Flash forward

5 Apr

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?

13 Responses to “Flash forward”

  1. notSupermum April 5, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    I can tell you that life does change in so many ways as children get older – my two can bathe and shower on their own, make their own lunch if necessary, eldest can iron her own clothes, I can leave them on their own for 20 mins while I walk the dog in peace – but then of course, there are also different challenges. And I won’t spoil your flashforward moments by telling you what they might be.

  2. Sarah in deepest, darkest Lomellina April 5, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    There is a honeymoon period when they get independent, I think mine happened at about 4 and just kept getting easier until about now (9).

    I know things will get complicated again, but yes the relentless aspect does go away.

    And then you miss it LOL, cos they don’t need you so much anymore, at least not in the same constantly obvious way.

    Not enough to start all over again though in my case.

    Hang on in there, it’s coming !

    I think it is nature being kind giving us a breather before they turn into teenagers.

    • hpretty April 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you Sarah. This version of reality is akin to my perceived version. So all is good! my eldest is 4 in july, and my youngest 1 1/2. i am now looking forward to a 5-yr breather. can i take an insurance policy out for this?

  3. bsouth April 5, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    I do that too. In fact, I’m sure everyone must. Will we ever get to a stage where we think “oh look, now I’ve got it sorted”. I suspect not!

  4. Anna April 5, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    I put every moment down to “a phase” it’s the only way through.
    I loved reading that, made me giggle as makes soooo much sense, perhaps only to a parent??
    My husband has this thing about not thinking too far ahead cause of all the scary prospects of what we have to face us, day by day is much easier!
    However, those relentless days, the same fights, “share your trains with your brother”…….. flash forwards are good

  5. jomiddleton April 6, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    It does get easier. I promise, but like NotSuperMum says, there are new challenges! I do love not having tiny children though – I have never been any good at the 24/7 demands. I like my own space too much.

    P.S I have tagged you in a post today – http://bit.ly/argBw7

    • hpretty April 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

      Thank you for saying that. I need my own space so desparately, and i have spent such a long time beating myself up over this one. It’s true, people’s personalities are suited to different stages of childhood. That’s just the way it is.

  6. MumVersusKids April 7, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    I’ve got a 19 mo old (crazily dangerous) boy and an fiercely independent 3 year old girl. Much as I’d love to have the freedom to just nip out for some milk (booze), they are at a stage now where they MUST do everything on their own and everything takes sooooooooooooooo long. Cute? Yes. Doing my head in? Yes, that too.

    What really bugs me is that their independence includes doing things for which they completely lack the appropriate skills: on the cute but dangerous side we’ve got grating cheese and walking down steep cement steps; on the potentially disastrously gross side, there is the bum wiping and pouring wee from the potty into the toilet.

    I asked my mother-in-law when things will get easier. She said “they won’t”. DOH!

    • hpretty April 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

      i too have a (crazily dangerous) 18 month old boy, and a 3 1/2 yr old boy. i’m already bullet proofing the house ;<0

  7. Andrea Daly April 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    It really does get easier. There are six years between my oldest two and I got to the point where eldest was becoming almost completely independent at the age of 12 and the six year old could pretty much do everything himself….then…I had a baby!!! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY???????????

    At least the older two can both help out.
    Trust me, when you get past the stae you are at and onto relative sanity you will be soooooo grateful!! 🙂

    • hpretty April 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

      well you’re a glutton for punishment that’s for sure! hopefully the other two can at least be surrogate mummies / daddies and help out.

  8. PurpleRamblings April 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    I have just entered the “tantrum phase” and the FlashForwards to a simpler, easier, less demanding time are the only things getting me through the shouting, stamping and general disorderly behaviour… Does anypone know how long the “tantrum phase” generally lasts?? Ball park figure… Please say it’s only a week or 2…

  9. MumVersusKids April 8, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Hi Purple Ramblings. Madeleine (3) threw her first major tantrum (exorcist style-ee) in July 2008, and her last in January 2010. In between we averaged 2 a day – some days with none, some with many. Elliot (19 mo) felt obliged to take up the slack and started tantrumming in earnest in Feb 2010. If he is anything like his sister I only have another 16 months to get through and then we’re in the clear! Is that depressing or exciting?

I'm all about the debate. Would love to hear what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: