My house has morphed into a circus. I cannot recollect when it happened that our space went from chaos with sometimes-listeners, to complete and utter loss of all control. Perhaps I was hoping it was just a phase.
But, like all “phases”, the kids get you in the end. It begins with what you surmise is teething, at the ripe old age of somewhere around 4 months. Lots of sudden whingeing and crying from your little poppet, who was previously very happy about life, can only be the nasty business of teething. However, 6 months on and still no teeth, you start thinking that perhaps it was something else…like a mini temper or frustration developing, or separation anxiety, or any of those other delights no one really tells you about.
But the big guns are pulled out somewhere around the age of 18 months, when your little baby discovers his yelling voice and stomping feet. From here it is a never ending upward surge (by the kids) and catch up (by the parents) as the formerly placid child pushes into new territory. What you thought, at age 2 ½, was a sudden onset of exhaustion due to a growth spurt – displayed as the extreme sports of whingeing and throwing themselves at the kitchen cupboards – has become the norm while you were giving them some slack. What you thought, at age 4, was frustration at not being able to keep up with big brother, shown as sibling bickering, has turned into a major way to get your attention, CONSTANTLY. Suddenly, you realise: The little …. they’ve got one up on me again! The behaviour you were excusing is now the norm.
Anyway, I think our circus started about 6 months ago. At least that’s how long I believe they’ve been subversively introducing their new scheme into our house. The show begins at 6.30am: We have trapeze, from Master 4, who likes to swing from staircase to bed, to brother to sister. Riding the backs of dangerous animals we also have – as Master 4 lurches from here to never never on the back of Master 6, who roars in complaint. Speaking of roaring – well, that’s me of course. All the time it seems. All three children, meanwhile, provide the background music, at 500 decibels.
Little Miss 2 takes part in all of this. In fact, she is the most fearless circus performer in the house. And the LOUDEST (sorry to shout.) She is the cheeky monkey who silently steals the library books from her brother’s school bag, making the audience (her other brother) giggle. She is good with twirling crockery plates and half full cups of tea, and brilliant at walking the high rope, masquerading as the dining room table. She also rides the wild animals, two at a time, and provides many a slippery surface for the clowns (me) to trip up in. In fact, now that I think about it, somewhere along their plan, Little Miss 2 has subversively taken over my role as ringleader, and I have become the poor old clown!
All this before 8.30am. My head explodes, what to do with them all?
Might as well sell tickets - Roll up Roll up, to the greatest show on the Northern Beaches....