I was a GREAT mother with my first child.
We did playdough and made pasta beads. We had a craft table and an ankle-deep homemade ocean filled with plastic sharks that we fished around in and made small splashy waves together.
I went down the slippery-dip behind him at the park and I helped him collect snails from the crooked wall across the road.
And I hardly, hardly ever looked at my phone when we went for a walk.
All that, you see, equals good Mum.
With his little brother and sister I haven’t made it to “good Mum”status.
In fact I’ve been a bleak, dismal, dereliction of motherhood.
I think the thing was that I went too hard, too early. I went all out too quickly and suddenly by the time my second child was nine-months old and ready to play and my oldest was three-and-a-bit I was drained of any ability whatsoever to play.
It hit me like a ton of (lego) bricks.
Playing with kids is boring as F**K.
I know I should be cherishing each and every game of hide-and-seek. I know I should be languishing in delirium when a little hand holds out Buzz and Woody and a half mouldy potato from the fridge and tells me that I get to be Mr Potato Head.
I know these are moments-I-won’t-get-back. I know it. Ok.
But it is still like mental torture isn’t it?
After having three kids in four-years my life IS toys and play. It’s a knee-high jumble of babies and boxes, of little pieces of cut up cotton buds and impossible to transform robots, and it is that stomach-sinking feeling at the whooshing sound of a box of Lego being upturned in the toy room.
It’s nothing about my kids I tell you – I can’t get enough of them. They are the three most delicious little humans on the planet, it’s just what they want me to do that makes me want to drive nails into my eyeballs.
Don’t get me wrong there are many, many things I adore doing with my children – reading books, swimming together, walking our dogs, we cook and laugh and talk. They perform concerts and make up plays. I can do scrabble and cards. I can even play soccer or tennis. But ask me to push a swing and I want to screw up my nose and sigh.