It’s the relentless intensity and monotony.
Its the constant flow of broken things, destroyed things, melted things, lost things.
Every day a battle to clean and tidy, always losing.
They say you cant have a happy family and a clean home, but its hard to settle for a messy home and only infrequently pleasant humans who reach their peak pleasantness when they are sleeping.
Yelling. Screaming. Crying like your life depends on it. Fighting reality at every turn.
Remain calm, remind yourself these moments will soon be a distant memory.
Though true, the thought offers scant comfort.
So I reread the mindful parenting tips, stick the A4 print on the wall of all the positive reinforcements to use instead of yelling stop’s and don’ts and put my head between my knees instead of shaking the kitchen knife I’m using to make salad with in the direction of a jelly crystal covered pantless 4 year old retaliating with projectiles at his brother who just smacked him in the head with the mop.
Raising wilful children comes with a cost.
Accept this, I try. I try my best not to break their spirits while teaching them to be respectful human beings.
My grandmother believed children should be outside from morning to twilight. Outside was the domain of the children of the past. The home was kept clean by being childfree, the home was to sleep, to cook and to eat. The kitchen was no place for children, the dining table was practically a religious alter.
These days I send my children outside, go I say, the yard is yours, kids are supposed to want to be outside.
Inevitably despite my best attempt at prevention, they will come back covered head to toe in mud or dirt. They will come back spray paint on their grubby hands from graffiting the walls. I will find them having raided the recycling bin smashing glass jars with a hammer in the driveway. The laundry is pulled off the line and turned into a fort. The bath tub is filled with every single bottle of liquid they could find.
They are wild when they are in their domain.
Wild children, wilful children, my children.
Sometimes I lose my shit, and I look around at the lego covered carpet, the skirting boards that haven’t been scrubbed and the walls that need painting and I wish I had a magazine worthy home, obedient grateful kids.
Then I remember who I am, where I came from.
Everything is perfectly in its place.