Molly’s life moto is: “I don’t like trying things, I like doing things.” This basically means she’s not patient enough to listen and learn from other people and she has to do everything on her own.
She’s been like that since I can remember. At the age of two, it once took her literally 45 minutes to put her shoes on. But she did it. On her own. And, since she was the only child at the time, I had my coffee in peace, watching her struggle, not allowed to help.
She has a similar approach to school now. At the moment, she’s teaching herself to read and wants no help. I find it frustrating. I get impatient listening to her mispronouncing sounds and making words up.
A couple of days ago I was watching her attempting to read a book to Oskar and we were both getting irritable – me with her not being concentrated enough, her with me correcting her too often.
To focus on something else, I went to take a photo of “my little girl reading to her brother”. The front camera surprised me and I was quite shocked to see my own face. Here’s a photo of a “supportive mum listening to her little girl reading”.
It’s not a wonder she wasn’t into it. My face conveyed all of my enthusiasm. 🙈😂
Message to myself: I need to get back mentally to the place from five years ago, where I was able to observe her patiently. I need to look for clues on when and how to get involved myself.
First steps: (Fake) smile. Deep breaths. Silent encouragement. Let her do her thing at her own pace. She’s trying, soon she’ll be “doing”. 😉
Molly’s excellent at forgetting things and losing stuff. Every day she comes back from school wearing only some of the clothes she put on in the morning. She could easily use the school’s “lost and found” shelves as her wardrobe. She forgets her lunchbox in school, she forgets her schoolbag at home.
So when she got this message in her fortune cookie after dinner, she thought I was making it up to make a point. I told her to take the note and keep it close so that she remembers not to leave her stuff lying around. Unfortunately, five minutes later, she lost the note.
We’re finally packed. We’ve dealt with a few mini crisis since we woke up but we powered through and now we’re ready to go!
Mini-vacation, here we come!
“Mama! There’s water in the bathroom!”
Our drain seems to be blocked. We can’t flush the toilet without the water level dangerously raising.
“No worries,” says Jay. “I’ll quickly unclog it.”
“Jay, how can I help?” I ask after a while.
“You just deal with your own shit and I’ll deal with everybody’s shit,” my husband says, pun fully intended.
Because our bathroom’s now properly flooded. With shit. Poo. Human feces.
“What a shitty situation.”
“When I have children, I won’t live in this house,” declares Benny.
“Well, look,” he shrugs as he points at the mayhem in the bathroom.
Good point, well made.
We just had someone lift the toilet up and clean out the pipes. It’s now safe to flush again. Jay’s cleaning the bathroom, the smell’s horrible, he’s barely keeping it together. Oskar just fell asleep after fighting me like a wild animal. Kids unpacked their bags and are watching their tablets. We’re all exhausted.
Traditionally, one’s supposed to write a recap of the past 365 days on the last day of the calendar year, but so much has happened that it’s all, more or less, a blur.
We had a(nother) baby, we travelled, we fought, we made up, we barely slept, we laughed and cried, kids continued to grow and change (rapidly), we continued to grow and change (steadily), my first kids’ book got published, I wrote several more stories (in my head), we settled properly into the “new” house, Molly started school, we all grew older and wiser and happier and more tired together…
It wasn’t and it isn’t easy. Life’s relentless and there are no breaks. There’s no pause button to press when you’ve had too much. There are moments, though, when you stop as you find yourself smiling and you think to yourself: “This is my life. And it’s good.”
My biggest wish for the year ahead is for it to be filled with more of those moments.