Archive for February, 2014

This unpredictable life

February 20, 2014

Life with children can be …

What a plethora of adjectives could complete the line. A multitude of descriptions that vary weekly, daily, hourly.

Blessed. Depressed. Inspiring. Deflating. A struggle.

The one word that perhaps best sums up the whole is inconsistent. No two days are ever the same. By way of an example, I will use a recent week in the life of one Happy Shambolic household.

A tiring weekend saw a sleepover turn into a blood-filled broken-nosed debacle, and Monday morning arrived to greet three sleep needy boys. They weren’t happy.

With strategies straining and sanity waning the day was declared a public holiday. Not a good habit but the only immediately viable option. Honest. Amid “never-again” and “but just for today” the boys had the time of their life. No school? It had actually worked!

Tuesday was never going to be good, so the resort was bribery. Lego goes a long way, but even it can’t stop a desperate 4 year old attempting to scale a kindy fence. Through the eyes of a tired 4 year old, does kindergarten resemble such a gulag? Two staff members and several tears later and he was inside, presumably settled with some play dough. By home time all boys were full of beans and their days were declared duly awesome.

By Wednesday, preparations were in place. Routines stuck to walls and martial law in force awaiting first signs of rebellion. But it was not to be, for lo and behold, all attitudes had turned. There was no need to gird. The order was to stand down as each boy marched into school and kindy with the confidence of a commanding officer. It can be hard to relax such tensed muscles.

Thursday’s dawn saw a relaxing of arms and with some coaxing the time frame was kept. With minimal complaints and bags packed and beds made the boys walked out the house with a swagger. A pattern began to emerge of days becoming easier, of confidence restoring, but herein lies the trap: it could all be gone by tomorrow.

Parenting keeps us on our toes. It tests our capacity for patience, resilience, adaption. The need to think on our feet is vital as we face new and unexpected challenges. Constantly. We are meant to learn as we go but there is barely time to stop and consider the successes and failures of past experience. You may occasionally find time to break from running and to just walk but you must always be on the alert. The nature of life with children is such that there rarely is time to breathe. We are all just bobbing, and attempting to gulp a lung full of air for the next wave.