I had a bad day today. This happens more frequently than I would like. I had big plans to keep the kids engaged, happy, creatively entertained. Painting pottery, sensory table activities, helping me with chores (they are still at the age where this is 'fun'.)
Then, they turned on me. Ambushed me. Things went from calm and happy to mutinous in a heartbeat. The trigger (a simple request: clean your play area, then we will start painting) was pulled, the stage was set. They caught each others' eyes, a signal passed between them, war was declared. The following three hours left me cowering in fear, rocking in the foetal position, completely and utterly beaten. The Dad was called home from work, 'discipline' was dished out, toys confiscated ('thrown in the bin'), privileges withdrawn. All this was met with indifference, approval even. ("That's ok, Mum, some other little girl can HAVE my toys. I don't mind.")
The pre-schoolers won. They always win.
Parenting books lie. They say that children are not our enemy, they do not misbehave to 'get at us'. That they are not manipulative. They lie. My children are experts in the arts of war. They know when to fight, when to submit, when to cry, when to yell. They know my weaknesses, have studied them intensively over their short lives, know how to use them to their advantage. All my tactics are rendered useless in the face of this seemingly innocent army, this grubby faced, determined opponent.
My children may not be my enemy. But they sure as hell act like it.
Blogging is like graffiti for the soul, an act of rebellion and selfishness in the daily grind of parenting. Your home may be peaceful and calm, it may be a den of conflicting strong personalities like mine. Whatever it is, step inside my bubble and either commiserate wholeheartedly with me or marvel at how one mother could continually get it so, so wrong.