I try to be a patient person, I do. And I always swore that when I had kids, I wouldn’t be that perpetually annoyed mother. Man, isn’t she a buzz killer? Doesn’t she realise that kids are meant to behave this way?
The perpetually annoyed mother seems to find the whole business of motherhood an inconvenience. She is constantly reprimanding and correcting. She finds fault with everything. But she doesn't shout so much as whine. Just like her kids. Yeah, I was never going to be her.
But then, I had actual children as opposed to hollow assumptions about motherhood based on fantasy kids and a fantasy me who always had my calm, rational and fun hat on!
Oh, Earth, how it smarts when I crash back down to you.
I have given myself a lot of grief about this perceived failure to be a more relaxed and easy-going mother. I’ve given Bren a shitload of grief about it because his tolerance level for kid malarkey is way shorter than mine. Way. But really, there’s a lot of malarkey with kids. Way more malarkey than expected. And so it was that I became very familiar with my tether’s end. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen the beginning of my tether for over 6 years. I am permanently stuck about 5 minutes from the end at all times.
Oh god, I am the perpetually annoyed mother.
But wait. Is it all my fault? Yes, kids will be kids but do they have to be total dicks while they’re at it?
Before you hand down your judgement, allow me the opportunity to present some evidence.
Kid Malarkey That Annoys Me #1
Common Sense is Dead
Ziggy: I’m hungry, Mumma!
Mumma: What would you like for breakfast?
Ziggy: I can’t remember.
Mumma: Well, what do you feel like?
Ziggy: I want you to choose.
Mumma: Okay, what about a banana?
Mumma: Toast, then?
Mumma: Daddy breakfast (cereal)?
Mumma: Well, Ziggy, you need to choose. What do you feel like?
Ziggy: I can’t remember.
Kid Malarkey that Annoys Me #2
It’s bed time and in a bid to make Harlow sleepy, we scroll through my Instagram feed.
Harlow spots a cake.
Harlow: Mumma, is a cake?
Me: Yes, it’s a cake.
Harlow: Me a have it?
Me: No, you can’t have it.
Harlow: Me a have it!
Me: Darling, it’s just a picture.
Harlow: Me a have iiiiiit!
Me: Darling, we don’t have any cake! It’s not real!
Harlow (sob/scream combo of despair): Me a have caaaaaake! Me a have iiiiiiiit!
GODDAMN YOU HIPSTER BASTARDS AND YOUR FOODIE PHOTOS. GODDAMN YOU TO HELL!
Kid Malarkey that Annoys Me #3
A Dressing Down
Me: Luca, it’s time to get dressed for school, honey.
Luca stands in front of the television ignoring me.
Me (still singsongy and lovely): Luca, time to get dressed!
Luca – more ignoring.
Me: Luca! Can you hear me?
Luca is almost certainly deaf.
Luca (turns around as though surprised at my very existence in the universe): What?
Me (admittedly with some exasperation): Get dressed please!
Luca: But I’m just watching this show.
Me: Okay, as soon as it’s over, you need to get your uniform on, okay?
Ten minutes pass.
I return to the lounge room where Luca is watching a different show.
Me: Show’s over, Luca. Get dressed!
Luca (muchos attitude): Okay, OKAY!
Five minutes later, I find Luca in the play room setting up an extremely elaborate game involving toy cars and one million Trashies. In his pyjamas.
Me: LUCA! You are going to be late to school. Clothes! NOW!
Luca: But I didn’t even get a chance to play yet!
Me: Once you’re dressed and your teeth are brushed, you can play right up until it’s time to go. Come on! I’ll help you!
I follow Luca into the bedroom.
Me: Your clothes are right there on your bed.
Luca is jumping up and down on the bed – and the clothes.
Luca spends several minutes dancing some kind of hot shoe shuffle in the middle of the room and when the pants finally, finally come off, he kicks them up into the air and they land on his Ziggy’s head. Hysterical laughing and wrestling ensue between the brothers.
Another three minute dance and the undies are off. They also go flying across the room. At this point, Luca needs to bounce 47 times on his bed again. I fear I will not live to see his top come off.
But yes, finally, a nude child! Surely now he will just get dressed…but no, no, more wrestling is required. Because wrestling is always more fun when naked.
At this point, I should probably leave the room – and sometimes I do. But other sometimes, my head spins around 360 degrees, my eyes flash red and I start vomiting in garish green. Or is that The Exorcist? I can’t remember. But I lose my shit. My tiny, tiny mind explodes into a thousand pieces and then I run away to a deserted island with Justin Bieber. I don’t know why because I can’t stand that little prick, but he was the star of my last inappropriate dream so I might as well give my sick, sick subconscious what it wants.
There! You see what happens? Do you understand now, in even some small, tokenistic way that you hope will appease me (it will – thank you) , that I am being driven to certain madness? Remembering that I was already quite mad BEFORE I had children, can you see how it’s not my fault if I dream about Justin Bieber treating me mean and keeping me keen?
So what happens in the end? Does Luca ever get dressed? Do I scream loud enough for the neighbours (and by neighbours, I mean, the next suburb) to hear? And who wins naked wrestling?
Excellent questions. And the answers are yes, yes, and never Brendon. Brendon never wins naked wrestling because there have to be two competitors to play. Poor Brendon.
We drive to school and everyone is dressed. Sure, Luca has dribbled toothpaste all over his clean uniform but the truth is, he was moments away from attending school in socks and nothing else so a win is a win.
Yes, I could be calmer. Of course I could. But my kids could be less…..butt-headish.
So dear Perpetually Annoyed Mother who I judged in the past. I am sorry. I get it now. Your kids are arseholes. So are mine. BUT let's you and I try not to let them know we think so quite so often, huh?