I’m so happy to see my favourite blogger is back! I got my alert that Reluctant Mom has a new post so I popped on over to take a read and in a way she sums up exactly how I’m feeling.
With Ben turning one I’ve realised just how quickly time flies, whether you’re having fun or not. And in a blink of an eye I’m no longer going to be the super hero my children think I am.
For some unknown reason we’re getting Ben to bed by six or seven o’ clock in the evening and Emma by 8pm. This is something that has us quietly doing the jig of joy as we pour ourselves a gin and tonic, settle in on the couch to catch up on each others day or just veg while
watching staring at some crap on our over priced TV subscription service.
On Monday evening Mark and I were talking about where we’re at in terms of business, work, ideas, what we want to be doing, what we need to be doing, what we should be doing. It’s been a stressful time for Mark and I know he’s got a huge amount on his mind. He destresses occasionally (definitely not often enough) by meeting up with a friend (or two) for a drink or two (after work), he plays hockey once a week and maybe attempts to hit a ball over the net with a game of tennis. But what he sometimes forgets is he’s got something better than any stress relieving activity or therapy at his disposable. He’s got Emma and Ben. And if he just allowed himself, for 10 minutes a day, to lose himself in them, he’d be reaping the benefits of what having children is all about.
Earlier that evening Emma, Ben and I were outside and the sprinkler system started its wishingwishingwishing. Emma (already in the nude) squealed with delight and started running through them. Ben immediately made a beeline for the closest one to him and was squirting himself with water. And laughing! Jagga, the paranoid antisocial wire haired terrier, got in on the action and was biting at the jets of water gushing into the air. Within minutes a rather uninteresting situation had turned into a momentous occasion with laughing and giggling and yapping. For those 15 minutes I was in the moment with them. I wasn’t thinking about work or what I could have said to an annoying client or what I should have done when the a-hole in the Audi bum rushed me the entire way home.
And that’s what I was explaining to Mark. When Emma asks him to swim with her, she wants him to swim with her. Not clean the pool, rake the leaves or pick up the dog poo. When she asks him to sit on the couch with her to watch TV that’s what she’s asking for. Not to have him (or me) sitting next to her on our cell phones.
Bath time with Emma is an exercise in self control. She splashes around like a sperm whale doing the cha-cha-cha. There is NO water in the bath by the time she’s done. And this is what happens when Mark walks up:
Mark: *vein throbbing in neck, blood pressure rising* Emma what is going on here? Water stays in the bath! Look at this mess. The floor is soaked. The bath mats are sopping wet. Jeeeeez! Emmmmmmmaaaaaaa! *stomps downstairs with aforementioned dripping bath mats and muttering under breath*
When I walk up:
Me: Oh my goodness. What happened in here? Emma is there a dolphin or mermaid in the bath with you? Who’s splishing splashing around? Emma here’s an idea. If you’re going to pour water out the bath do it on the other side, then it’s not all going to run onto the floor. *throws towels down on floor to absorb water, leaves and finishes cuppa tea*
It’s water. It’s Emma having fun. It’ll dry. It’s not worth the fuss and frustration.
And soon, in a blink of an eye, we won’t be allowed in the bathroom while she’s busy. She won’t be pretending that there are fairies and dinosaurs in the bath with her. She’ll be telling us to leave her alone and that we, along with life, aren’t fair.
I’m encouraging Mark to spend more time with Emma. Taking her for a quick Wakaberry after swimming lessons, have a dad and daughter morning out. Because Emma’s actually a very cool kid to hang out with. She’s got a brilliant sense of humour. She has facial expressions that she pulls out of nowhere. My advice is enjoy it while you can. Because in a blink of an eye it’s all over. Our children are all grown up and we’ve reached our expiry date as hip and happening people.