Parenting wise, it’s been a shitty couple of days. Master 4 ½ is capable of being sweet, compassionate, gentle and bursting full of love; sometimes for days at a time. But it can all change in a heartbeat. The flip side of him is extremely challenging to navigate – physically aggressive, angry and exceptionally strong willed. Some of you may recall that he was diagnosed with O.D.D (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) last year, which goes some way towards explaining his temperament on the tough days.
Last night I lost my cool and yelled. Not once or twice, but three times. I was frustrated, fed up, exhausted and craving some space. I was annoyed at myself for feeling that way given I had some rare time away from the kids just last weekend.
Questions and thoughts began whizzing around in my head…
“It will be best for everyone if I get a full time job and put the boys in care Mon-Fri.”
“What the hell am I doing, clearly the way I parent is not helping.”
“Faaaark, I just want to get out of here. How on earth am I going to get through the next god-knows how many days, weeks, months…years!?!?”
This morning was not a good morning for Master Z, either. I woke to his disharmony with the world, and felt disheartened and deflated myself. He curled up in a ball in the bottom seat of our pram as we headed to preschool, withdrawn and unhappy. But somehow, somewhere along the short walk, he calmed down. By the time we arrived he was happy and content, even smiling.
As I walked in, relieved, one of his teachers said she had something to show me. She told me Z had participated in THREE group activities on Wednesday, and that he had even done some drawing. I felt a rush of emotion for our little man’s leap of progress. She showed me the art he had done – the first, a bright red scribbly mess, typical of his previous efforts at drawing. The second, a faint, careful outline drawn around his favourite soft toy, a cat called ‘Avalon’. The third, an easily identifiable face with eyes, nose and a mouth!
But more than that was what he told his teacher. The last drawing was of her, and he wanted to send it to his friend who lives overseas. He was referring to the little boy in Paraguay who we are working towards gaining clubfoot treatment for. My heart exploded with pride, and tears trickled down my face. (Of course they did! But who doesn’t love a sobbing Mummy at preschool, right?!)
Some days I feel pushed to my limits, uncertain, worried about the future… absolutely exhausted from dealing with such a complex, intense little man. But underneath it all I have accumulated enough belief in myself that I know with absolute conviction that I am the very best Mummy in the world for him, and I have come to notice that just when I need it most the universe throws me a little reminder that we’re all on the right track.