My favourite children’s book at the moment is Piggety Wiggety Jiggety Jig by Diana Neild. Terrible title, but great rhyme, and there is a line at the beginning about, ‘His Mum very proudly looked after their nine (piglets) and would finish the day with a small glass of wine.’ Every time I read this I think, ‘surely not a small glass – not with nine children?’ I’ve just finished my second huge glass and only have two, neither of which are piglets but the ‘Dactyl could be mistaken for one at mealtimes.
It’s the tantrum Toddler that’s testing me now; I could have listed him on ebay today. There was an issue about putting on a Band Aid. Band Aids are part of our attire at the moment. There are two on my left hand and three on my right. I have them in the buggy, the car, the backpack and two bathrooms. I wanted to scream ‘Get over it, we’re in the wild, there are far worse things than an incy cut that needs a Band Aid.’ But he screamed louder than I could ever fantasize about on our way to dinner so I had to walk him home again. Alone. The last thing the exhausted camp staff need is an annoying three year old disturbing their mac and cheese in the mess hall. The Toddler refused his homemade pasta and continued to point at the plaster as if I had stapled his finger to his palm so I poured a wine and wished the phone were on so I could ring and ask if you were having one too. Two is my usual limit as we’re not meant to be drinking over summer (camp rules) and the last thing my pooped, sober husband wants when he crawls in the door after 10pm is to find me flirting with the toaster.
Everyone sees me taking a stroll with my children, sniffing flowers, throwing balls, sharing a picnic and it looks like bliss, I’m sure. What they don’t see is the Toddler and the ‘Dactyl winding each other up; he wants to stand on the stool; she wants to stand on the stool; I put them both on the stool; he pushes her and she bangs her head, balls and needs a cuddle; he starts balling as he wants a cuddle if she’s getting one and he was only standing on the stool to get the fruit stick nasty Mama wouldn’t give him anyway. I yell, ‘STOP SCREAMING’ and try to see the irony in that statement but it’s only 9 am and I haven’t had my cup of tea, so we’re strolling to get out of the house.
You know how it goes, yours are exactly the same age and stage. We’re living in a magic kingdom but some days are still a juggling act, a pocket full of tricks to calm things down and get through it all without anything worse than a few Band Aids. Everyone says, ‘You’re So Lucky Being Able To Raise Your Kids Here’. Some days it should be ‘You’re So Lucky You Have This Paradise So You Don’t Sell Your Children.’ Anyway, salute. I’m pouring another mouthful.
PS I know you do bathtime by yourself most nights but it’s new to me. Only 54 to go until camp’s over. Mind you, by then, I bet I won’t need the Dimple to help.