When my boys were one and two years old, I made the rookie mistake of thinking that when they got bigger, it would get easier.
But it didn't, because by the time they were four and five years old, not only did they have a new sister who has proven to be more work than both boys put together (on a rugby field) but I realised that it doesn't get easier, it only gets harder.
Yes, I don’t have to try and bounce them both to sleep on a Pilates ball at the same time anymore, or tie them to their chairs to sit down and eat their supper, or explain to them that a steaming hot dog poo is not in fact a freshly baked brownie - flip I think that was one of my worst days - but it’s still harder. Much harder.
Also read: The nights are long. But the years? Oh, the years are short”: a mom’s post reminding us our kids grow up much too fast
When I look back at photos of my babies I just want to cry
Of course when my much older and wiser sister told me this would happen - she's been there and done that, and is always one for the truth - I didn't believe her. I thought that once they slept more, left fewer crumbs in my car, asked fewer questions and understood instructions a bit better, things would get easier.
You know - like when they tell you that they need the loo at the gym and you tell them to get out the pool to wee. So they get out the pool to wee and then stand on the side of the pool with their cute faces and take out their willies and wee into the pool. In front of everyone. And they smile.
And you laugh. And don't go back to the gym for another five years.
Those days. I wanted those days to end so that it would get easier when they got older.
But now when I look back at photos of my babies I just want to cry. I could protect them when they were in nappies. I could stop their tears by changing their nappies and I could fix it. I mean I didn't always remember to change their nappies but at least I could look after them.
I was tired. But so what?
They were mostly happy and all I had to do was make it to the end of the day alive and in one piece. But now. Now it's not so easy anymore. Every knock they take, I take.
I remember my mom saying she could feel our pain. She would complain about how she had to write matric 6 times and I would get so annoyed. This wasn't about her! It was about us! But I get it now.
I get it when I’m standing on the side of the rugby field that I cannot keep my son off, and instead of asking for the time, I ask for a Xanax. Because I’m waiting for the sound of a gunshot which will actually be his broken bone. (Although this is South Africa, so it could actually be a gun shot.)
I get it when I fetch my little boy from school and I look into his eyes and they are sad and I wasn't there and I don't know why and he can't say how. I get it when my daughter sees pictures of her grandpa and she knows she remembers him she but can’t really remember why and she cries because I cry and I can't really explain it and I can’t really solve it by switching on Peppa Pig and giving her a rusk.
She’s older now. And it’s harder now.
It’s so much harder now.
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