05 May 2009

While Daddy's Away ...

Mr de Elba headed off this morning for three days at a Prayer Retreat. I stayed at home with the children, fulfilling our marriage vows.

I, Mrs, take You, Mister, to be my husband.
To have and to hold, for better or for worse,
For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish; from this day forward.
All that I have I will give to you:
While you are on camps in The Whitsundays, I will clean up poo and vomit,
When you go to hear the Dalai Lama speak, I will wrestle small children bent on my emotional destruction,
While you are on Prayer Retreats, I will suffer abject humiliation at the shops.
I will accept demands for early dinners and subsequent aggressive refusal of those early dinners
At the hands of small tyrannical children bearing your physical likeness.
This is my solemn vow.

Today I limped and hobbled around the supermarket while Smoochy's behaviour sunk from "DREADful" to "ABsoLUTEly disGRACEful." She threw the most AMAZING tantrums. She ran away and got lost. She demanded to be picked up and demanded to be put down and demanded to be picked up. She sat down and when I walked away, strangers thought she was a poor little lost girl.

Sonny's behaviour was okay, but he had a tendency to run after her which only made her run away faster. I was in so much pain from you know what and from lifting Smoochy and Sonny in and out and in and out and in and out of the trolley and pushing the trolley and twisting as I manoeuvred it around corners and bending down to pick up my shopping list. I didn't have the physical strength to chase them down or the emotional strength to break through the pain barrier, knowing that doing so was only causing more damage.

Then they both lost sight of me at one point and bawled their eyes out while friendly strangers bent down low to "help" them. I stood 10 metres away in the place where they'd absconded from, beckoning them to come, grossly pregnant and in extreme pain.

Strangers passing heard me mutter, "Stay close to me children, and you might get the opportunity to see Mummy cry."

I then headed into KMart to get a broom that I really want -need- with Smoochy screaming and absconding all the way. Sonny bashed his head on the trolley on the way in and wailed. It only took me five minutes to ascertain that:
(a) Smoochy was not going to stop screaming,
(b) Sonny's head was so badly injured that it was possibly going to fall off, and
(c) that KMart didn't stock the broom that I wanted.

I then declared that we were going home, and hurried my travelling circus back out of KMart as those who had stared at us on the way in stared at us again on the way out.

After limping rather unsuccessfully through the rest of day, I struggled through The "I want fruit" - "You can't have fruit, you're waiting for dinner" - "I need dinner" - "Use your manners" - "But I NEED food because I'm getting SO WEAK!" - "Look, I've cooked you early dinner so you can eat now and forever hold your peace" - "I don't want it, I'm not hungry" - "You are hungry, eat it up" - "This food hurts my neck" - "DON'T push your food away and don't YOU throw your drinks across the room" - smacks - bedrooms - silent scream - Fiasco.

I hate that particular Fiasco.

I decided to do "the sensible thing". I locked myself in my bedroom (for I now have a lockable bedroom door) and take a shower (for I now have an ensuite) and wash my hair (for I have hair, and it was greasy.)

Yes, that was "the sensible thing." My other options involved violence and smashing stuff up.

I came out of the shower and noticed that the screaming had stopped. Slightly worried that they might have died, I walked towards the door. It was then that I noticed some small fingers pushed under the gap of the door, reaching in my direction. Then they disappeared.

I didn't know whose fingers they were, because both my children have small fingers. These small fingers re-appeared, this time beside some impossibly tiny fingers. Suddenly there were twenty small and tiny fingers reaching under the door towards me.

I dressed and opened the door. "We were reaching for you," he said.

"I saw that. I liked it," I replied. We hugged.

And now as I type, they are demanding hot drinks and biscuits.


Swift Jan said...

Thank goodness for precious moments like fingers under the door. Otherwise I fear the human race would slowly die off....

Parenting is SOOO hard somedays...

*hugs* for you my beautiful friend. I wish I could take that horrid pain away from you...

Crazy Sister said...

You are awesome. They will only get better and better for you at the shops - hang in there!

Givinya De Elba said...

Please explain why they are currently getting worse and worse.

musingwoman said...

As soon as that hubby of yours gets home from his retreat tell him you deserve a hot bubble bath, surrounded by scented candles, while listening to relaxing music, while he takes care of everything else.

Heather said...

Well, mine is now 3 weeks shy of six years old, and it *does* seem to be getting better in general (re: tantrums in public, like at shops etc), however when tantrums do occur, they are spectacularly worse.

All in all, I'll take Spectacularly Horrendous Tantrums occasionally (dare I say "infrequently" or is that jinxing me entirely?) than Typically Bad but Not Quite Horrendous Behavior regularly.

Is it any comfort to know that this behavior transpires with ALL children, all around the world (or on both sides of the page, as y'all believe the world to be flat ;) )? Just the other night, when Kiddo had whined for the eleventy billionth time that she was STARVING but did NOT want the lovely meal I'd cooked her because it hurt her throat to swallow and made her tummy cold (that'd be the milk that wasn't heated to her satisfaction) and the veggies were TOO LUMPY (um, they're peas, so yes, they are spherical) I finally said to her "THEN NO MORE DINNER FOR YOU. GO. TO. BED. NOOOOOW!"

Whereupon she burst into self-righteously indignant tears and said "But why are you trying to STAAAAAAAAAAAARVE me to DEEEEEATH?!?!? You're my MOTHER and you're SUPPOSED to TAKE CARE OF MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

Oh, and by the way, I've locked myself into my bedroom before, too.

(((((((HUGS))))))) to you, my dear.

Femina said...

I'm sure it's no consolation, but I'm in awe of you... because this isn't a one-off; you (and other mums and dads and carers) deal with this stuff all the time. I can do it as a one-off. I HAVE done it as a one-off, many times. But every day? That's a whole different level.

Big hugs to you. xoxo

Sassy Britches said...

I am with Swift Jan and Femina. If it werent't for the good times, the bad times would cause us to lose ourselves!

And you are THE BEST mum in the whole wide world. I cannot fathom from where you draw your patience, and I want to wrap you up regularly in big hugs.

GreenJello said...

It's those moments in the day when you love your life. Followed directly by those moments when you question your sanity.

Joy said...

But isn't it nice to know that Mr. deElba is off praying for you for 3 days. Tell him to pray harder.

I remember little fingers under the door too (usually the bathroom door).


Jen said...

I had the exact some day yesterday, only with out the public. We were just at home. *sigh* kids, what are we going to do with them

Tracy P. said...

Oh, here's the deficiency of bloggy friends though--so many of us would have swooped in and borrowed your kids for a "play date" if we had just been next door. And known. You're right though, there is something downright heavenly about the body of Christ right here in cyberspace. ;-)

I am amazed that you can take something so dismal and have us all laughing knowingly. May your next days be better.

Hairline Fracture said...

I hate those Fiascos too. All my sympathies are with you--and my prayers. I could just see their tiny fingers under the door.

You are a good mother.

Dee from Downunder said...

"We were reaching for you" Oh that put tears in my eyes... after such a "trying" day ( and I have so been there),
that is precious.

Louisa said...

All the other commenters have really said it for me!