My dad is down to help with childcare while Al works for the union up to the election. We've been all having our butts kicked by the kids who have reached new levels of challenging behaviour. Dad said something the other day that made me almost cry with relief. He said the girls are difficult kids (and without going in to my own family history, Dad knows a thing or two about difficult kids). I used to think it was a dreadful thing to call kids difficult, to label them with our own perceptions of 'appropriate' behaviour. I thought any troubles with interactions, discipline, etc were the result of family dynamics. I say 'Ha! Get down off your high horse' to that previous, pious self. Golly she was an annoying twit and she's getting her come-uppance now.
It was so good to hear that it's not just me and Al, that it's not just that we're not cut out for this parenthood gig and found out a little too late. We've been able to stop self-flagellating quite so much, knowing it's not just that we somehow don't make the grade. My kids are difficult. My kids are difficult. It doesn't solve any of the problems we're facing, but some days it's enough to keep me going until the blessed 7pm bedtime.
I'm taking a break from writing because I realise that if I continue all there'll be is 'my kids are difficult' written with varying degrees of relief and resentment, and without any resolution. And one day I hope to show the girls this blog, and I don't think my kids need to know how desperate we often feel in the face of their behaviour. Plus, blogs help us notice and make sense of things but I need words to express that noticing, and the words are fast drying up under the 4.50 am wake ups, the constant screams and anger and violence and whinging and disobedience and dangerous behaviour both girls direct against each other and against us. There comes a time when there's not much more to say, when there's just a primal scream of 'make it stop', whirling in my belly and barely blocked from escaping out my throat wwith a violent and ugly force. There's only so many ways I can write my girls are difficult without becoming boring and repetitive and whiney.
So I'm going to stop finding well wrought ways of saying "what the f*** is going on in my life?" and I'll try to figure it in other ways instead. I'm going to post up photos of my garden, of the girls, of the things that make me happy in the interim, and when there are some more interesting words I'll start typing them in again.