I’m a parent now almost ten years.
I’ve the scars to prove it.
Along with the joy, the happiness, the sense of pride and achievement I’ve dealt with the downsides too. I like to think I’ve soldiered through well.
I’ve battled colic. At least twice.
I’ve removed headlice and soothed chicken pox.
I’ve brought sick and injured children to A&E.
I’ve endured so many public tantrums and meltdowns (with associated passer-by commentary) that I shrug them off.
I’ve spent 5 hours a day commuting while 7 months pregnant with SPD.
I’ve been up all night with sick kids, have changed bedsheets in the small hours, been puked, weed and pooped on.
I’ve survived toilet training three times.
I thought I was fairly resilient.
But I have a weakness, one chink in my armour that is my downfall. I have a child who knows this and uses it to her advantage.
My nemesis has six letters.
It wounds me and torments me, breaking down my defences and makes me want to run, fast, away from it.
THE W H I N G E.
The whinge can arrive when least expected, and pounce upon my unsuspecting ears.
Mid-sentence the little voice can descend into it, increasing the pitch and slowing down the pace to indicate displeasure.
There’s no point trying to analyse what will bring it on, it can be anything from it being a school day, or it not being a school day, to how hot or cold it is, to a misunderstanding about clothes that may be worn today, or a simple issue with being asked to complete a laborious task like put shoes on.
There’s no particular time the whinge comes on, although some might expect it more around feeding times or when the whinger is tired. But just because these two criteria are met doesn’t mean there will be no whinge. That’s the whinge’s secret weapon, the surprise.
And when it starts it stops me in my tracks. I cannot engage with the whinge or the whinger as no engagement is offered back. I try and fail. Getting cross doesn’t work, but sometimes leads to an increase in volume and slows things down even more. And then, for no reason at all, normal service is resumed and my delightful girl is back to her fabulous smiley self, just as quickly as the whinge took her over.
Just when I am losing all sense of myself as the whinge gets into my ears and hurts my brain. Give me a proper emotional outburst over it any day.
I’ve developed coping strategies. One, where safe to do so, is to walk away. Another is to suggest the whinger find her Daddy. (Mature, huh?)
Neither is perfect, as while both may bring the whinge to an end (eventually) I’m still left with a sore brain. A fried one.
The whinge doesn’t like calm parenting I have learned, so I (try, mostly to) stay calm but then again it doesn’t stop it. NOTHING DOES.
So until my whinger stops whinging (PLEASE SAY IT WILL BE SOON) I’m going to try to not let it get to me QUITE as much.
Wish me luck (or send me anti-whinge remedies).