There are days where I think what the heck was I thinking with this parenting thing. If we had remained childless we’d be planning our next overseas trip or the purchasing of a sexy new little Mini, rather than stressing about school fees, the sibling discount or what Ben’s bum is looking like since his severe nappy rash.
But truth be told I always wanted to be a mom. Hence Emma. But couldn’t we have stopped at just one? Emma’s four and a half, so we’d be past the nappy stage, past potty training (though Ben is house trained) and preparing for big school. Probably a private one. But no, I had to have two. I had to have my pigeon pair, who squabble with one another all day and peck away at my sanity. If Emma has a toy Ben wants it, and vice versa. If Emma’s on my lap then Ben needs to be too and I end up looking like a statue of Jan van Riebeeck with pigeons a – nesting.
If Emma throws a tantrum, then Ben must up the ante and throw one too. It’s an ongoing battle of wills and won’t s, which leaves a frustrated and tired Emma and Ben and a mom on the brink of a breakdown.
But today I got it . I realised why we decided on two children. Ben was crying non stop this morning. He wanted nothing to do with me and no matter what I tried he was inconsolable. Milk? No. Swim? No. Porridge? No. Ice cream? No. This went on for ages. Until Emma came downstairs. Ben walked straight to her. Put his arms out for a hug, which Emma happily gave and then she asked him if he’d like to go with her for a walk in the garden, to calm down. And off he went, coming back a few minutes later, calm, happy, content.
Today I understood what it means to have a brother or sister or both. It’s to have someone who gets you when no one else does. Not even your mom or dad.
And though they might fight and hurt one another and vie for attention and affection now, one day when Mark and I are no longer here, they’ll be there for one another. They’ll be each others person that takes them by the hand and walks around the garden to calm down. Nothing more. Nothing less.