I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Day5 - The Day We Brave the Shops

I try a different approach this morning. I know with Continuum Concept parenting the ideal is your children satellite round you and your day but we don't live in a tribe, there is only me so some days I do not live up to the keeping home part of the deal because I'm fulfilling the needs of my children. I'm reminded of the poem 

'Housework Can Wait'

Come in, but don't expect to find 
All dishes done, all floors ashine. 
Observe the crumbs and toys galore. 
The smudgy prints upon the door. 
The little ones we shelter here 
Don't thrive on a spotless atmosphere. 
They're more inclined to disarray 
And carefree even messy play. 
Their needs are great, their patience small. 
All day I'm at their beck and call. 
It's Mommy come! Mommy see! 
Wiggly worms and red scraped knee. 
Painted pictures, blocks piled high. 
My floors unshined, the days go by. 
Some future day they'll flee this nest, 
And I at last will have a rest! 
Now you tell me which matters more, 
A happy child or a polished floor?

...Author Unknown

After writing emails to daddy and chatting in bed for a bit of morning connecting, I ask Ellie to hold Millie while I make porridge. This works. I then feed Millie to sleep on the sofa downstairs so I am with the girls instead of leaving them alone. The girls come down and look for the remote. They don't get the idea if you want to find something it doesn't magically appear, you actually have to search. They give up an start making their cushion houses again. 

Since Millie is asleep I decide it's a good opportunity to get the dishwasher on and the kitchen clean but a few minutes later, Ellie freaks out that its not working and she needs help. She is so noisy, it wakes Millie. 

This is my different approach. I say to Ellie that I cannot help. If we don't get the dishes clean we won't have any to eat off. I suggest to her that house building is meant to be fun and she could get help from Maia or find something else to do. This does not go down well but I feed Millie back to sleep and continue with the dishwasher. They continue their house building. 

A minute later Ellie roars loudly in pain and wakes Millie again. She roars loudly a lot. For a lot of different things. Pain of any degree emits the same roar (think the boy who cries wolf) . I come in and suggest she moves the offending chair out the way so she can move around easily. Put the dishwasher on quickly and lie with a crying Millie. She's not going back to sleep and is uncomfortably wet so I take her nappy off. She is SO happy at that!!

I gave up on the rest of the kitchen. It's been 2hrs. I've managed porridge and dishwasher. It's enough. I guess. I shouldn't have gone to bed so late last night. 

I wonder about my different approach. I know the girls want me to be with them constantly. Their cup needs filled, all our cups need filled. I feel bad saying no to helping. I should have said I will help after I have done what needs doing rather than not at all but it worked. She calmed down and worked out a way to do it and since Millie woke up anyway I was able to stay and provide some moral support and structural advice. I am fortunate that Ellie has a playmate in Maia and they can often amuse themselves leaving me an opportunity to do other stuff. It wasn't always like that. Being so close together in age was pretty full on. 

We need to go shopping but I am so unbelievably tired I don't know if its a good idea. I am not so great on the shopping front and have not actually done it with all three yet. Hmmm....

Out the house and in the car in 20mins. That's a good sign. 

I will confess right now that we negotiated a kinder egg in exchange for the non stop can we get this can we get this can we get this. It's an out and out bribe I admit it. Sometimes a tired mums gotta do what she gotta do. It was our first shopping trip all together. 

They insist on holding the eggs all the way round and the inevitable dropping occurs, leaving Ellie disappointed with her slightly cracked egg. She deals well with the news that she won't be getting a fresh one.

I remain calm and controlled as we manage our way past the chocolate aisle and the toy aisle carefully eyeing up the present Maia asks for to get from Ellie for her birthday on Thursday . 

45mins later and we are at the checkout . Ellie is a almost at meltdown point (I reckon due to hunger and overstimulation, shopping just before lunch was not my best idea yet) and is wanting to move the trolley before we've finished emptying it. She is shrieking and freaking out randomly and at one point she grabs me to hug me and won't let go. We stand for a few minutes hugging as I explain we need the trolley up top to empty it, whilst the checkout lady tries hard not to combust in shock. Then they both climb into the trolley and put the food on the conveyor belt. Thankfully the lady packs for us. With Millie on my back fast asleep, we high tail it out of there before boiling point is reached. Dammit forgot milk. 

We need to take the dog for a walk. He's been in the car waiting patiently. I explain. It's a quick walk round the park and home, they can play on the stuff or come with me. Their choice. They choose to come with me. We pass the goat bridge and they accept not playing 3goats gruff . We spy a rope swing and think ok, a few shots will be fun. Ellie has a long turn. Maia has a turn. I turn to leave to finish walking the dog and meltdown point is reached. As I carry on towards the car, Ellie begins to hit me in anger for leaving. I decide to say nothing except ' I see a hungry girl walking the dog, let's get home for lunch'. NO she shouts I'm going back to the car and runs off. 

It's only when we get home that I remember I was given chicken pox last night with a blue pen. 

Today is swimming lesson day. The girls are very excited. I am pleasantly surprised that Ellie is comfortable with another person holding her ad telling her what to do!! I guess shes got used to the latter from school. Maia feels like one of the big girls and is so chuffed. I could go into great detail about the car-not-starting-just-as-we-were-about-to-leave-for-swimming stress, but I doubt I need to. We took a taxi and walked home. Let's hope they don't leave a light on again. 

I quickly sort dinner the minute we get home since Millie is already on my back from the walk

The girls spend the rest of the evening playing 'mainstream baby'. This is where I am the step-mother and they are mother and baby and the baby is threatened with having stuff taken off them or bribed to eat their food. Its funny but can also be shocking to listen to. Every so often I check in ' do we do that to babies in this house?'  It's just a game mum!!!!

I'm so exhausted I doze on the sofa whilst they run about and hubby charges car with help from SILs. 

I take myself and Millie upstairs when she starts getting upset. Of course the girls follow and I grab the bull by the horn suggest Maia goes with hubby and I play hangman with Ellie. Tonight it's Maia's turn not to fall asleep and I come in to find hubby asleep with Maia next to him creating tableau's. 

Meltdowns - after shopping over stimulation
Losing the Plot - not even a little
Breastfeeding - newborn feeding pattern

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