Did the Neighbours Hear That?

Do you ever stop and think, while you’re standing their yelling at your kids to stop slamming the door for the hundredth time in a row, shit – did the neighbours hear that? Or when your two toddlers are having simultaneous meltdowns, attempting to scream louder than the other, do you wonder what the neighbours must be thinking? It’s never really be on my mind, but today… If ever there was a day the neighbours would hear, it would be today. There was yelling, screaming, crying, slamming, throwing, pushing… You name it – it was happening at my house. Let me explain.

The day started off well. Really well in fact (I should have known it was too good to be true). We had breakfast outside, I completely cleared the kitchen bench of all dishes (come on Mum’s – you know that’s a big accomplishment), I did two loads of washing, I baked a banana loaf, I began clearing the garage, and I had a friend visit. A great morning. And then my friend left, and I thought great! Nap time for all. Boy was  I wrong. It’s like a heat wave came through the house, and flicked a switch on my kids at the same time.

After much screaming, Maia finally drifted off to sleep, but Amelia wasn’t having a nap. No sir no she told me. So I let her play. She wanted to make a valentine. She somewhere found a vivid to draw with. Thankfully no vivid on the walls or floor before I swapped it out with something less dangerous. She cut (with safety scissors) her valentines. Translation – this means cut all pieces of paper into tiny pieces of paper. She leaves a trail throughout the house.

She decides she needs to play dress ups. And for some unknown reason (because she doesn’t normally do this), she pulls all the dress ups and all her clothes out of the cupboards. Her room is a disaster zone. I look in the door, and walk away. Take a deep breath.

45 minutes on the dot after Maia goes to sleep, just as I’m managing to get some work done, she is awake screaming. Amelia has spread all her blocks on the floor, like little mines in my bedroom. Of course I stand on one. Yes it bloody hurts. Take a deep breath.

Both the kids are running round the house now, and I realise I’m not going to get any work done. I suggest perhaps they go and play outside, but no that’s a crazy idea. They want snacks. Inside. I tell them to wait while I go to the toilet. Then I get sidetracked in the toilet, because the toilet paper has been ripped up and left all over the floor. And not just pulled pieces off. No she has dug her fingers into the toilet paper, so that several rounds of it have holes in. Maybe take two deep breaths at this point.

I go back to get their snacks, only to find they’ve actually already found the bananas, and have opened three. And eaten three. And also opened two yogurts (who taught them to be so dependent?!?!), and smeared yogurt all over Maia’s clothes. And on the floor. Lucky it’s lino I guess. Shit. This day is not one to brag about. Screw the deep breaths, put a cider in the fridge for later.

Around about now it’s time to make dinner, which I do, why I thought it’d be a good idea to make a homemade pie (delicious, yes – time-consuming, also yes), I have no clue. And then I hear screaming. And they’re both screaming. At each other. Because they’re both stuck on a chair, because they don’t fit on the chair together, and neither wants to get off. Oh crap, sibling arguments. They have officially begun. I take away the chair and send them outside.

They thing it’s a fun game to ride scooters into the door, banging the door. Then Maia stands inside and decides it’s fun to slam the door in Amelia’s face. Repeatedly. More screaming. I move Maia away from the door, but she goes back. Repeatedly. Shit this girl is stubborn.

That’s it, it’s 5.22pm and I call my husband. I tell him he needs to get home NOW. The kids are driving me up the wall, I’ve had a shit day and he needs to take over. I need some silence.

Finally dinner is ready. We go outside, there’s a bit of a breeze, it’s not too sunny, but it’s nice a warm, and we have a few minutes peace while the girls are eating, and I manage to calm down just a little. And the girls calm down just a little. We look up at the sky and point out different clouds, point to the airplane that flies past. OK I think I’m gaining some control back.

The girls decide to play outside for a while, which is great because it gives me a chance to clear up after dinner, tidy up their bedrooms which are barely recognizable. Then I tell them it’s bed time (note: husband is still not home yet. Very quickly heading towards the hit list again). Well of course that doesn’t go down well. I put Maia to bed first, she’s easier because she can’t escape her cot. She cries for a little, but she quickly calms down and is quiet.

Meanwhile Amelia is literally throwing her arms up in the air, kicking her legs, screaming and yelling because she can’t find her Baa (toy sheep – goes everywhere with her) for bedtime. Seriously, this is my last straw. I tell her I don’t care, and she is going to bed. She tells me I am the grumpiest, and I’m not her favourite, Dad is. She also tells me I’m not her best friend anymore. Well holy shit. My 3-year-old is actually pissed off with me. This is not cool. The right thing to do would be to talk to her about it, apologise for being grumpy, tell her I love her, etc. But I’ve pretty much lost my mind at this point, and I mumble “well Maia is my favourite”. Instant guilty bad mum vibes are kicking in. Did I just say that to a 3-year-old? Did I actually just stoop to her level and play her game?

She went to bed with a hug and a kiss and I went to mull over my bad choice of words. We all make mistakes sometimes, and I’m definitely feeling the guilt over this one. But tomorrow is another day, and I’m hoping with fingers and toes crossed she will wake up, unconditionally in love with me like always, ready for a better day together.

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