I have a vivid memory of me, at 5 am in the morning, sitting with The Lil Miss on my lap, about 18 months old at the time. Crying hysterically while trying to sing "I love you" with Barney. Me crying, not she. She was throwing a tantrum and I remember sobbing to "were a happy family" in the song, thinking that it was so ironic, because I was anything but happy. I was tired, exhausted and hungry, and in desperate need of some caffeine.
That memory was repeated this morning, the only difference being that it took a couple of months longer to get to the tantrum about mommy stage and it was two and not one doing their bit. It also took a bit longer and is much less severe than their sister's stranger's anxiety ( or as we refer to it in our house - mommy besottedness) to take root. At about a year she was so bad that I could not get out of the car and leave her with daddy for 5 minutes. I could not go to the toilet for 1 minute. It was really really bad. In stead of feeling great about my kid loving me so much, I felt claustrophobic. And I felt bad about feeling like that. Poor Hunter was so discouraged - who could blame him? So we are in much the same place (ok, really not half as bad as she was) at present with the Boys, Little man C being far worse than Little man L. And it is really getting to us all.
We had the bedtime routine down to a tee - took us all in 10 minutes from getting into their room to us being downstairs for some quiet time to share. These days it is a minefield! The transition to beds has really got to the Boys. I have no time for myself and for Hunter - after eventually getting everybody to sleep we are exhausted and it is almost never earlier than 8:45 pm. And seeing that wake-up time is around 5 these days....
Therefore my trip to Cape Town next week is just in time! Not because I want poor Hunter to go through hell for 4 days, but because I know it will help a lot. With The Lil' Miss we got the advice for mom to disappear for a day or a night. Which did indeed result in hell for Hunter for a day, but broke the whole situation and produced a much happier family after. She learned to trust her dad, she learned that he could comfort just as well as mommy could, she learned that he was just as much her loving parent as mommy was. So, here's looking forward to a happier family!