Wednesday, 26 September 2012

But I'm screaming on the inside

But I'm screaming on the inside
26 September 2012

I am actually a marvellous actress, if I have to say so myself.  No really, I am!  I have perfected the art of looking serenely calm, peaceful and in control most of the time.  The truth, however is far removed from this rosy image.  The fact of the matter is, I’m actually screaming on the inside.  Had you fooled, didn’t I?  I told you I was good.

But why?  Why am I not serenely calm, peaceful and in control most of the time – for real?  Well, life is hectic.  And it’s not just mine either.  I think most people feel like this.  The Twisted’s and I have all been saying that we’ve got that hectic end of the year rush feeling all of the time, when it’s actually only September.  And truth be told, we felt this way in January already.  Hardly an auspicious start to the year.  Personally, I overcommit all the time, putting severe pressure on myself.  Now this is particularly stupid as it is entirely self-inflicted.  It really is my own fault.  I like to help out, but perhaps I take on a bit too much.  I’m not complaining.  Because helping is kind of my thing.  It makes me feel needed.  I like to help my family.  And I enjoy helping out at my kids’ schools.  It’s just one of those things and it makes me feel good.  So I actually do it for purely selfish reasons.  It’s all about me. 

Added to that, let’s face it - having kids can be pretty intense.  At times they push my patience to the limits.  A friend of mind talks about having accelerator moments.  She says it happens when she drops her teenage daughter off somewhere and her daughter then gets out of the car and proceeds to walk in front of the car, on her way to the curb or wherever she’s going.  She says that in that instant, she is overcome with an overwhelming urge to simply put her foot on the accelerator.  Now this makes me laugh out loud, each time she says it or I think about it.  Why?  Because I can just so clearly picture it.  In fact, I’ve lived through it myself.  I have also had to fight those impulses at times.  Now, I’m not propagating violence.  Especially towards children, heaven forbid, but man it’s tempting at times.

So, I’ve already admitted that I’m goofy.  I make jokes all of the time, often tend to bump into things and in general I’ve been afflicted with a wicked sense of humour.  Most often directed at myself, but it is also just sooo much fun to torment my kids.  Luke’s catch phrase at the moment is “you think you’re so funny”.  Often accompanied a short while later by “you’re not, you know”.  Of course I do know this.  But let’s be honest, if I wasn’t laughing, I would more than likely do bodily harm to him.  Having a sense of humour is key to surviving life as a parent.  And hey, I’m his mother.  If anyone was going to inflict pain, I’d like it to be me.  I know all the best spots.

One of my motto’s in life is “Fake it till you make it”.  Which is a really awesome outlook and can be applied to absolutely anything.  Perhaps, given enough practice looking serenely calm, peaceful and in control most of the time, these feelings will eventually evolve, settle in and become truthful.  In fact, I think I might have it perfected by the time I’ve finished with my last teenager.  So I’ve still got a bit of an uphill battle ahead, but onwards and upwards as they say.

My kids love bickering.  They’ve just about turned it into a sport.  And the two undisputed champions at present are Luke and Amber.  Man, they can wind each other up.  And so extremely successfully as well.  I think it’s a talent that they’ve got.  The fact that it does not merely work on each other, but also tends to send me around the bend, is more than likely a marvellous bonus in their opinion.  Kind of a two-for-the-price-of-one thing.  Amber is extremely dramatic.  As in seriously dramatic.  So we all know who she takes after (by the way it’s not me).  She absolutely thrives on drama – and from a young age already.  If I did a graph of Amber’s emotional wellbeing on any given day, it would look like the most hectic zig zag pattern ever.  The highs and lows would touch either end of an A4 piece of paper, portrait style and do justice to the writing patterns practiced by Grade One’s all over the world – you know those vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv patterns they make?  Her emotions tend to fluctuate between extreme highs and extreme lows.  Messing some cool drink on her shirt has the ability to turn anything into “this is the worst day ever”.  Followed a few short minutes later by “this is the best day ever”, because her favourite programme is on TV.  Huh???

So yesterday afternoon, whilst bickering, Amber pipes up and says “I’ve got such a bad headache”.  Now I know the cause of these headaches.  She doesn’t eat enough breakfast in the mornings, despite continuous urging.  She doesn’t drink enough water during the day.  She doesn’t always finish her school lunch either.  So by the time I fetch her from school, it stands to reason that she’s got a headache, because she’s ravenously hungry.  So yesterday there is much lamenting and outpourings of pity towards herself.  “Why do I always get headaches?”.  “Why me?”.  “I need a tablet”, etc., etc., etc.  And then my beloved little Lukie piped up “it could be cancer you know”.  Now I’m telling you that if it didn’t take me so long to put the car in reverse when we got home, I would surely have backed over Luke when he walked behind the car after I’d stopped.  And just to be sure, he looked me straight in the eye when he said it, with an extreme look of glee.  Why?  Because he knew he’d hit a home run.  With six short little words, he’d successfully managed to annoy two of us.

So I calmly said to Amber, “you’ll feel much better after you’ve eaten, my love and you really should eat more breakfast in the mornings and drink more water”.  And as a kind of knee-jerk reaction, I gave Luke a dead-leg on his upper thigh.  Not all that effective, as he seemed to smirk even more after my feeble attempt.  But boy, it sure made me feel better.  Maybe not such a good actress after all.  Yip, I’m screaming on the inside.  But once in a blue moon, it tends to bubble up to the surface – hence the dead-leg incident.  Perhaps next time I should put more shoulder into it. 

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha ha - hectic! Now I have a glimpse of what to expect when my little Ben gets older! ( He's only turning 1 in January ) I still have time to prepare! ;)