I have four children. Noisy, messy, rowdy, chatty ones.
Sometimes when they are all in bed of a night time I worry I have gone deaf as silence is such an odd phenomenon.
My elder three children go to their grandparents for almost a week over new year. It has become a tradition since we moved away from them and the children are very eager to tell me what a brilliant plan it is as I would never let them stay up until midnight (damn right!).
It is at this point I not only take my hat off to parents of only children, but I toss it in the air and it does a triple somersault on the way down. Looking after one child is exhausting.
I always said I’d hate for the elder ones to feel they spend their time entertaining littlest girl, while I ‘do stuff’ (cooking for them, tidying up after them etc… I don’t mean really fun ‘do stuff’) This time of year though I realise how often the children all do often play together and occupy one another. Maybe I do sometimes get the popcorn out in order to bribe them into watching a movie so that I can get on with dinner. Sometimes i’ ll ask one of the elder ones to just read to littlest girl for a bit so I can change the bedding. I’ll even admit to getting biggest boy to do a jigsaw with littlest girl so as I can have a bath (shameful parenting I know!)
This week is different. I am the object of littlest girl affection, attention and entertainment.Worse than that ,she expects to be mine.Before breakfast this morning we had done 2 jigsaws,played scrabble and written Thank You notes.By lunchtime we had made cakes and baked biscuits and painted.It’s shattering!!
It’s been said i’ve brought it all upon myself and if she’d been left to her own devices with a bag of skips and cbeebies from a young age i’d not have this problem. The point is valid.
You see ,there is only 2 and a half years between all the elder 3.So as you can imagine it was a manic time when they were teeny and if i’m brutally honest ,they just didn’t get the one on one time with me that they deserved.Mummy guilt plays a clever game here and so when littlest girl came along ,the others were in school and I totally overcompensated with the entertainment.
So here I am, shattered, but so very content. Littlest girl is fab company, and in a bigger family one on one time is like gold dust. Gold dust that I hope I spread equally between four these days. I do think though that parents of children must work way harder than I do. All the time. Wow.
Hurry home kids…. the next game of Frustration is on you!!