Some days start off hard and get worse before they get better. A lingering sore neck, liberally seasoned with PMT, meant that I probably wasn't my usual sunny self * this morning.
As we drove in the school gates, one boy was actually weeping, while the other two bickered relentlessly in the back. The crying one, the only boy who actually cared that he was late, informed me that I'd kept them late for school again, that it was entirely my fault as usual and that he was the last one in EVERY SINGLE DAY.
The fact that we'd all been up for an hour and a half and I'd been heckling them at regular intervals to get a move on was clearly beside the point. They had put me firmly on their 'pay no heed' list and resolutely continued arguing, and not putting on their shoes, and not putting their lunch in their school bag.
And when they decided instead to finish a competition to win a Minecraft tshirt - one they'd been messing about with for nearly a week- I thought I'd help them out with the answers and actually get the stupid things posted once and for all.
Big mistake. I took my eye off the ball, because clearly what I should have done was keep on shouting and nagging and herding them out towards the car. The clock said 9:08 and I felt like going straight back to bed but I cheerily** waved them off at school after forcing them both to kiss me before they got out of the car, and grim faced drove on to nursery with the littlest. Thankfully He neither knew nor cared that he was late... he's completely happy being last one in and last one picked up, poor kid.
I was then supposed to head straight to the post office with parcels, dump the car at my mums and
walk 2 miles to my writing class.... Well, I got as far as my Mum's. She took one look at me, sat me
down and listened while I cried and got the whole lot off my chest.
No I wasn't doing it all wrong, No, I wasn't the worst mother ever, No, they wouldn't always be like this and Yes, they would stop bickering, just not yet. No, they wouldn't appreciate anything I did for ages, but No, they didn't hate me and Yes, I was doing lots right. In the end, I never did make it to my class but I did make it to Starbucks to drink coffee with whipped cream and write this, and then to meet my delicious three day old niece for the first time.
Now I'm going to go home and do the school runs, organise the homeworks, make the dinner and cut several reluctant boys' hair. I'm also going to put ointment on verrucas, oversee room cleanings, wash hairs, put on one load of washing and fold another. I may even throw in a group fine combing check just for the fun of it. Who knows!
Because life feels like an endless, thankless round of busyness and organising sometimes. This is a frenetic, mad, difficult, wonderful phase and sometimes the responsibility of it feels overwhelming. Today's solution turned out to be quite simple- I just needed my Mum.
She's been dowe this road herself before and knows how hard it can be. She helped me step back and see the bigger picture. She normalized the tough parts and focused on what I'm doing right and the sunny days just around the corner. Then she dispensed tablets for a sore neck and gave me a hug for the road. She mammyed me, so I can mammy them and you can't ask for more than that.
* even grumpier than usual
** through gritted teeth