Thursday, December 9, 2010

It Ain't Easy...

I'm mad at you, and you better know it Mister!
If your kids are giving you a headache, follow the directions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says, "keep away from children."
- Susan Savannah

A child is a curly dimpled lunatic.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes, I need to read funny stuff like this to keep me going during those times when it's really, really hard to be a parent.

Sure, I've written about the many joyous, rewarding occasions when parenting has been mostly bliss. Sometimes I'm pretty good at making it all look like the best walk in the park ever. But of course, the truth is that there are just as many 'down' times as there are 'up' times.

Take these last 24 hours for example.

Abah is stressed. He's been working day and night, day and night for weeks now and is exhausted. His phone rings constantly and there are countless emails to reply. All Abah needs is a good night's sleep and a little peace and quiet.

This would have to be the night that Zara wakes up at 3am screaming her lungs out, and all attempts to comfort her and put her back to sleep are futile. Poor Abah tries to wriggle under the covers to escape the screaming as frantic Mummy tries singing, rocking, patting, feeding, even Quranic verses, to calm the little tyke down. All to no avail. At this point, Zara is writhing, red in the face, mad as heck and making sure as hell that you know it! Abah sighs, grabs his pillow and heads off to the sofa to catch some much needed rest. 

After an hour of this, Mummy is not only exhausted herself, but frustrated and almost in tears because she doesnt know what to do. So she puts Zara in her cot, hides under the covers and lies very still for about 15 minutes. And whaddaya know? Zara stops screaming. Just like that. Mummy peeks into the cot and Zara is fast asleep.

Fast forward to this morning, and Mummy is woken by more screaming. It's like having a nightmare, and waking up to realise it actually isnt a nightmare - it's reality! Abah stumbles back into the room, with a sore neck and looking like crap, to find out what's wrong. Zara has no fever, doesnt seem to have a tummy ache or anything else wrong with her. It's as if she woke up from the wrong side of the bed and has decided today she will give her parents hell.

Believe it or not, she continued screaming all the way til 12pm, stopping only for breakfast and milk, and for now, thank God, a nap.

So yes, there are days when I wonder whether all parents can really be great parents when they are tested to this degree. God knows I try so hard to be the best, most patient Mummy that I can be, but there are times when even I crack and scream back because I'm so lost and tired.

I'm willing to bet that when Zara wakes from her nap in a bit, she'll flash me her sweetest smile ever, and I'll melt and forget all about this morning's episode.

And just like that, the nightmare - the reality - will be the sweetest dream ever.

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