Here is the third and final part of Ahh, Those Were The Days; tales of when my now-ten-year-old kids were three.
Read how they turned bedtime into a circus and why I’m too frightened to show my face in a grocery store in parts one and two.
…And then there was the time at gymnastics…
The kids sat on the blue mat at one end of the room; there was a balance beam at the other. They were supposed to run to the beam, walk along it and jump back to the mat.
Our boys were in the middle of the group, next to each other, surrounded by kids, looked on by parents.
Mid-beam, they got that little smile on their faces that I’ve grown to dread. They turned to each other and shouted “Pee-pee!!!” at the top of their voices.
They started pulling down their pants.
They even started to do that little forward thrust that little boys do.
If you’d been there, you’d have seen middle-aged parents sprinting like teenagers.
If you’d been there, you’d have been laughing while thinking “Thank god they’re not mine.”
We don’t go to gymnastics anymore.
One day they started to ask me about rhyming words so we played a game.
Mum: “What rhymes with cake?”
Mum: “What rhymes with fish?”
Mum: “What rhymes with truck?”
Mum: “Ok, that’s enough of that game.”
A few months ago I sent an email to my twins mothers club about my boys’ bedtime antics.
I seem to remember something about jumping off 5ft dressers, throwing books and clothes, pulling pictures off the walls and oh yes, I nearly forgot, peeing between the bars of their cribs while shrieking with laughter.
So many people asked how we were getting on with resolving this little problem that I had to issue an update; we are the envy of all our friends – they are now asleep, quietly with no fuss, by 7pm.
In separate rooms.
They are in separate classes at school as well.
They weren’t at first but the teacher, who had worked at the school for a 25 years told us that she’d never had to call a parent conference after two weeks before…
You know my favorite time of week? Monday evening.
The boys are in bed by 7, the hubby’s gone to his club. I have the whole house to myself; it’s wonderful. I love the silence, the fact that I can open the child safety gates and leave them open, I can even go to the bathroom without a child telling me, his a voice full of awe, “Mummy, you do biiiiigggggg wee’s.”
For two whole hours between the time the kids fall asleep and I do likewise, I am under the illusion that I am in control of my world. People ask me if I get out much in the evenings. Not much, I reply.
Why would I go out after a crazy day of chaos and mayhem when I can bring a modicum of control to my life by staying put after dark?
There are moments of sobriety in my life, however.
Truly, there is nothing like chasing an ambulance carrying one’s child down the freeway.
Unless it’s being told by doctors late one night that your other son needs throat surgery and needs it right now.
Then of course there is the “mother as lover” syndrome, the phase I have most cherished.
To be told you are beautiful, to have your faced stroked lovingly, to have two little bottoms squished up against you at every opportunity is a welcome respite to the screaming tantrums in public.
If you’re not there yet, you’ll have to wait three and a half years but when it happens, make the most of it.
Vicki Iovine is an author who writes humorous takes on motherhood.
In “The Girlfriends Guide To Getting Your Groove Back” she describes experiencing an epiphany when she called her four elementary school-aged kids to get in the car – and they did.
“Kids old enough to understand verbal instructions, well-behaved enough to carry them out and the fine motor skills necessary to accomplish the task at hand.”
Sounds like little piece of heaven to me.
Have your kids ever embarrassed you? Pointed out your little bad habits? To strangers? Let me know in the comments!
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