I occassionally have flashforward moments. I don’t mean of the losing consciousness variety aka the Channel 5 series featuring Joseph Fiennes. I mean when you suddenly realise that life isn’t always going to be like this.
I had one the other day when I was queuing in Sainsburys. Having shouted, warned, bribed my way round the shop, i was at the final hurdle and paying. I only had +50% extra shopping i hadn’t intended to get (believe me that’s good) including two chocolate caramel bunny things intended to lure them back to the car without further incident. All was good.
Suddenly i realised i had forgotten the one thing i’d come for in the first place. Aaaargh!
I thought about leaving the boys in the trolley, strapped in of course. Would anyone notice? I’d only be quick. …..would i get tutted at, bad mouthed? I looked around at my fellow customers trying to see if anyone looked suspicious. Would my children be stolen?
And then, the flashfoward moment.
One day i won’t have this problem. One day i’ll be able to say “pls can you go and get mummy some milk darling”. And off he’ll trot. Okay maybe trotting is a bit opimistic and i’m sure there’ll still be a bribe involved here, perhaps the latest Emo album, or a can of cider. But the point is that i won’t be totally stuffed.
You get so bogged down in the here and now, the moments of drama, that you forget things won’t always be like this.
One day you might not be quite so exhausted. One day every moment of every day won’t involve negotiation. Whatever decision you make won’t always be the wrong one despite the fact it was what they wanted yesterday.
Flash forward moments are these moments of clarity, a rainbow in a dark storm, a sigh of relief where you imagine a day when things are simpler. A day when they’re older, more independent. Christ a day when they’ll wipe their own bum.
Now, don’t get me wrong, i’m certainly under no illusion that other ages won’t bring their fair share of challenges. The teenage years are going to be fun for sure. And i did wonder last night when i was giving the eldest the lame bribe that the easter bunny only visited boys when they were asleep, just what i will do when he doesn’t fall for it anymore.
But surely it becomes a little less – well – relentless? You get to go from A to B with relative simplicity. You get to do something each day that doesn’t involve a tantrum, a drama of some kind?
My current flashforwards:
- i have to wake the kids up in the morning because they’ve slept in again
- i don’t have to carry two children down the stairs because one can’t walk, and the other is threatening the world’s worst tantrum if i don’t.
- i don’t find they’ve taken their shoes off when we’re running late for school AGAIN. (or in my case finding they’ve taken all their clothes off and are running around shouting N-U-D-E-N!).
- i don’t have to bribe and coax them down from the parcel shelf by threatening that maybe i’ll just take the other one to granny’s later.
- having arrived back in the car, the kids unstrap their own seat belts, open their own car doors, close them nicely and walk quickly and quietly into the house.
- i leave them at home while i quickly pop to the shops to buy a bottle of wine. It’s 7pm, i’ve had a rough day and just realised there is no booze.
Maybe i AM burying my head in the sand a bit. But isn’t that how you get through the worst moments? Like a bad recession, if you can just get through, things will be easier the other side?
I certainly know other people used this tactic on me when i first had a baby. “Oh, things get easier at 6 weeks.” and then when they were 6 weeks it changed to “Oh, things will be a breeze at 6 months”. Soon you suspect there’s a bit of carrot dangling going on.
So, maybe i’m dangling my own carrot here. Even still, a girl’s allowed to dream isn’t she?