A normal day at home is never whole of this or whole of that; it is a combination of fun and frustration with the balance tilting in either direction on different days. Our day together isn’t perfect because it is all fun; it is perfect because we make it so!
So the morning bell has stopped ringing and it’s time to stay up late and sleep in till late, only that at our house, the invisible bell still rings and the kids are up by 8 a.m. if not earlier!
Just as I sit to write this one, I am thinking should I amuse the readers with the fun part or vent my frustration right away? Ok, let us save the best for the last!
The morning, yea, let us go back to the time when it all begins! For me, the mornings can swing either ways. If I get lucky, the girls are up and giggling in their bed, being best buddies and reading each other stories by the time I wake up and go to check on them OR my ears wake up to blood boiling screams and a thud or any kind of noise which clearly implies that things (or people) have been pushed or dropped. And before I can make a guess on what it could be, running steps come and encroach my bed one after the either, parking themselves on either side of me, making me a prisoner in the middle of their war. Of course, they want me to be the judge, but that early in the morning and without my cup of tea, all I am in the mood for is some verbal bashing and threats on what they will be missing out on during the day (T.V. time, scheduled play date or visit to the park) if they don’t make peace and get off my hair this very minute. Some parenting experts may argue that blackmail is probably not the best way to deal in situations like these, but I have little patience for anything else at that time so I guess I would have to accept a ‘B’ grade as far as the mornings go.
Rest of the day, I assure you, I am much better and contained and somewhat patient. Mornings are the worst you see of me, I am a much more pleasant person to meet other parts of the day.
If the day starts bad, it takes a while for it to get nicer. Then, the younger one doesn’t want to brush her teeth and the elder one wants to finish reading her book without having milk. The bickering, fighting and crying emerge at regular intervals throughout the day. The temporary pauses are when I let the older one watch T.V. and hand over the Kindle to the 3 year old.
Once we painfully get through the morning, lunch time is another struggle. First they are not hungry, then they don’t want to eat what I have cooked and as a final recourse they happen to have a ‘tummy ache’ at the same time (with sisters anything is possible!). Once again the three “B”s are deployed. Beg, Bribe or blackmail, whatever works.
Earlier when I was a novice in this field of parenting ‘two’, I would buckle them up and take them out for an ice cream or to the library or any store hoping that the change of scenario would calm their tantrums and my nerves down. But alas, what works with one child totally backfires when there are two of them. The shift in place only shifts the fight to someplace else and believe me you would rather have it inside, than outside!
The evenings tend to pass slightly better, maybe because they are tired of picking on each other or they forget all about what they have been combating about. Of course one last showdown before bed time is expected and warranted on a day that starts with one.
On a day like this, I pray for it to end soon as it leaves me irritated and angry and drained. I even question my love, loyalty and parenting abilities and wonder what I did wrong or what I should have handled differently or if I should have had two kids at all! More than the kids being wrong I worry if I was the right mother for them (as if they had a choice!). And while I am having these random thoughts I also realize that frustration leads to depression and depression makes you think insane things. The emotional outburst is as momentary as the girls’ squabble, comes in a second, disappears the next.
BUT like I said before, if I got lucky; the morning would start with wet kisses and snuggly cuddles and precious smiles saying ‘good morning’ from underneath the princess blanket where they are huddled together, siblings and best friends (well, maybe just for that day!). There’s something intriguing and magical about sisters whispering secrets and holding each others’ hands. Hell, they even make me feel like an outsider at times. It is still a struggle to get them going for milk and breakfast, but it is a playful kind of an effort because they are in unison and tempers aren’t flying high. If they are in an exceptionally sisterly mode, they will even wear the same clothes and pretend they are twins.
And if they are nice to each other, they are even nicer to hang around with. It’s a breeze to get them to do anything, even chores. Laughter fills the house and I wish for the day never to end.
When a perfect day like this one ends, I am happy and I am sad. Happy that they had such a wonderful time with each other and that I stay at home to be a part of it; sad that they will grow up and leave and the house will be empty. Happy that they need me to be around; Sad that they won’t shout for ‘Mommy’ every minute and for everything they do, very soon.
Whatever kind it has been, I wish and pray for the same thing every day. I pray for their bond to stay as strong forever and for them to watch out for the other. Doesn’t matter if the day has been exhausting or exhilarating, it ends with the satisfaction that even when they don’t have me, they will always have each other.