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Monday, 16 April 2007

Flower Tots

I left the munchkins this morning all ready for a full day of gardening in the sunshine with Ana. It was a perfect picture postcard scene, both darlings wearing sweet little Wellington boots, gardening gloves, aprons, little primary coloured watering cans and trowels. They stood smiling amongst the flower pots freshly decanted from the greenhouse by our wonderful gardener - tomato, strawberry, carrot, leek and sunflower seedlings, all lined up next to fleshly turned soil. The cherubs looked so very sweet with their sun hats on, their little noses and cheeks smeared with opaque white sun block.

"Oh mummy, can't you stay with us? Must you work?" they begged.

I am only too aware of the hell that this idyllic picture can prove to be in reality. Pushing and shoving, earth and compost in the sandpit, watering cans being emptied into each others boots, crying, tantrums, plant food and seedlings trampled into the ground and the consumption of garden snails.

No doubt by the time I return this evening, they will be mud wrestling on the trampoline, and the bird feeder will be full of freshly dug earthworms, the water butt empty and not a towel in the house dry. Thank God for the number 3 bus, and the place of safety that is my full-time employment.

The cherubs are very sweet, and I must admit - rather better behaved than many of their little chums, but why do they never listen to me when I speak to them, or ask them to put something down?

"No don't throw that, please come out of there, take that out of your nose" etc?

I often feel as though I am going to lose my tiny mind at the weekend, disrespected, abused and menial, in attendance only to serve them juice or chopped apple - "NO WITH THE SKIN OFF", or yoghurt, "strawberry yoghurt - IT HAS TO BE STRAWBERRY, I want some right now" etc, they yell.

I am frantically trying to concentrate on the positive things they do, ignoring the negative, distracting them from murderous acts and tantrums as per the parenting manuals. It will be entirely my fault if they suffer from low self esteem later in life. It is exhausting, where will it ever end?

I flee the house to work each Monday morning feeling an enormous sense of failure, a heavy weight on my shoulders. I have resorted to shouting and the naughty step yet again. Naughty mummy...

My work colleagues are far less demanding than these delightful children, they are substantially easier to please and generally don't shriek at me. I feel quite overwhelmed by panic at home.

Am I the only woman in the world who is this bad at being a mother?

Chablis or Pinot Grigio?


Drunk Mummy said...

Dear Dulwich Mum,
Throw away those parenting manuals! They are the equivalent of Mao Tse Tung's "Little Red Book", subjugating all free thoughts on the subject of parenting (which we all know, in reality, involves a lot of shouting). You should be leaving for work on a Monday morning clicking your heels together, having escaped the "imperialism" of your "paper tiger" children.

antarctichousehusband said...

Darling DM, surely they will be boarding school age soon, and then you will be free to do all the dogging ... oops, I mean digging (in the garden, obviously) ... that you care to?

dulwichmum said...

Dear Drunk Mummy,

In complete seriousness, you are one of the most articulate/intelectualy sharp/witty people I have never met. I would love to get drunk with you sometime! (It is early yet and my spelling is the pits anyway).
And darling Antarctichousehusband, only you could make me laugh so, at such a dreadful situation. Thank you both.


Bryan Appleyard said...

I note they don't go for Black Cherry

dulwichmum said...

Welcome Mr Appleyard,

No, but they would if they knew of that flavour and thought that I didn't have it 'in stock'! Grrr

mcewen said...

If it's a contest, you're not winning. [and I loathe herbal tea too]

dulwichmum said...

Thanks for that Mcewen,

I think I had gathered that already. Prozac anyone?

superhighflyer said...

Darling DM, as I have the honour of being one of your colleagues, I think you might like to be more cautious in describing us as reasonable compared to darling Max and Freya. I for one could become much more demanding. Coffee anyone?

dulwichmum said...

My Handsome Big Boss!

You really are an incorrigible flirt! Would you like a chocolate biscuit with that?

superhighflyer said...

Two please. Did I mention how attractive you were looking today?

dulwichmum said...

Dear Big Boss,

You really are a devil!