Two different paths

If anyone ever asks me to describe my two girls, I would have to use the old line of chalk and cheese. While there’s no mistaking they are sisters – blonde hair, blue eyes, dimple in their chin (sorry girls, it’s in the genetic line up), very tall in height and big feet (again sorry girls, welcome to my world!), when it comes to other characteristics they are definitely their own individual character. Which in my book, there is absolutely nothing wrong with. I’m glad they aren’t exactly the same, but it does make me laugh at how different they can be.

Take Miss Izzie. She’s my big girl, turning 8 this year and very much thinks she’s the boss of pretty much everyone. Well, she tries to be anyway. She’s switched on, mostly good with cleaning up when I ask and definitely full of some serious attitude, which is slowly sucking the life out of me!!! She’s a beautiful and sweet kid and does worry a lot about others. A gentle nature mixed with a nosy one at the same time. But she’s also very much a princess and likes to cause trouble for her sister resulting in her taking up the foetal position on the floor trying to stop the blows. Don’t worry, I do step in!!

Then we have Miss Bruiser…I mean Miss Phoebe. As my baby, she’s staring down the barrel of turning 6 (nooooo! Haha!). While she comes across as a bit of a tough nut most of the time, she can also trip over thin air if not paying enough attention (face palm time!). She’s sweet one minute and then pretty much the devil the next. While many might say this is a younger child attention seeking thing, I’d say it’s partly right (said by another younger child) but also her way of standing up for herself when needed. She’s definitely not interested in cleaning up (drives me insane as she makes more of the mess) and she’s less dramatic than her sister…sometimes. She can also be the cuddliest and cutest kid, which just melts my heart.

As with most siblings, they both like to dob each other in every chance they get. Not that I pay any attention to the theatrics when this takes place. It’s hard playing the referee sometimes, especially when you have watched everything going down. I don’t play favourites…well I try not to anyway…but I get accused of it all the time by my big girl. Then they have moments of brilliance, where they play together like the best of friends. It’s awesome to watch…until it’s not, haha! Being a parent is so much fun, said no parent ever.

It will certainly be interesting to watch which direction their lives head in given their personalities now. I know there’s a few things they will grow out of, a lot more fighting and hair pulling still to come and likely moments where they will love each other and hate me more, so many fun times ahead. What I do know is I wouldn’t change anything for the world…not today anyway!

Like not Love not

It’s okay to say you don’t like your kids. I’ve done it before. Many times. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them. No matter what I’ll always love them, it’s just how it is. But when they really crack my last nerve, my fondness does waver. A long day of yelling and being driven round the bend, it’s hard not to be cranky and not like someone, it doesn’t matter who they are! If everyone liked each other all the time, we’d live in a pretty boring world.

The hardest part is explaining to your kids that they are driving you up the wall. When another adult irritates you to no end, you walk away or tell them and either an argument ensues or you don’t talk to each other until tensions have eased. It might be a bit more complicated than that (especially with the vast differences between how females and males perceive how an argument goes, but don’t get me started on that!), but overall you get the idea. When it comes to telling your kids to give you some space, you may as well attach a big neon sign to your head that says “Keep annoying Mummy”.

I don’t like being the angry mum who tells her kids to go away when I’ve reached breaking point. The looks on their faces is enough to touch anyone’s heart. Oh the mum guilt! But I have also taken to hiding in the cupboard from time to time. It becomes a game then to see who can find me. At least it breaks the tension down a bit. And being able to jump out and scare them as well is also kind of funny. You have to have some laughs at the expense of your kids otherwise where’s the fun for you?!

Life without kids would certainly be boring. Well, in a really weird way. Who doesn’t miss being able to go anywhere you wanted at the drop of a hat and all you needed to grab was your phone, wallet and keys and off you go?! Mind you, the amount of things I need for my girls to leave the house now isn’t that bad, but it’s more the time it takes to get ready to leave the house. Insert big face palm and sigh right here!

We don’t live in a perfect world. I’m not a perfect parent and I never will be. I certainly don’t expect my girls to be perfect either because that’s never going to happen, I’d be living in a dream land if I thought it was. I know their attitudes and behaviour are going to get worse as we head towards teenage years as well. So much to look forward to, haha! But sometimes I just feel it’s not that much to ask my girls to be nice to Mummy so she doesn’t go off her brain day in day out. I still swear they hear something else entirely. Must be their selective hearing kicking into gear!

I know one day I’ll likely look back and wonder why I was worried about all the small stuff when there’s bigger fish to fry. But we all know how different things are when we’re currently living it. All I can say (as I hear another ‘loving’ sister fight brewing in the background) is lucky I love my kids and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. Come check on me in five minutes though, I might just change my mind, haha!

Smack, bang, game over

“I’m going to bed early tonight.”

Hahahaha! It’s probably the funniest thing I’ve said all day, maybe all year, perhaps in the last decade too. I rarely go to bed early these days. I look at any time after the girls go to bed as “my time”. Yes, it means I get a little less sleep. But it’s my chance to watch a grown-up television show (as in something that isn’t on ABCKids), try to read a book or even do some writing, woohoo excitement plus! That’s the joy of parenting right?! There’s some kind of silver lining there.

Your priorities definitely change as a parent. How you define them is your choice but finding some time for myself is always a big one. And if that means losing a little bit of sleep, I guess I’ll just have to wear it. But when my dearest darling children are the ones behind my loss of sleep, it’s another story!

They just know when to pounce, every time. Whether it’s super early, late, your defences are way down or they just want to push the buttons. It’s like my girls know exactly when I’ve hit my deep sleep and bam, it’s time to bring me back to wide awake again. Or they know when I’m starting to stir in the morning. You know that moment where you first open your eyes and before you know it they spot you. You can’t close your eyes again because they know you’re awake. You want just a couple more minutes but defeat is your best option.

It’s pretty much the best option especially when the odds are stacked against you. The tears. The tantrums. The whinging and whining. It all makes me want to hide in a cupboard until it’s all over. Will it ever be over?! Insert long drawn out groan right here. Haha! Ahhhhh the fun.

Lately I feel like I’ve been more of a referee than anything else.
“Izzie hit me.”
“Phoebe bit me.”
“Izzie’s not sharing.”
“Phoebe took it.”
“Mummy it’s not fair.”
I think I’ve said “life’s not fair kiddo” more times than I can count and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen so many eye rolls I’m waiting for a little head to spin around.

Miss Izzie is my drama queen. Everything is the end of the world, especially when she doesn’t get her own way.
Miss Phoebe is just hell bent on stirring up trouble whenever she can. If she can get her sister into trouble she will and she doesn’t care how she goes about it.
I then feel I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to work out which child is in trouble and who is the cause of trouble. Phoebe’s cheeky grin is often a dead giveaway of her guilt.
Honestly, I feel like bashing my head against a wall, it might be more effective seeing as they don’t listen to me anyway. I predict the future won’t be any better so I’m adjusting as best I can already, haha!

But as always, they know how to work their magic and find a way back into Mummy’s good books. I’m a bit of a softie when they come up and hug me for no reason or tell me they love me, it is kind of sweet. And they’re still at an age where you can almost safely assume they don’t want anything major. But then again, I do still have the say over when they can have chocolate…..

The fun side of growing up

I’ve always thought it was a bit of a bummer being the youngest child. I know there’s only two of us (sucks to be you if you have more older siblings) but at times it hasn’t always been fun being the youngest. And if you’re about to say the youngest gets everything, that’s not always true! Plus having an older brother, I swear he got away with so many things and then I wasn’t allowed to go out as much either as a teenager, thanks to his antics! I could say so many things about him here because it’s unlikely he’ll read this. Older siblings, who would have them? Haha! In saying that he’s been an alright older brother, looking out for me in some of the toughest times in my life. Yep, being the baby of the family has both its perks and a downside as well, as with everything!

I guess I have noticed I do have a bit of a soft spot for my baby, Miss Phoebe. Don’t get me wrong I love my girls equally and I don’t have a favourite (not all the time anyway!) but there are times when my heart goes out to my youngest child. If you can’t beat them, join them, right?! Must be because we have that younger sibling role in common. Or because for now she still sort of listens to me. Who am I kidding? My children don’t like to listen, especially Miss four going on 14 and Miss two I’m copying what my sister does! Maybe we’ll go with the younger sibling link, for now anyway!

Let’s face it as the youngest you pretty much learn about life the hard way. The oldest is the test dummy and if they survive okay, then once the second arrives they can handle it even more! Just thinking back to when Miss Izzie was a baby, I watched her like a hawk, was careful how she ate food in case she choked and overall made sure nothing happened to her. Miss Pheebs on the other hand has had a somewhat more relaxed upbringing so far.
As a younger sibling you get pushed around, pushed over, kicked, sometimes bitten, toys, thrown at you and taken off you and that’s just a selection of the fun. I guess it’s all part of the pecking order. Quite often I have to step in as referee before things escalate but more often than not Miss Pheebs stands up for herself (you go kid! I’m kidding of course!).

As always though, mum guilt kicks in when I worry about being too hard on Miss Izzie as the eldest. I know her whole world changed when her little sister came into the picture, but I just hope she knows how much her little sister looks up to her. I love watching her get along with her baby sister, those are the best times. The fun, the laughter and then the cuddles when they see each other after some time apart, it certainly makes up for any tough times. I know it’s not going to last forever. I’m still dreading the day I come across some serious hair pulling or fighting over clothes or boys, that will be fun (not!). I still want to skip those years, long before they happen! Lucky I love them right?!

On that note, if you’re still reading, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and joyous start to the new year. Thank you for your support in what can only be described as a challenging and emotional year. Let’s see what 2018 brings. Until next time….