Thursday, 15 January 2009The end of year school holidays have only a week and three days to go. I can finally see myself emerging from it with a sense of "what the hell just happened for the last 6 weeks?"
I think, had we a bigger back yard and/or I had the inclination to take all 5 children to the park on a semi regular basis, we probably would have sailed these waters better. However, I did not.
I'm ordering some new parenting books. One is by Garry Chapman of 5 Love Languages fame. It's titled The Family You've Always Wanted. The other is Have a New Kid by Friday, by Kevin Leman. This is the one I'm looking forward to the most. We have struggled so terribly with lying, hitting, and lack of care of possessions this holidays. To the point where a letter has been penned, and Santa will not be coming to the three older ones this year. And yes, we are sticking to our guns on this one. Each child received a board game and a card game this past Christmas. It had not been a week before they were destroyed or pieces lost. To say I completely lost my cool with them over that would be the understatement of the last 4 milleniums.
*sigh* You know, the only bad thing about having more children than is deemed 'normal' is that you really can't ask for help, because you get a few different responses, all centering around "well, it's your fault. You had this many children". So I don't ask. I flounder on in my own way, completely failing, and being so removed from my idea of what a mother should be that sometimes the lure to slide into a dark depression is ridiculously inviting. And I could you know. I hear it calling me. The temptation to completely give up because nothing I do is the right thing. Because if I see one more disparaging look over my children's behaviour I'll burst into tears right there. Beasuae in just about every book I've read, children are portrayed as these wonderful creatures who are only ever naughty in the sense that they might let some frogs loose from their pockets at church. They hardly ever fight or bicker, and if they do, it's all kissed and made up in half a page and off they go fishing. They do as they are told. They look after their things. They tidy up.
It's also bizarre to me, because I don't remember being like this as a child. I was fastidioulsly neat. I still have things that were gifted to me when was small. My children have nothing of sentimental value. They have destroyed pretty much everything that they have ever owned. I was delighted with all things pretty. I redecorated the girls bedroom the other day. You wouldn't even think, the way they behaved, that anything had been done differently. My kids have this air of expectation about them.... they expect things to be done for them. They expect to be given things. They expect their toys and books to be replaced. Quite frankly, it disgusts me.
I don't know how to combat this. No Santa presents this year is all very good, but they won't really get it until the day... and won't that be the makings of a joyous Christmas? SHould they not get birthday gifts or a party? I don't think they'd notice. They don't receive anything extra during the year, so we can't curtail any of that.
I just want them to get along. I want them to play nicely. I don't want to go through the day wanting to sob by the end of it and carve grooves in my concrete walls with my fingernails because all I hear after the greeting of "what's for breakfast" are screams, crying, yelling and fighting.
I want the family I always wanted. The one I thought just.... happened.