Me: “Sonny, who stuck blu tac up Tiny Tears nose?”
Sonny: “I don’t know Mummy”
Me: “Sonny, Bessie is crying, please can you remove the blu tac.”
Sonny: “But it’s Tiny’s bogies!”
Me: “Bessie, it’s OK, we can take it out.”
Me: “Sonny, take it out please.”
Sonny: “Mummy, it’s not fair! I want Daddy!”
Before I became a Mum, and as an only child, I hadn’t anticipated I would be the referee and scapegoat for arguments like this, every shitting day. No matter how nicely Sonny and Bessie play, at some point, I have to intervene and say ridiculous things like “stop pretending your brother smells of poo” and “no, you can’t cut one side of Bessie’s hair to see what it looks like.”
As a stay at home Mum, I am lucky enough to spend a bagload of time with my two, but often that means that I am the one who doles out the discipline and prevents my 3-year-old from ending up with a kooky lopsided barnet.
When Sonny gets home from school he’s pretty tired and often ratty, and so it’s a daily battle to promote harmony and remain calm. I’m not always successful. Sometimes I lose my shit, sometimes they lose their shit, and we muddle through until Daddy comes home and bathtime can commence.
However, no matter how calm I am, or how rational my arguments, I am always bad cop. It’s so bloody infuriating. As soon as Daddy comes through the door, all is forgotten and all they see is him, and I am no longer part of their play. I am simply PC NoYouCan’t. Detective StopDoingThat. And Daddy, not yet worn down by the constant repetition of his name or multitasking of wiping a bottom whilst shouting out phonics homework – is EVERYTHING.
As a Mum, I know I’m supposed to have a thick skin and assess any given situation with rationality and calmness. So why, when my kids drop me to be with Daddy, and when he can’t do any wrong – am I so wounded?
I want them to want him, he is an amazing person. I just want them to want me sometimes too. To appreciate the juggle that is making dinner that nobody will eat whilst refereeing/ negotiating/ trying to hold it all together for a few more hours. For some, this is an easy task but for me, an anxiety-ridden tired mess, it’s pretty sodding difficult.
My little tormentors have also started using the stereotypical kid groan when being told no. You know the one where the intonation rises at the end (you read that sentence with that rising intonation, didn’t you)?
“Mummy, can I put sellotape on Bessie’s eyelids so they’re always open?
“Mummy, can I have toast for breakfast please”
“With chocolate spread on?”
“OK then, for a treat”
“And with no bread?”
As for me being a scapegoat, It has got to the point that when ANYTHING happens they don’t like, regardless of who is in the room or is responsible, they blame me. The other day, Sonny took umbrage with the fact he had fizzy water in his cup, and despite me pointing out that Daddy got the drinks, persisted in saying “Mummy, you got it wrong.”
It took all I had to not respond with “Ohhhhhhh!”
I get so much wrong. The colour of the plates. The amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush. Selecting the right episode of Danger Mouse. Which sometimes I do on purpose. I know he wants to watch the one with Count Duckula in, but if I see it again I might have to rip my bastarding eyes out with a Lego separator.
Sometimes it feels like it’s too much. Every day is a sodding marathon, where I’m lucky if I get to piss by the side of the road with an audience. I’m surprised I don’t have a UTI, I have to hold it for that long. Constant Mumming is freaking stressful, and sometimes all I need sometimes is a bit of positive feedback to make it all a little bit better.
A hug. A warm mug of peppermint tea. A large slab of Dairy Milk eaten sitting down, not whilst hiding in the pantry. For someone to say with excited eyes, ‘Is it your turn to read me a story tonight Mummy?”
One day the hard work will pay off. They will understand why you can’t take scissors to your sibling’s hair, why it’s OK to not always get what you want and why if you want to do the jigsaw, you have to try and fail and try again until it all slots in nicely. Hopefully, that’s what I’m doing, every single day.
For now, I can play bad cop. Until the story twists and the plot reveals I’ve been the goody all along. 😉