Harry has got a sick bug. My husband had it first, and Ollie is tossing and turning in bed and I have this horrible feeling that we will all get it.
It is 22.35 and Harry and I are lying on a waterproof sheet on my bare mattress because he's projectile vomited over two sets of our bed linen, and his own cot linen twice. So my husband is downstairs supervising hot washes one after the other and getting stuff dry in between, and I am here, administering sips of boob and clearing up when it repeats itself.
I hate it when my babies are poorly. Obviously any mother does. And Harry is too young for this, he doesn't understand at all what is happening which is breaking my heart. But I don't think I ever feel as much of a mother as when my babies are ill. It's a very primal need in me to be needed.
Today, quite aside from the sick, was a very tough day indeed. I realise that Ollie has entered an entirely new phase. "Terrible twos" doesn't cover it.
I feel guilty and judgmental being critical of my child, my own mother is very critical and I fight myself if ever I sense negativity on my lips. BUT, in the interests of being honest and sharing what I am sure is a common issue for mums, it is so bloody hard once they start playing up, and he can be a little nightmare!
At the moment, it's boundless energy, extreme emotions, and anger. He was always such a calm and placid baby- everyone always told me I must be doing such a fantastic job to raise such a content child, and now I realise that I don't recognise him sometimes and it was really all down to him. He has developed such strong emotional responses- which when manifested positively, I find marvellous- but which means that when he is frustrated or bored or upset it is like WW3. Both my husband and I are emotional so I should have seen it coming, and I love when he cries at a sad film, when he shakes with excitement and joy, when he caresses and kisses his baby brother. He shows such love and warmth and heart. But the negative emotions he displays, coupled with his obvious inability to understand or control his behaviour, because he is TWO for gods sake, can mean we have really naughty, destructive actions. Like stamping on his brother's head and screaming. Hitting other children in the soft play, in fact, deliberately trying to inflict as much pain on other children as he can.
A lot of this is a response to feelings of jealousy and envy towards his brother, even though he so openly adores Harry. He is constantly desperate for attention. He is also extremely clever and ahead of himself for his age. He will explain to me in hot shouty long full sentences why he is so angry that I will not give him a biscuit, and throw himself around because of it. But at least I know what it is, because he tells me.
He is naughty and mischievous because he knows it gets my reaction. And I am trying so hard to do what I should and not rise to it. Because if I shout he shouts. But I am a shouty, emotional person, as is my husband, as is he. So I am spending most of my time pretending to be calm and cool when really I want to scream at him because he's pinched Harry and run off, smashing everything in his path as he goes.
I feel like the worst parent in the world some days, when all I want is to love and protect them and this parenting game is so much bloody more than that.
But then they get ill. And need you in a very legitimate and pitiful way and your heart breaks because you have never felt more needed. And when Ollie wakes tomorrow morning, hopefully after a sick-free night's sleep, he will come upstairs and kiss his poorly brother good morning. And I will have faith restored that we will get through all this eventually.
Thanks for reading xx