I know you’re probably getting bored of this theme, but just bear with me.
A friend of mine, also a pilot’s wife – whose DH is regularly away for much longer than mine – mentioned this week that she had, yet again, come to the conclusion that 5-7 days with just her and their young boys was her limit.
“I’m at the end of day 5 today and I’m suddenly the ‘yelling mom’,” she said. “It came out of nowhere and I’m just spent!”
The conversation, taking place across the globe on Facebook, was joined by several mums, who all said the same thing, along the lines of, “Good grief, love…that’s longer than I can do.”
I honestly think my friend’s a trouper. Don’t you? To save the yelling until day 5 deserves a round of applause and a row of G&Ts, I reckon. I’d buckle far sooner – as I [confession] proved yet again this weekend.
The rising temperature here in Dubai might have had something to do with it (you forget that running around with kids in the heat leaves your nerves not just frayed, but shredded as everyone gets hot and bothered). Plus the fact it was another unstructured weekend alone. Or I might just be low on patience and energy and making excuses.
But, whatever the reason, as the weekend draws to a close in the UAE, I can still hear myself firing off, ‘NOOO!’ ‘STOP!’, ‘W.A.T.C.H. T.H.E. R.O.A.D.’, ‘WAIT’, ‘JUST LISTEN’, ‘I said NO’, ‘GET OUT OF THE DRIVER’s SEAT’. I could go on (and will for the purpose of this blog post).
Love my children so much it hurts, but when DH is away, they love to test their boundaries. I’m hoping mums of small children reading this will identify with the following exchanges – not all yelled, but certainly not whispered – and I won’t get bombarded with comments recommending I attend Effective Parenting classes (or counselling!):
“It’s 6 am in the morning! GO BACK TO BED!” Delivered sternly, not long after the birds started squawking the dawn chorus.
“I SAID open the door carefully!” After squeezing the SUV into a space not much wider, between a new-looking convertible BMW and a Ford Mustang, at the jam-packed supermarket car park.
“But two minutes ago, you DIDN’T WANT a sandwich.” In response to BB’s sudden un-ignorable hunger pangs, developed shortly after leaving Subway, where he’d flatly refused to eat.
“Just let mummy talk for two minutes – perleeeez!” On meeting a friend at the JESS school Spring Fair and wanting to chat rather than be dragged off to the bouncy castle (my friend and I had imagined ourselves sitting in the Tea Garden, then browsing the craft stalls together – Ha! What were we thinking?)
“GO AND PLAY – I just paid 100 dirhams to get you in!” Directed at both boys who were still hanging off my t-shirt at the indoor play area I’d brought them to for a break (okay, the break was more for me than them).
“If you didn’t want the yogurt, WHY DID YOU OPEN IT!” After LB helped himself and smeared half of it over the table – squelching dollops onto the floor too.
“DON’T KILL EACH OTHER! JUST DON’T!” On trying to break up a fight, in which LB bit his brother in frustration (and I started tearing my hair out).
“WHAT HAPPENED??” After asking the boys to sit and wait quietly outside while I nipped into a store, then came out to find LB horizontal, red faced and screaming his head off (he’d fallen off the chair).
“NO you can’t have that *insert* doughnut / KitKat / over-priced toy / flashing gadget.” Repeat 20 times.
“Turn the volume DOWN!” After the noise coming from Tom and Jerry on the TV threatened to reach the level at which ear drums implode.
“RIGHT, bed…NOW!” At the end of a long day, after cajoling and jostling them through the bath/book/bed routine. Then quietly, “Oh no, really? You feel sick?”
Is it any wonder I’ve finished the weekend with all this echoing round my head?
Feel free to add your own.