I only have both children by myself for two days a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other weekdays, EldestGirl is at nursery.
Tuesdays and Thursdays go one of two ways:
- Excellent – YoungestGirl hits some new milestones and is happy pootling around playing with her toys. EldestGirl sits down and does reading with me, a bit of maths or handwriting practice and we do some cooking together. We have lots of cuddles. I seriously consider home educating, or possibly even opening a mini-school for other children because I’m clearly just brilliant.
- Bloody awful – YoungestGirl refuses to nap and whines all day. She relocates everything within arm’s reach to the floor – where she believes every item in our home truly belongs. EldestGirl throws a tantrum because I suggest something dreadful like brushing her teeth. I consider referring myself (or them) to Social Services.
There doesn’t seem to be an in-between, which makes me think that even though I naturally think of myself as the pure ideal of calm, perhaps I do start to get irritated and we end up in a vicious circle of dickheadedness. (That is an actual parenting term, coined first by Gina Ford, I believe.)
So today I have vowed to be unrelentingly positive. “You don’t want to brush your teeth? OK. Let’s do it later. There’s no rush!” “You want to throw all my paperwork on the floor? Go for it! I have digital copies anyway and I can clear up later!” “You want to set fire to your sister? That’s a great idea! Maybe we could do some colouring first though?”
I will let you know how it goes. If it’s a success, I might consider having a lobotomy and moving to Stepford.