Two mums slumped at my kitchen table with work aplenty to do. Peace bravely reappeared from her hiding place. It was beautifully quiet. But still we sat, as if shell-shocked, waiting for something to kick us into gear.
Rare is it that we both feel this way at the same time. Usually one can coax or goad the other into action.
Wednesday – blog post time. Inspired? Nope.
So…how about one of those lists of “What Not to Say to a Tired-out Mum” or "Warning Signs You're a Worn-out Mum“ blah-de-blah?
“Yeah, okay”. Something like that. Later.
So here I am later, at the end of a trying evening with the kids. I know the drill, and how I should be the best parent I ought to be, but sometimes it just all goes pear-shaped. You know - you can hear yourself be the parent you shouldn’t be, and despite that you just carry on, because there is no energy left in the pot to have the imagination or will to be anything else.
Exasperation. With myself as much as the kids. Finally I sit slumped on the sofa. Sigh. I sip my reward of a glass of chilled white wine (it could be warm for all I care, and do I deserve it anyway?). Ahhhh, that hits the spot. All is quiet. Then.....do I spy a tuft of hair poking through the living room door? It’s about No. 4’s height. No. 4 follows. His face tells an upset story.
“What is it, No. 4?” I say sternly, thinking: here I am, at last enjoying this blissfully beautiful silence, but NOOOOO!!…grrrhhhh [Note: I'm not so harsh that I don't actually call him by his name ;-), and I don't shout "NOOOOO!!" out loud].
“I’m worried about you dying!” small upset face crumples and starts to cry.
Well, my hard heart melts in an instant.
“I know that one day I’ll be an old man, and then you won’t be alive anymore, because humans don’t live forever, and you're already old!”
Oh dear. I reassure him about that being a long, long time away etc – all the stuff you can think might be believable and comforting.
Change of subject needed.
“What do you think you’ll look like when you’re old?” I ask.
“Wrinkly, and grey, and I won’t have soft cheeks like these.” No. 4 invites me to touch his soft cheeks.
“See, when I blow my cheeks out they feel like peaches.”
So they do. I smile. Then take him back to bed.
“Mummy, I’d like to show you a picture tomorrow. It’s of you, and you’re smiling, and it’s lovely.”
I come back downstairs, and think maybe I won't write a blog post about tired mums after all.
So here we are. And tomorrow is a new day. Now back to that wine...and I smile.