So, on Wednesday I fell down the stairs. My right arm has been aching since, due to me having incredibly rubbish wrist strength anyway, and I've been pretty tired and have a slight case of "writer's block". When I got to the bottom I sat and cried, and just thanked God I wasn't carrying Toby this time. Less than 5 weeks now until we move out of this house. Not only are the stairs very steep, they also have rounded edges and just seem to have been put in by somebody who didn't like people very much. It is an ex-council house, what more can I say? Poor Jessica came to see if I was ok and brought me my phone to "ring Beard, he come home?" I did ring him but I told him not to come home, because I felt ok by the time I got through to him and I just wanted things to be quiet. I took Toby up to bed, extremely gingerly, and then Jessica, then I tidied around and wrote a list of jobs for James to do. We had kind of rowed as he'd promised to do lots of tidying that afternoon whilst I was out and had sat watching Dave instead, but not having facebook was good I think. Instead of venting on there, asking friends for advice, getting stressed, I just had a quiet time (after yelling at him of course), and worked through my feelings myself. When he came in he was really sorry, and he did everything on the list before he went to bed, even sleeping on the sofa so he didn't wake me early in the morning when he set off for work. Sometimes, people just don't think, it doesn't mean they do it on purpose, and there's no point staying mad if they're genuinely sorry and make amends.
Thursdays dont work very well for us. Firstly, I have to get all the kids to school for 8.45am as James goes out to work at 5am so he can't take Adam. Which I think is good as it will get Jessica used to going early in a morning before September, even if only once a week it's better than nothing. I get everything ready on Wednesday nights and it's all good, right up until the moment we need to leave. When something catastrophic pretty much always happens. Usually involving Jessica, although it can entangle all of us and frequently does so. This week we were almost on time, but hit a snag at the other side of the river bridge when Jessica suddenly had a meltdown and decided she couldn't possibly go any further because Adam and I had walked through the big gate instead of the small one. I don't think it helped that she had just pushed her way through the wind over the bridge. So I suggested to Adam he could actually run up to school from there, if I watched him over the road - he is capable of crossing that road by himself but I knew he wouldn't quite fancy that. So off he set with 5 minutes to go, and I turned my attentions to convincing Jessica to move forwards. Only to turn back around and realise Adam had moved about a foot and was stood by the fence sobbing. So I turned my attention back to him (Jessica was going nowhere fast), to be told that he couldn't possibly walk to school on his own, it's not safe. Now, how many people get told that by their almost 10 year old sons 5 minutes from school I wonder, aren't most of them begging to walk by themselves by the age of 8?? I reassured him we could walk together however (with an exasperated look backwards at Jessica), he would most certainly be 5 or 10 minutes late. He was fine with that, the child who hates being late for school would rather that than walk alone it seems. At least now I know. With less pressure, and a distraction of being able to take Adam into the office, we were soon underway and arrived exactly 10 minutes late. So next Thursday I shall set off 10 minutes earlier, we MUST be out of the door by 8.15am on the dot, so getting our coats on by 8.05am at the latest. We'll see how it goes...............................
Thursday afternoons don't work either. Jessica has PE, it's near the end of the week, and it's just me, her and Toby on the way home. So by the time we got to the corner of the road Jessica was already well on the way to meltdown-ville. Bearing in mind this is the first week back to school without a buggy board. It has been replaced by a scooter which works as a distraction but only half the time. Although it does cover ground fast when it is working, so I think it has a good success rate. Not this time however. I dared to suggest getting to the shop (about 10 steps away) and then deciding what to do, which prompted more tears and demands of staying where we were - dead on the corner where everybody was trying to walk. So, we had a big swap around. The raincover came off, the mei tai (that luckily I had left in the basket) was put on, Toby's coat came off and his jumper was put on, he was put in the mei tai and my baby wearing fleece was put on. Then the footmuff came off (this apparently is only for babies, according to the nearly 4 year old who wanted to get in the 3 month old's pushchair), which involved unpopping and pushing through of straps, the seat unit was turned around and sat up, and finally the 4 year old got in the pushchair. To get out 10 steps later so she could choose her snack from the shop. Luckily she wanted to get back in afterwards otherwise I'm not quite sure I would have remained so (outwardly) calm. So, off we set home, the day after I fell down the stairs and hurt my arm, pushing a nearly 4 year old in a pram, carrying a 16lb 3 month old on my front, with a bag full of raincover, footmuff and sweater swinging off one wrist and pram handle whilst a scooter handle was precariously clutched in the other hand along with the other pram handle. To add to this juggling act, the sweets Jessica had chosen had writing on which obviously needed to be read by me every 2 minutes along the way.
I don't really know how we can solve Thursday afternoons. In a way, that is the solution. At least we had no falling asleep on buggy boards or needing to be carried up hills (and then falling asleep on my shoulder) whilst pushing a heavy pram. I'm sure it was easier to push her in the pram and carry Toby than it was to push the big pram up the hill with her on the buggy board. And we didn't have any major meltdowns once I realised that I had the solution right there with me in the pram basket.
Sometimes, I guess, as parents, we have to realise there isn't an "easy" solution. That these little people are indeed little, and just can't always do what would be easiest for us. When they have had to walk to school and back 3 days already, and had to get up and out early that same morning, and then had PE, they quite simply can not manage that final walk home, even when a bright pink fast scooter is there for the taking. And that when they are asking us to dig into our reserves of energy and be a packhorse, it isn't because they are being mean or unreasonable, it's because their reserves are all used up. How can I, as an adult, refuse to tire myself out, when that is what I am asking my 4 year old to do?
Tonight I let them watch DVDs in bed, because I am tired and film nights always end up with arguments over films and a hyper Jessica who won't go upstairs at the end of the film and I have all 3 of them all weekend on my own for the majority of the time. So I know it's supposed to be bad for them to fall asleep watching DVDs, but it's bad for me to yell at them because I'm exhausted and I think this is the lesser of two evils. I can always blame their Aunty, she bought them the DVD players.
I wanted a chilled out relaxing "what will be will be" kind of song, but my brain isn't working well enough to find one right now. It is whirling around with pirate parties and house moves and information on HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) children which I have been reading with much interest in connection with Adam - I'm pretty sure you will see further blogs on this soon as I have a book on the way about it - always good to know your children well xx.
Sorry for the ramble, the wrongly placed apostrophes and the many paragraphs of text. At the moment I'm still working on figuring out my life, so sometimes you might see building work in progress instead of a sleek well presented finished article xx.