Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Good Mother

Standards have seriously dropped around here. Half term began with good intentions on my part - limited screen time, board games and other family activities to enjoy, autumn walks, biscuit making....... Perhaps I set my sights too high, but by Wednesday those intentions were all but forgotten and survival was my only goal.

Having a nasty cold that has set it's hindering heaviness into my head and face, I have struggled to be the 'good mother' that I had planned to be. My whole body aches with the need to go to bed, and yet I have 3 energetic boys who need me. And so, the elusive 'good mother' has to wait again to come out of hiding.

Screen time limitations have been more than relaxed. Food has been consumed outside of mealtimes and even snack times - or perhaps they are just prolonged snack times. Yes, that is a far better way to think about it. Knowing that I would be completely ignored, I feebly suggested playing a board game whilst watching them racing around the house, yelling at the tops of their voices and wielding coathangers, tennis rackets, light sabres and other weaponry at each other. I gave in when they asked to go to the Yellow M for tea, and even went to the supermarket afterwards to buy them sweets (bribery for sitting down and watching a film) on a day that was not sweetie day.

Weakly, I watched them making their own lunches (and the mess that accompanied) - cheese sandwiches that would need several cows to replace the thick wedges of cheese that they attempted to squeeze into the bread. I did try to offer them fruit for pudding, but by that time, appetites satisfied, they were onto the next mess-making activity. Thankfully I managed to dissuade Toby from having a big bowl of ice cream for lunch, that would have been taking it one step too far.

I have paid them for paper aeroplanes they made 'for me' (after counting up all his 1p and 2p's Max discovered he had £4) and I have let them wander around the house with scissors in their hands, calling to them from my comfortable sofa to "carry the scissors properly". I have shouted at them to "STOP SHOUTING". I have answered their "Can shadows reflect the light?" type questions with "I don't know."

Is the 'good mother' really out there? Or is she just a slippery eel that is too hard to catch hold of? On occasion, I manage to catch her and feel as though I have achieved something but more often than not I fall short of her standards.

Oh well, maybe the good mother will return tomorrow. There is always hope.

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