I hear this phrase all the darn time. I feel eyes searing into me, my skin prickles as they glare at me. Sweaty, hair a manic frizz bomb, eyes wide and bulging, limbs flying every where like an octopus trying to catch my wriggling child who’s squirming all over Asda like a seal covered in oil. He’s booming ‘noooo mummmmmyyyyy’ while I’m shrieking ‘come here now, please come here’. Meanwhile, M is crying because I won’t let her get the ‘proper Shreddies’. She doesn’t like the Asda ones, I’m insisting they are just the same and she’s telling me they taste like cardboard. I’m meanwhile smiling menacingly at the bearer of said piercing eyes. Looking at me and my somewhat rabid monsters ruining their pleasant Tuesday late afternoon shopping trip. I can see you with your lip curling in disgust.
It’s even better when people with children glide past us. And the baby is smiling away gurgling in the trolley and the toddler is next to him making his mummy smile. And I look at them and I look at my children and I think ‘your time will come!’
Before you have children you imagine what it will be like. You read all the books and you eat all the right things (way I see it wotsits and cheese spread provide calcium for my child’s developing bones kay?). You have all the clothes freshly laundered and put away, pram up, cot made, you’ve thought about the way you want your baby to sleep, eat, nappies you want your baby to wear, literally everything is planned out.
The warning sign, that this baby is going to decide everything from here on out, is the labour. You have a birth plan and you do your research but trust me, it literally comes down to your body and the baby. The only real choice you get is what drugs you’ll have and even then in the end I was screaming out for absolutely everything, Both times round. The second time I actually thought I had an idea of what it would be like considering I’d done it before. Hahahahahhahahaha! Yea think again. It was absolutely awful and went completely differently to when I had M.
Believe me as a mother, I have all good intentions. I’ve been to all the parenting classes, I’ve got sticker charts all round my house, lucky bag full of little prizes (bubbles, bouncy balls, etc), communicate on their level, clearly and concisely and all that other stuff Supernanny and Webster-Stratton teach us. But at the end of the day children learn as they grow. They are full of emotions they are unsure how to express, learning rules as they go, pushing boundaries, testing what is acceptable in this world. With J, who is a child who struggles even more with social niceties it is exceptionally difficult especially when I am out in public. It always drives me mental when strangers/shop workers tell him off. I know they think they are helping me but they actually aren’t. J hates it when strange adults he doesn’t know try and speak to him especially when he is in the middle of a meltdown.
I get told by friends and family to let them know about J’s ASD but let’s have it right it has nothing to do with strangers. My child. My business. Same with M.
So I guess what I am trying to say is, next time you are out in public and you see a mother who is trying to keep her shit together while her children drive her crazy, screaming the shop down and you can see just wants to get the hell out of their then smile and say something encouraging.
Trust me. It will make her day.