Well we've been all been sick as Sick People, and it's all very well to be a patient, loving person at the best of times, but at the most average and mediocre of times it's a bit hard!
The husband and small boy have both been coughing miserably, and it's actually easier to deal with Lewis' quiet child-like version of the Hack(despite the resulting lack of kindy or mummy breaks) than Josh's full-bodied bark. I suppose sleeping in the same bed as Josh doesn't help... last night after being suddenly awakened by a particularly violent session of barking, I decamped to our tiny two-seater couch for a nap at 2 am, and then had that unpleasant sensation of waking up cold and uncomfortable, without quite knowing where you are. Which I'm sure didn't help my background headcold-come-chest-infection. Ah the joys.
It all makes frightfully dull reading(and writing!), but there it is. Sometimes we live a very very ordinary life.
But it's interesting even in the ordinariness, how our family dynamics and roles are constantly changing and shifting, like tides, pushing out and pulling in, tugging at the lines in the sand. Maddy, who has always been my Major Worry, is amazing. She is quite literally glowing. Three months on medication so far, and she is just, well, amazing. Her teacher commented to me today on how calm and happy she was, how she loved learning and was quick and competent. Music to my ears! I'm hopeful we'll be able to push out her school days to full-time soon, at the moment I pick her up after lunch, and she is just beginning to look wistfully behind her at her classmates tucking into their afternoon adventures, her feet are dragging as we walk away...... soon little girl, soon!
Lewis, always my happy sunshiney boy, with nothing wrong except his slow speech, Lewis is now my Major Worry. His happiness often ends suddenly, and abruptly, in crying fits that appear from nowhere, and we are rarely able to find out what caused them. His crying, once normal angry bursts of a little boy whose plans were thwarted, has become great heartbreaking bouts of sobbing, his bottom lip turned down and trembling for some time after as he struggles to control his breath. Even his happy moments are too often shadowed by the 'crazy' they bring with them, too often ending in bruises and bumps, from leaping and climbing and jumping and twirling madly out of control. I feel like I am swimming in his current, getting pulled along, often helpless to change course or too weak to grab him and swim for shore. All I can do is stay beside him, whether in his mad happy moments or in his great tragedies, I paddle alongside, waiting for him to fail, to flop, to crash. All I can do, it feels, is wait, and then pick up the pieces afterwards. I find myself watching in a detached manner, idly wondering if this time he will actually break a limb, or if this time he will allow me to cover his grazes with a bandaid.
If all this sounds a wee bit melodramatic, it is, but I guess what I'm trying to describe is that I am struggling to control his behaviour, struggling with his un-conventionality amidst all the conventional parenting tips. But somehow, my roles are shifting too.
Although I get pulled into their currents, their swirling eddies and riptides, my emotions seem pretty stable. In fact, I'm so relaxed I'm almost lying down. Have I just given up? Don't know. But I'm not yelling that much, and I'm not tearing my hair out, and I'm learning to allow all those inconsequential things we worry about so much to simply slide past me. Tonight I was unable to put pajamas on Lewis. Unable meaning not physically able to do so without hurting him. And in the middle of the tussle, somewhere between him screwing his pjs up into a little ball and crouching with them in the corner of the room, and me pulling him back by a leg, I thought - why am I doing this? Is this really such a big deal? If he goes to bed in just his nappy, will the world really explode? Simple answer? Nah. Nein. Nup. Slightly more-complex answer? No, but he will get cold and possibly not sleep as well and be more likely to pull off his sodden nappy in the morning before I get to him.... but still it's a no.
I don't know whether my relaxed attitude is to do with my head cold, his cough, my lack of sleep, my lack of control over him... or even possibly because I am more confident as a parent and don't feel the need to assert myself over him as much.... let's hope it's the latter.
Well that's about it, I'm off to sneak into the kids room and try to slip some pants and a blanket on the boy.