It’s not perfect.
But there’s days that run smoothly with only a to-be-expected level of whining and hitting and tears. If you’re four and you’re asked to drop what you’re playing with and get in the car to pick up your brother then it’s okay to give out a little. And if the pirate ship that you painstakingly made out of eighteen pieces of Duplo breaks when you bring it in the car, well it’s fine to shed a few tears about that. I let those cries wash over me and placate any way I can in order to get things done.
If you’re seven then yes; six hours in school is enough to make you hangry and if that makes you shouty on the way home because even though I prepared a snack for you I forgot to bring it with me, go on then, get it out of your system. Breathe in, breathe out – you don’t actually hate me, you just hate being hungry.
And if you’re twelve weeks old and getting hoiked in and out of the car to other children’s lessons and drop offs and standing around playgrounds and watching mama drink coffee…wait. You don’t need anything else. You’re warm, you have your food source and you’re mostly asleep or happy to look around. Your shouty brothers supply all the stimulation you need and I’m never far away when life just all gets a bit much for you.
It’s all pretty okay right now. It’s manageable. Recently on days out everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves. The length of the journey isn’t a problem. The walk only becomes too much for little legs when we’re almost back in sight of the car. We have the correct amount of food to keep them going and a treat proffered is accepted without demands for more or different. The little one has happily slept in a sling or a buggy and been fed on the go in picturesque locations.
The middle one that runs away is starting to realise how hard I find it when he does that, and noticing the praise he receives when he sticks closer by. The one that knows better helps to try and keep his little brother in check and is sometimes happy to hold his little sister while I make a cuppa or just wee on my own. Chinks of empathy shining through.
It’s not perfect, but it’s enough.
PS: Remember I set a goal to up my flat shoe game in 2017? Done.