The Tether

What’s that flapping in the distance back there? Oh yes it’s the end of my tether. Floating and flapping like a lazy worm on a windy day.

Not only have I reached it but I clung on with the tips of my fingernails until it was ripped rudely out of my hands and I was flung a long distance away from it to be able to watch it on its sorry journey further away from me.

Who could possibly have caused such separation between my tether’s end and I? A not quite five year old who is just setting out on his mission to push every single button and pull every lever he can possibly find in my rapidly dwindling sanity. This week we have had food fights, temper tantrums, really daft babyish behaviour, rude noises, whining and – worst of all – him laughing at me when I tell him off.

I know that I should be able to cope with it – I’m the grown up – and that I need to ride the wave and out of the other side will come this beautiful child who is helpful and loving and caring and respectful and nice. Alex went through something similar but she never laughed when she was told off. That is what has added to the whole inability to cope with this developmental stage. The fact that he is seemingly mocking me and he just doesn’t seem to care. I’m sure he does but I can’t seem to get through to him at the moment.

Daddy had a long chat with him earlier about everything, about how he was upsetting mummy and how he needed to be a little more grown up and show Ben the right way forward rather than copying him. He duly came downstairs and apologised so I thought I would do something nice and spend a bit of time with just him, take him to the shop with me so we could have a bit of “us time”. What does he do? Stands right in front of me ripping a hole in the soft play bag of balls that he is stood next to. How can I even consider taking him with me at that moment when he is so blatantly doing wrong? He got sent to his bedroom.

What compounded the whole miserable situation for me was that, upon my return from the shop, I nearly burst into tears and didn’t want to come back to the house. Albeit only for a second or two but that hurt and now I feel guilty.

I love my children intensely and will always do so but sometimes I don’t like them very much which makes me like myself even less than the miniscule amount I do.

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