So this is where today’s story starts.
Last week I was setting up for our second garage sale and the children were playing alongside me. They knew not to touch the items on the table, and I gave them their own special treasures with which they devised a lovely game involving each of them setting up their own ‘home’ and visiting one another. It was really super cute.
It was a very hot summer day, about 38 degrees Celsius. I had spent most of the day carefully setting items out and pricing them. I was tired, cranky and pretty much over it.
Late in the afternoon I stepped away briefly to make a phone call and on my return I found the children had removed most items off the table and created a massive pile on the floor. Yes, there were breakable objects involved. Thankfully nothing was actually broken.
Let’s just say I did not win mother of the year in dealing with that event.
Eventually I calmed down and even had a chuckle about it – with the encouragement of a few friends. It was then I understood that the children are feeling a lot more affected by this move than I had realised. They had tried in their little way to let me know but I was so caught up in everything I was missing their discreet messages. This episode was their way of screaming out for attention – ‘HEY WE ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT ALL OF THIS CRAZINESS, SLOW DOWN!’
Through the excited talk about our new home with a swimming pool and having bunk beds, the heart’s of my angels were breaking with sadness, confusion and insecurity.
Too young to understand the abstract concept of what is happening.
Children live very much in the here and now. For us that is constant upheaval, mess and a changing landscape as strangers come in a steady flow to remove pieces of our home by the sea.
On reflection I can see how the children have started to react to the chaos that surrounds us. BB has become a bit naughty, a bit more defiant. Becoming emotional and devastated if I become cross at him.
FB is emotional. She is clingy, desperate to be picked up, carried. She just wants to be held in my arms. She cries over the smallest things and together the two of them seem to argue and antagonise each other more often than they play beautifully.
I love observing their beautiful play.
It is important to understand something about little children. They don’t have the cognitive development yet to realise and then verbalise their emotions and feelings a lot of the time. This results in behaviour and attitude changes. I am all too aware of this with the road we have travelled with BB and his speech and anxiety challenges. So after my initial anger at the garage sale debacle, I reflected and connected a few different situations together just like a dot-to-dot. Then I understood – MESSAGE RECEIVED! I have been preoccupied and they just want some good old fashioned mummy time.
So, we have taken a few days off dealing with moving stuff. We have been shopping and looked at ‘pretty things’. FB carried little shopping bags and she giggled and smiled. BB got to ride up and down the escalators and the children drank milkshakes and squealed in delight at the happy energy they absorbed. It’s been good for me too. I needed to step back and realise that I had to find a new kind of balance between achieving tasks and being a present and mindful mum.
So this is where we are at
The boxes are basically packed, half of the furniture is sold off. The list of administrative tasks is big but now is the time to start working on that side of things. Tickets are being booked.
Today the children danced in the summer rain and ate desert before dinner for a treat. We had family counsel and I was informed that they did not like ‘cranky mum’ but with my apology and commitment to change my ways, I was back to being ‘the best mum ever’. With that I promised another shopping trip tomorrow, with chips, milkshakes and chocolate. Then we all sat on the floor and played a lot of Lego! Watch where you walk in our house. If your not tripping over a pile of stuff to be packed, or a box, your going to step on a Lego brick….ouch….
We are getting through this challenge…however it is now time for me to step back from the mission and give the children time to breathe…watch that their Lego houses don’t fall down around them again.