I am a mother on the edge – the edge of reason, the edge ofpatience, the knife edge of my sanity. Other mothers make it look so damn easy.It bloody isn’t. It’s the hardest thing in the world.
For one thing it dawned on me in the headmaster’s office onTuesday morning, that as a parent I have this Atlas like responsibility. I knowexactly how he felt. My neck and shoulders have cramped up to the point I maybeg for Botox in them.
Every little decision you make as a parent defines howyour child will grow up. Every comment, no matter how casual, will shape theadult he or she is to become.
Parental guilt is a lot worse than Catholic guilt, and Ithought nothing could top that. At least Catholics can go to confession andhave the slate wiped clean, parents can’t. Your mistakes grow up and hate youat least until they have children of their own.
I have spent the week with three projectile vomitingchildren. I feel helpless and exhausted. Small boy aged 7 stood over the bowlweeping and crying for me to make it stop and help him. All I could do was wipehis face with a wet cloth. In other words, nothing.
For reasons known only to Small boy aged 9, he waited untilwe were a block away from school before voiding the contents of breakfast allover the car. Brilliant timing. I gave up and drove home. I deposited saidchildren in bed, drugged them with Stopayne and headed downstairs to franticallycomplete my presentation due for today. I was too scared to even call work andended up cowardly sending them an email.
Finally I dragged the whole bloody lot to the doctor, whichis conveniently located next to a mental hospital. I almost drove in screaming,“Bring me a strait jacket! Lead the way to the padded cell! I’m having abreakdown!” Only the sobering thought of what would happen to my children whileI was being locked up made me turn around and take them home. I’m stillconsidering packing a bag and throwing myself on their mercy.
A school friend of mine has nine children under 9. Shealways looks serene.
Either she knows something I don’t or her doctor gives herbetter medication.