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Parenting Alfie has not been easy recently.

More often than not I end the day on the sofa, mulling over the words I have spoken, second guessing the decisions I have made and usually finding them wanting. These are days where I have risked waking my son by creeping into his bedroom to smoothe his hair, kiss his cheek and whisper that I love him.

These are the words I say, what I mean is "I'm sorry, I failed you, I should have been more patient, I should have dealt with things differently. Can we start again? Can I try to do better?"

I'm frustrated with him; frustrated that my caring, gentle soul has been possessed by this spirit that makes him aim a flying kick to his sisters just for having the temerity to be in his way. He laughs it off, and runs away and my blood boils while I scoop up a tearful mess of daughter, drying her eyes and trying to make things right.

We aren't alone. Some people think five might just be the hardest age of all but that is cold comfort. Everyone hits a stage where, if they're honest, they wish that they had stuck with the puppy rather than choosing to subdivide. Everyone has ages, and behaviours and times where they have no choice but to scream into a pillow.

There is nothing I can do to change how long this will last, or to curb the brutality that rocks Alfie and everyone around him: The choice I have to make is how we come out of the other side.

When I want to scream after him, I choose to whisper. When I want to lash out, instead I choose to hold him close. When my instinct is to punish, instead I will explain, over and over until the tears of frustration roll down my face.

I choose these things so that we will come out of this phase connected because the alternative is a chasm of regret and reproach. 

The alternative is too painful to contemplate.

2 comments

  1. I feel like this a lot of days as Oliver goes through the 'terrible twos', he has days that really try me and my patience wears thin, I try so hard to be understanding but some days it all gets too much.

    You are doing exactly what I hope to achieve with the hugs etc and that last paragraph is exactly how I feel too.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone; both in feeling like the stakes are so very high and also in falling short sometimes.

      Oliver is a very lucky lad to have a mama who cares about your relationship so much

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