Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Now the children are in bed and the cat has decided it's his turn for attention, eyeing me reproachfully from beside the computer screen as I've ousted him from my seat, objected to his tail draping artistically over the keyboard and moved him from in front of the monitor. He's still purring though. He settles for my approximation of an in-tray (a cut up cereal box) in a forgiving manner. I need that today.

It's been one of those good-intentions-out-of-the-window, shouting-then-regretting-it-immediately kind of days. I blame it on the rain last night. Much needed winter rain, but I wish it would come in the day, it drums so loudly on our tin roof that I wake up and then run round checking for leaks (none luckily).

Anyway I was scouring my mind for something to cook for supper, hadn't defrosted anything in time again (no microwave, my choice so can't blame anyone for that!), thought I'd do potatoes in the oven the way our friend Ursie used to do, (cut into wedges lengthways then tossed in olive oil and baked at a high heat with a bit of rosemary and salt), baked butternut and then some burgers that the kids like but we don't, cos they're the processed sort.

Mindful of an article I'd just read by Anna Wahlgren, saying that children need to feel needed and have a part to play, however minor/apprentice in the adult world, I graciously allowed my three year old to come and help, even though I was feeling like getting on quickly and I knew it would take longer. She helped scrub the potatoes, held the knife handle as I cut, put the cut pieces in to the towel to dry them. I was thinking - great, she's involved, pleased with herself, not clamouring for attention elsewhere, I can be patient....then she held up the towel and just as I was saying 'hold it over the counter'...oops a corner fell and all the clean, dry, ready for the oven potatoes cascaded to the floor.

My thin veneer of patience was pierced to expose the irritable, sleep-deprived grumpy mum underneath. I yelled - big oops. I said sorry straight away but youngest gets mortified at the slightest accident ( except wetting herself which she is quite happy with), her pride and dignity were wounded and she retreated to the bedroom to console herself. I am not allowed to come near - any attempt at reconcilation has to wait. So now I'm annoyed with myself for spoiling a good learning mother/daughter moment. I return to get the rest of the supper in. The bonus is that she goes to sleep and has a much needed nap that she will never voluntarily take. (Should I shout at her every day to get her to nap?) When she wakes up, just in time for supper she makes straight for me and is a total cling-on for the next little while, forgiving each other for our outbursts, making sure we still love each other.

I guess it was still a learning mother/daughter moment, just not the one I'd intended. It must still be good to learn that we can shout, or be shouted at, recover, say sorry and still love each other...just as long as it's not too often. It's raining still. What happened to those earplugs!


  1. Sounds like you are a very loving, involved and well intended mom. Parenting is the hardest job there is in which there is no manual for. The love is always there. These little ones can pick up on that.:) Rain at night always seems louder.

  2. That's a tough afternoon. My sister said yesterday she snapped at her daughter, and her son said, comfortingly, "Sister, sometimes I just go lay on my bed till mama forgets." Ouch. I hope things improve. I was a child who was always distressed I could not do things perfectly.

  3. What a great post. What a sweet mother you are. Maybe your daughter is a lot like you?

    I make Ursie's potatoes too! Exactly the same way! My Italian sister-in-law taught me, and they come delicious every time.

  4. Thanks for all your sympathetic comments. Today was much better, no grudges borne, which is the great thing about young children.


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!