the test.

We are definitely being tested right now.

Someone, somewhere thinks it’s time to give us a right good kick up the backside.

It’s like they’re saying, “Oh, so you think you’re having a good time!? Here’s ten tonnes of melodrama, stroppy almost five year old and a whole heap of guilt just to ice that cake of yours!”

Thanks for that. Whoever you are.

Ok, so I’m being dramatic.  

I guess the first thing to say is that I know my daughter is not naughty.

I know full well that she is a gem, and that she is so lovely.

So the next thing to say then is this…

How do you discipline someone who is, on the whole, really lovely, when all of a sudden they start constantly doing things to upset their little brother? When they just refuse to listen? When they backchat you all the time? 

Yesterday I tried some discipline. Yesterday I followed through on the threat to send Ruby to her room if she continued being naughty and didn’t eat her dinner properly as she had been asked to.

And my word. The tantrum that ensued was immense.

Immense.

I instantly felt absolutely awful. Like the worst Mummy in the world.

What had she actually done wrong? Was I overreacting? Had I made a mountain out of a molehill?

I am still questioning myself, even now, 24 hours after “the incident”.

Because this is what being a parent does to you.

The worst thing about it all was that when she had actually calmed down and I started to talk with her about what had happened and why I have to start following through on punishments with her, was what she said to me.

She wailed, “But all I ever want to do is make you happy. And all you do is yell at me.”

Is this true? Have I become the worst Mummy in the world? Are the thoughts I have at the back of my mind actually true?

I cried.

I cried in-front of my daughter.

And I hugged her and squeezed her and told her the following:

“I love you. I love you more than I have loved anything or anyone in the whole entire world. I love you so much that sometimes my heart feels like it will burst. You also make me more cross than I feel I have ever been. Not because you are naughty, but because I want to do the best job of being your Mummy that I possibly can. So that you can become the best grown-up that you possibly can.”

Her breathing became slower and we hugged even closer.

“It’s not your job to make me happy. It’s my job to make sure you are happy. To keep you safe and to show you how to be the best Ruby that you can possibly be. Do you think I would be doing a good job of being a Mummy to you if I just let you do all those things that are naughty, or dangerous or mean to Henry?

She said no, and that she understood.

And we hugged even closer and I told her I loved her some more.

This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often. In fact it’s really rare that she is this “naughty”. Like I said, I know my daughter is a lovely little girl.

So when it does happen I find it difficult. Really difficult.

Parenting is no easy ride, and whilst it’s fair to say that we chose to put ourselves in this situation, it’s also fair to say that sometimes? Sometimes it is so hard work. And that’s alright. It’s fine to think like that. 

Her behaviour is testing us to our limits at the moment. But we crack on, and today has been a much better day.  

We are doing the best we possibly can, and hopefully in years to come when all this is a memory and I am wishing, wishing, wishing that we could have this time back again she will understand that she is the most precious thing to me.

I love you Ruby Roo.

Always.

 

the waiting game.

Tomorrow our son, Henry, goes into hospital for an operation.

When he was just 3 months old Henry contracted Bacterial Meningitis (read about it and learn the signs & symptoms here…), which was horrific to put it mildly.

Thankfully, he came out of it the other side relatively unscathed.

However, at a routine post-Meningitis hearing check, the Audiology team discovered a hearing loss and, six tests later, that hearing loss isn’t getting any better.

So tomorrow, Henry heads into surgery to have grommets inserted.

Grommets are, for anyone that is wondering, very small tubes (like cotton reels) that help to drain away excess fluid building up in the middle ear.

Here’s a helpful handy diagram to show you exactly what I mean!*

grommet1

We’re hopeful that the grommets will drain away the fluid and that he will then pass his hearing tests – as the Audiology team believe that it’s the pressure of the fluid that is causing his hearing loss.

And, to be honest, that’s what I’m banking on – because otherwise, it’s likely that the Meningitis has damaged Henry’s hearing and so, if he doesn’t pass after the grommets have fallen out then we’ll need to consider hearing aids for him – and that, being completely honest, for some reason, makes me feel very uneasy.

Now, in my rational mind I know that this is a simple and straightforward procedure.

I know that he will be fine. That it’s routine and done hundreds of times a week. And that if, after it all he needs hearing aids then that is NOT a problem.

But yet I still feel like my world is spinning.

I feel sick. I’m worried. I’m nervous. I’m tired.

So, so tired.

Henry on the other hand, thankfully, is full of beans. He’s his usual belligerent self, shouting at his sister, raiding the fridge any chance he gets and stomping about the place wittering on to himself and anyone that will listen (and pretend to understand what he’s going on about!).

Tomorrow is unknown. I don’t have a clue what to expect. And I think that’s half of the problem.

I am, as you now know, a planner.

I’m strengthened by structure, and lists, and details.

Tomorrow makes me VERY nervous.

Once again, I’ll be on that ward.
The ward I had really hoped we’d never have to return to.

And once again, my baby will be handed off to someone else to take care of.

My control of the situation will be gone and, for a short time, so will my beautiful, smiley, happy son.

If you have any experience of this, or you can offer any pearls of wisdom to help me through then please feel free to comment.

Here’s to a quick and easy procedure, and to never having to go through this again!

But for now, we wait…

Speak soon,
K x

*Image supplied by afairgo.net

the parentals.

Without wishing to sound like the biggest twonk, I am the luckiest person in the world.

And, as it turns out, not only am I the luckiest person in the world where I stand in life here and now, but I have been the luckiest person in the world for approximately 32 years, 11 months and 340 days (oh dear, I’m nearly 33!) and just simply haven’t realised it. 

Technically you could argue that my brother is the luckiest person in the world as he has the great pleasure of sharing his birthday with me (what a marvellous birthday gift a screaming new baby is for a four year old!). But no, that title falls to me.

Lucky you say?! What on earth do you mean?! Well people…this is what I mean:

I’ve been through some trials in my life. Nothing heartachingly devastating, thankfully enough, but stuff like almost dying at the age of 14 from a burst appendix is enough to make anyone thankful that they are still alive and well, no!?

And at every twist and turn, there they have been. The parentals.

I must have been a nightmare growing up. I rarely smiled on family photos because I was usually in a huff about something or other. I was massively competitive with my older brother to the point of distraction. I threw big, huge strops. I would go and hide under the huge clothing rails in Tesco and have everyone searching the store for a “missing” child. It’s a wonder I wasn’t left somewhere with a note warning whomever found me to just leave me there!

But still, there they have always been. By my side and there for me. Always.

I chose a different path to what they might have expected or wanted for me…a different school to my brother which meant a mammoth trek to and from school each day. University, which cost them an absolute fortune and no doubt gave them endless worry and heartache as, for the first six months at least, I cried down the phone nearly every single day. Lichfield, which meant me moving away and 4 hour round trips every time the want to see me.

Plenty stress from the daughter.

And now, now that we have two children here they are again. Always there. Always helping, wherever and however they can. Providing advice and putting up with my strops even now (I don’t think I’ll ever mellow into a low maintenance type). And their love for our children…oh how lucky I am indeed!

And it’s not just my own parents that make me the luckiest person in the world…it’s my inlaws too.

Sickened yet?! 

I am the luckiest person in the world as I have the best in-laws too. They are truly lovely, and help us out so much despite living so far away. I don’t think I could ever repay them for the love, help and support they have shown me over the years.

So, if your parents are with you still and you are reading this as the mother or father to your own wee ones…no matter their age, their location, their state of mind, their contribution…be thankful.

Be thankful for the effort that went into raising you, even if there were horrible times. Be thankful for the sacrifices that were made to give you the scalextric or the Barbie DreamHouse Campervan that has been lovingly hoarded in the loft for an eternity in case you one day have a daughter that will want to play with it (thanks Dad!). Be thankful for the hours spent cleaning up sick, making your meals and stroking your hair as you went through yet another crisis because Peter Gronough didn’t even know who you were (cringe!).

And be thankful that, without even knowing it, they set you up with the tools to deal with the uncertainty, guilt and general mess that comes with being a parent yourself. Because you might not feel it, but you are doing great.

You are indeed the luckiest person in the world.

Except for me 😉

Speak soon, x