Down the Road, Not Across the Street

Warning: Emo post alert. I don’t write many, so I hope you’ll forgive me.

Today has been one of those days. Not just one of those days, but one of those flipping days when you insert a word like ‘flipping’ between the words ‘those’ and ‘days’.

Nothing particularly bad has happened today. Any other day, today would have been a good day. But today is one of those days where I woke up in a mood, turning a good day into a bad day.

One of those days where you say most of your words through gritted teeth, and everything – everything – annoys you. One of those days where you find yourself surrounded by scattered toys and screaming kids with arched backs, and all you can do is pull your palms down your face and wish you were somewhere else. One of those days when you’ve put your kids to bed and you’re pleased because they won’t nag you any more.

And then you spend the rest of the evening feeling awful when you think of how you kept snapping at the kids, the wife, and anyone who so much as dared brush past you a little too roughly in Boots. After all, the only thing Isaac wanted was for me to spend five minutes colouring with him. And it’s no surprise that Noah was wailing and arching his back – he must have been starving.

I was so proud of Isaac today. He did a one-mile fun run, and he hates running, so it must have been rubbish for him. My wife was running with him; I waited at the finish line with Noah. All of the kids ran past – no sign of Isaac. The marshalls had assumed everyone had finished, and were beginning to drift away.

But then, over the hill he came. You could tell the poor kid was knackered, and he kept tripping up, but as soon as he saw me he picked up speed. As his little legs blurred past me towards the finish line, the crowd of parents and kids cheered him like he was completing the marathon. Just imagine his little face. It was a real ‘Chariots of Fire’ moment, and I was so flipping proud of him, the gorgeous little man. His prize was two mini Mars bars, which he gobbled like he’d never seen food before.

It’s memories like this that make pangs of guilt sear through your chest like big fat daggers. And so, you trot upstairs, eager to make amends by telling your kids you love them, and give them a kiss and a cuddle. But they’re asleep, and the chance has gone, and although you know full well that they won’t remember a thing come the morning you worry that this day which you’ve ruined for them will be burnt into their memories forever. You give them a kiss and a whisper, and leave their bedroom feeling worse than before.

This parenting lark can be tough, eh?

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3 responses to “Down the Road, Not Across the Street

  1. If it makes you feel any better (which I doubt it will) you are not alone. We all have days like this. I realised this last week when I posted about being sick of my baby “squeaking like a creaking hinge”. It was irritating. And I hated myself for finding it so annoying – she’s only 10 months, she shouldn’t already be irritating me!

    But then I realised we all have days like that. Days where the kids push our buttons and we hate everyone, but hate ourselves more for feeling like that.

    Being a parent is utterly impossible sometimes. But so far, I’ve found the good days outweigh the bad by a million to one. And wine helps.

  2. brilliant… and honest. It is good to know that none of us are perfect at this parenting thing. I am new to blogging etc so will try and follow you as often as possible!

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