Last night I was in bed by 7.30pm. Seriously. I'd put aside the evening to write a post, read some blogs and generally fiddle around with the computer until I was too tired to keep my eyes open. Strangely, the 'too tired to keep my eyes open' bit happened the moment the children were in bed rather than about 5 hours later, which is usually the case.
But instead of seizing the opportunity to finally catch up on some much-needed rest, I decided to text a few friends to tell them that I was, at that precise moment, in bed dying of exhaustion. (I always love a bit of drama even when I'm too tired to lift a limb). A few texts of sympathy came back and a few wondering what was wrong - was I ill? Had something out of the ordinary happened? The answer, of course, was in the negative. Ok, so I had had a little cold for the past fews days, but nothing major. No, the reason for my life-threatening exhaustion was simply the fact that I'd spent the entire weekend running around after two extremely demanding children with no husband (don't ask - away working again). But hey, if you read this blog, you'll know that that's pretty par for the course.
What's not so much par for the course is a huge school festival complete with climbing wall, face-painting, owl sanctuary, belly-dancing, bag-making, hot-dog eating. The list goes on. But as exciting as it sounds, when you've got two children who both want to run off in opposite directions, it is, how shall I put this? Rather unrelaxing.
Renée wanted to go on the climbing wall, Edie wanted to eat a hot dog, an ice-cream and some rather fluorescent, sticky-looking candy floss. Then Renée wanted to eat and Edie wanted to climb. Except she couldn't because she's too young, although she didn't know that and so after spending half an hour in the queue for the climbing wall only to witness her sister being fitted for a harness and not her, she was understandably upset. Very much so. She cried. A lot. And very loudly. But I couldn't take her away because by this time, Renée was half-way up the wall. So we stood there watching, me trying my hardest to comfort a sticky, snotty and heartbroken Edie. And when Renée's bottom lip started to quiver as soon as she looked down and realised how high she'd climbed, I had to breathe deeply. Two hysterical children was not going to be easy.
So I whisked both of them away to the owl sanctuary, hoping for a more sedate time. But much to the dismay of at least two of us, I was told Renée could hold an owl, but Edie was too young. More tears. (Edie's, not mine - although I was close by this point). It was then that I spied some friends who, after a careful assessment of the situation, decided that they would take Renée off my hands. Perhaps I was looking a little more dishevelled than I had realised. It was a revelation. I can't tell you how relaxing it was. Edie wanted to have her fingernails painted. She may only be two and a half, but what the heck, she had her fingernails painted. Bright pink. She loved it. She rolled down the hill in a plastic barrel, put a pin in a treasure hunt map, jumped on a bouncy castle...and all the time she was doing this I didn't have to keep looking over my shoulder to see where Renée had run off to. And the piece de resistance - I even persuaded a man at the owl sanctuary to let her hold an owl. I don't think I've ever seen her so happy - it was all I could do to stop her from kissing it.
And that's when it occurred to me that being a parent of one child is fun...being a parent of two children is hard work. Someone once told my husband that having one child was like having a pet, and having two was like running a zoo. (And having three or more, well suggestions for descriptions would be welcome - suffice to say, I don't think we'll get that far). I have to say, I found myself looking at parents with one child rather enviously...I even saw a few of them having conversations! Now I know things will get easier, especially when the girls are old enough to do the same things, but in the meantime, husband please come home...you're needed (again). But until that happens, I may just have a few more early nights...
hayley balozi posted a blog post
1 day ago