Today my children pushed my buttons. All of them. Today parenting isn’t a joy, today parenting was tough, parenting was a chore and I was counting down to bedtime.
Today, even though my husband gave me a much needed lie in until 8:30 after another night of multiple, hourly, wake ups. I’m already tired and it’s not yet lunchtime.
Today parenting was tough and my children pushed my buttons, even after it started so well. A day full of promise. A lovely start to the day with croissants and a fresh latte for breakfast. Smiles all round at the breakfast table as we discussed plans for the day. The husband off to golf and us off to soft play. Kisses given and giggles shared. The baby happily clapping in his high chair and the Big One excitedly telling me everything that had happened while I caught up on that much needed extra sleep.
Even on a day that started with so much promise, my children pushed my buttons. All of them.
Today parenting was tough, the Baby pushed my buttons at nap time. Not by his refusal to nap. I mean that’s fairly standard and we are headed into that grey area of do you need two naps or one. So I’m fairly relaxed about refusals in general. No, today the baby pushed my button by biting. Have I mentioned I’m still breastfeeding? Ouch.
Today parenting was tough and the Big One pushed my buttons when he refused to get dressed. When the mere idea of pulling a t-shirt over his head was too much to take. When he rallied against me running round in his pants to let me know he didn’t want to go to soft play. When both myself and the Baby were dressed to head out the door. Bag packed. Snacks remembered. And still he was in his pants. It took the fake leaving parent trick to finally get him to cooperate without me force dressing him. Have you ever tried to stuff a rigid 3 year old into clothes?
Today parenting was tough and the Big One pushed my buttons when he decided he was having too much fun at soft play, you know the one he absolutely DIDN’T WANT TO GO TOO, to tell me he wanted a wee. Now to be fair to him here I’m not talking he went and stood in the corner to relieve himself, I’m talking when his bladder is so full he can’t help but let a little bit out however hard he tries to stop it. And a little bit more. Not enough to notice at first. But enough to make me grit my teeth in anger. Enough for my frustration to bubble over as we headed to the toilet to clean up. Enough for me to be mad at myself as well as recently it’s been happening on a fairly frequent basis and I should have realised. I didn’t.
Stomach churning. Blood pressure rising. Buttons well and truly pressed. Calming down. Rationalising. Understanding. Continuing the day….
Today parenting was tough and the Big One pushed my buttons by having an almighty tantrum in the middle of the food court when I told him he needed to eat his sandwich before he could share my cookie. That high pitched screaming. The blood curdling kind. That makes everyone turn and look at you. Giving him the look while trying to keep calm and not react. Silence until he picks up his sandwich again.
Today parenting was tough and the Baby pushed my buttons by climbing on the table, I know he knows it’s not allowed. He gives me that cheeky smile of his as he climbs on. And some days it makes me laugh as I teach him yet again to climb back down. Not today.
Today parenting was tough and my children pushed my buttons by winding each other up. By getting in each others faces. By the Baby pulling the Big Ones hair. By the Big One blocking the Baby from getting any toys. Constantly griping at each other, angry little faces turning to me to fix it. Cries ringing round our apartment.
Today parenting was tough and my children pushed my buttons by getting under my feet while I tried to cook dinner. Literally under my feet. The Baby crawling at speed being chased by the Big One, the Big One then circling me moaning that he is hungry. Chopping, stirring, boiling. Trying to move each child to safety, each time them coming back in. Again and again.
Today my children pushed my buttons.
Today parenting was tough.
Right now my children are fast asleep.
Tonight I will sneak into each boy, give them a kiss and silently apologise for each time I’ve lost my temper. For each time I’ve felt my teeth grit. For each time I’ve rolled my eyes. For each time I’ve willed the seconds away.
Tonight I will give both boys an extra kiss. An extra whispered I love you.
And I’ll know that even though both of them push my buttons like you wouldnt believe, that I am so lucky to have them both. And no matter how often they press my buttons I wouldn’t have them any other way. No one ever said parenting was easy.
But oh, how it’s worth it.
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*images taken by Sophia Mattia Photography
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