I like to think I have well behaved kids with basic survival qualities. Should I have a lie in on a Sunday, I know that they will not starve or fall apart with nothing to do. From a very young age I’ve taught them to do their own beds, bathe and dress themselves and make basic food just to get by.
Then on the other hand, they have these habits that make me wonder if they really are my offspring. Every parent likes to paint their children in a positive light and I’m no less but I must admit that they drive me absolutely nuts when they make a mess in the house and especially when they fight with each other.
Let me give you an example. Last weekend, I decided to take them out for dinner and said I’d take them to a mall for some pizza. On the way there I changed my mind and thought we’d go get some chicken tikka instead. You should have seen their faces. Thunderous! I felt like a traitor then told myself that I can’t be giving in each and every time, can I? A month back I had taken them out for dinner and they started squabbling over why they were drinking their juice too fast before the dinner was served.
It exasperates me to no end when they start doing this and I hate to yell at them but sometimes I’m left with no choice. Also let me just make it very clear that I’m not ashamed of admitting that I’ve smacked them when the need arises.
On saner days, I compare this behaviour with the behaviour some bratty kids display and I heave a sigh of relief that at least my two are way better than many. If I tell them to stop doing something, they will listen to me. I’ve told them that mummy is not always right and if they feel so, they should tell me and not be scared of telling me. It has happened a few times (yes, mummy isn’t always right!) and I’ve respectfully heard them out and apologised. This only teaches them that everyone makes mistakes and saying sorry is very important.
Coming back to the squabbling, one of the top ten reasons for my fluctuating blood pressure levels, I’m still trying to deal with it. I’ve told them both to stay in their rooms and not talk to each other for a week and within twenty minutes they’re hugging each other and saying sorry that they’ll never fight again. My heart melts. How can I stay annoyed at these silly little fools of mine when they obviously love each other so much?
I am often being told to just leave them alone when they fight and squabble and make a mess but I’m not sure I want them growing up thinking this is perfectly ok, because it is not. When they leave home, there is no way I am going to tolerate them bringing back suitcases full of washing for me to do or to go to where they live just to clean up. If I don’t instill discipline and good manners now, they’ll grow up to be really difficult people. These are their foundations that I have to lay for them and I do hope I’m doing it right.
Single parenting is really very hard.