My babies have gone. Vanished overnight, to be replaced by two little boys. In one moment, they melt my heart with their hugs and the way they say, ‘mama’….the next I could run out the door and not look back! They have voices now, along with attitudes and opinions. Two months ago when you asked them something, you were just making pretend conversation. Now you get a firm yes or more than likely – no!!!
The past few months have been very challenging for my family and I. For too many reasons to go into, this summer has had it’s fair share of ups and downs. And in all honesty, I’ve struggled, and not just with the heat. I’ve not been myself and it’s only in the past month that I’ve realised this. Stress has taken it’s toll and I’ve been anxious, tired, grumpy and so on edge. Instead of trying to go with the flow, the slightest change to my normal routine was causing me a lot of anxiety.
Add to the mix two toddlers who are growing and changing all the time and it’s no wonder my wine intake has increased dramatically!!!!!! One day you could all sit down for breakfast and everything would be fine, the next day, they have decided they don’t like highchairs, bibs, or cereal, or you and you would end up wearing breakfast. A nappy change would involve full on combat training and forget trying to put a raincoat on them!!!
I began to get so fed up with all of this. Nothing I did seemed right and if I tried to intervene, a tantrum was sure to follow. It was exhausting. And depressing. It didn’t help that I knew they didn’t behave this way with their dad. They liked to save the crazy for me. Routines had gone out of the window. I put it down to the hot summer, but slowly realised that part of it was just them getting older and more independent. Pushing their boundaries. The more I tried to resist this, the harder it became. So, I started to try and give them the opportunity to show me what they wanted. I discovered that if I let them put their own shoes on with me to hold on to for balance, there was no screaming! If I gave them bowls that didn’t stick to the table, they didn’t try and throw them at me. When bedtime came along, I asked them where they wanted to sit to drink their milk and they took themselves upstairs (with me!!). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all plain sailing now, but the days have gotten a tiny bit easier. No, easier isn’t the right word. More tolerable perhaps?! And more importantly, I am getting through this transition a lot better now (I think!).
My little boys are full of fun and every day is an adventure. They are becoming the best of friends which is wonderful to see. They create games to play together and you can hear them giggling and screaming from one end of the house to the other.
My best friends’ eldest son went off to university this week and I can still remember the day he was born. I can only begin to imagine the mixed bag of emotions she is feeling.
So, when I’m feeling worn out at the end of the day, I lie down, with a snuggly toddler on either side of me, and cherish the cuddles. As they guzzle their milk, pull my hair, stick their fingers in my eyes and up my nose, I can feel their bodies relax and their breathing slow down. And so do I. I think about our day and the fun we’ve had, the things they’ve learned (and me too!). Every day they seem to learn a new word, or thing to make me laugh. Archie likes to shout ‘Go!’ at everything and Harry has learnt the actions for the cricket scoring!!!!! I heard a little girl tell him she was 4 and Harry started waving his arm from side to side (4 runs in cricket terms!!!!!!).
I know it won’t be long before they are talking properly and asking me questions. We will be having conversations instead of guessing what they are trying to say.
So I am trying not to wish this difficult and frustrating time away. With the help of my family, friends and my awesome twin mum’s, we’ll come out of this alive and kicking, ready for the next stage (aaarrrggghhh!!!).