherub was about the size of a peanut & making me feel nauseous.

I may think twice before I throw my next wobbly. Or before I throw it in front of the kids anyway.


  1. Your boys are as wonderful as their mama.

    I hope things get smoothed out soon!

    (Also, I read your complete post thinking lazily 'Hmm, I forgot - does she live in the woods?' before I remember 'tap' for you does NOT mean making maple syrup....)
    It's late, I can't get R to sleep, and B is OBLIVIOUS. Snort.

  2. I really appreciated reading your line " could control this if you wanted to...But I was cross and bothered and I chose to let it out." I hear ya. It is good to let it all come out occasionally - but then the stress comes from thinking of the effect on the kids. But take heart, I mentioned this to a professional in the childrens field and they said that it was OK for children to see parents lose their "cool" (within limits of course) occassionally - it shows parents have foibles too and that other's behaviour has an impact on them also.

    That was a beautiful gift from the Climber. What a lovely, caring boy. And I know about the dress ups too - what's good for one HAS to be good for the other :-)

  3. You are raising a beautiful and empathic young man. He will feel his partner's pain, he will be so loving and caring to his partner that they will live happily forever. You will live happily knowing that you were a positive influence in his life.

    Did Climber's empathy impact on Fixit?

    At times we have to be irrational just so that we remember what rational feels like.

  4. Yeah, maybe, but then maybe you wouldn't get notes like that...

    That's the truly great thing about kids. They love you and hence forgive you.

    How cool is that?

    ps. word verification reads 'huggz'

  5. Oh how sweet is that!!! Your son is a real gem.

    Tantrums - we all have them! PMT or not and i think it is good if our kids see it too.

  6. What a gorgeous, loving little boy. I'm trying to control myself more. Because who wants a screaming banshee for a mother. At least now if I DO have a swearing (oh there's MUCH swearing), screaming tantie I try and remember to yell: "I'M NOT MAD AT YOU KIDS, I'M MAD AT MYSELF". The kids seem totally fine with this, and surprisingly - since they hear it so much - don't drop the F word themselves. Yet.

  7. Shelley, how bizarre, we just posted at H&B and here at the exact same time!

  8. Oh dear.
    Let me un-fog my eyes, wipe my nose.

    You obviously rock.
    Your children adore you.
    Your husband !??! .. well, we ate dry fish and soggy veges here tonight. I opted for leftover spaghetti, it was so gross, although it would have been FINE if the DH got here when he said he would, only 40mins before I started prepping ... ahem ..

    Love the pics. Gorgeous.

  9. your son is wonderful! I hope MrFixit had a pretty good excuse for his lateness.

    I'm rather glad Nutmeg posted what she did. Tantrums are not just the territory of 3 year olds over here either.

  10. What a sweet note... one to be treasured :)

    Don't worry we ALL lose our cool from time to time... but at least it teaches the kids that we are only human, not superhuman, as they usually presume us to be...

    BTW, I now have a "no new games rule" around dinner time as I got so tired of the requests for help on this or that at the time when my children were at their most whiney and tired and hungry!

  11. Oh I'm tearing up here. What a sweet boy you have.

  12. I don't think I am hormonally qualified to comment on the PMT thing.

    But I am working on a hypothesis.


    P.S. And God bless you for trying to cook nicer stuff! I promise to see what I can do to help...considering that we live so far apart that if I tried to get further away, I'd only be getting closer.

  13. That'll teach em to take you for granted. I laughed so much at this! Sounds like a weekly event at my house!

  14. That Climber is so lovely, not just to look at, but in his soul too!

    And what is it about a half hour trip home that can take an hour?

    MDH lives only 20 minutes away from his work. He calls to say he is on his way, see you in 45 mins. What the...?

    What he fails to say is that he is going to pop into Bunnings, or the hardware shop near him is closing down, or whatever.

    When I am heading for home, I just want to get there, I don't even want to detour via Coles!

  15. I loved this post. So honest so REAL. I dont think it hurts the kids to see REAL now & then.
    Climber is just a beautiful person.

  16. God I have those tantys all the time - I just dont get the letter at the end of mine! What a great post! I am also challenged in the kitchen department - maggi cook in the pot all the way!

  17. You need a way to reduce stress on those three tapping days! Maybe those days the whole family could eat the same meal, so you don't have to play short order cook, in addition to getting ready to be charming ,calm tap teacher.Better to eat something plain and easy and keep your cool, than a gourmet delight that you end up choking on.... Maybe, a daring thought, you could make a double batch of meatballs, or anything, and freeze half for these nights?
    Love that sweet Climber boy!

  18. Molly - quite a lot of the time I do as you wisely suggest. Last week I just got ideas above my station so to speak! Partly based on the assumption that there would be another pair of hands around to help me at the crucial time.... live and learn!

  19. Everyone is entitled to the occassional Wobbly. I'd say that one was totally deserved. What a baby you have there! It's good for them to sometimes have the opportunity to be The Grownup/ Healer/ Kisser of Booboos.

  20. Oh but it feels good to let it out occasionaly, doesn't it?

  21. I'm too busy cracking up at the idea that daysgoby thought you were out three nights a week making maple syrup.

    So I have nothing sympathetic or clever to say except that I DO THAT ALL THE TIME.

    (Throw tantrums, not make maple syrup. )


Don't let the cat get your tongue.