I’m typing this as you are in bed upstairs and you are shouting. The words ‘I HATE YOU’ ring through the cottage and I try to carry on as normal but it’s hard. I clear your plate and wipe the contents left into the incinerator and let the tap slowly wash away the freshly made meal. Your freshly made meal that you asked for that I spent the last hour cooking. You were upset about last nights choice so I said I would cook you what you wanted and you asked for spaghetti bolognaise so that’s what I made us all. I carefully chopped the chorizo and put it in the large non-stick pan and added the crushed garlic that I had peeled and squeezed through it. I made a tomatoes sauce using the passata, tin tomatoes, red wine and other things letting it boil away as I listened to my new CD I’d bought that day from a local charity shop. I’m not sure what I enjoyed most the music or that £1.49 price that I bought it for. I couldn’t afford the CD when it came out yet it pleases me I paid so little for it now that I can. I turned round to see the onion sitting on the side when it should have been in the tomato sauce and hurriedly chopped it, fried them in butter and then added to the boiling mixture…
You, to me, are so precious. Your passion for all that you do is something I really hope never changes. You hug likes it’s the last hug you’ll have, you cry like your world has just ended no matter the cause and you love fiercely and openly, another thing I hope never changes. What I find difficult with you is that your passion boils over into silliness that can’t be reined in, emotion that pours out from you that I just can’t mop up. Your pure unadulterated anger at me totally conflicts with your desperation for me when you need me. I know you love me and I know you love me deeply but to hear ‘I HATE YOU’ still wounds no matter how many times you say it. It isn’t water off a ducks back and I don’t think I’ll ever develop the Teflon coating that I need to save me from your words.
I know you. From the moment I saw your eyes I knew you. If you were upset just to be put on my chest and hear my heartbeat would calm you down. After feeding you – you were the most successful of my breastfeeding attempts – you would sigh as your eyes closed in a slumber of mummy heaven and my breast was your pillow and I would watch you for what seemed like forever. You gave me motherhood in a way I’d not experienced before and for that I thank you and always will.
‘I HATE YOU!!!’ has stopped and I think you’re asleep now. I’ll pop my head round your door as I do every night to check that you’re okay. I don’t check the light sleeper or the older brother but you are on my way to bed and your door is always ajar so it’s easy to take 5 mins to see you. You sleep like superman having kicked the covers off in one of your dreams where you are no doubt saving the world. To you the baddies are real and they need fighting no matter when or where they come. I will look at you and think on the million miles away you are now from the puce, tear filled boy a few hours earlier as sleep brings peace even to those who hate. The boy who tried to hit me, kick me as I carried you upstairs to be put to bed early for being rude a rudeness that carried on from the supermarket. You will learn eventually when someone larger punches you that hitting your brothers, pushing them, tripping them up isn’t the way to go in life. You’ll learn that people won’t want to be around those who shout toilet humour words and that the comedy effect only lasts until you are about 5 and then those you meet will just think you are a naughty little boy.
We have time. You’re not 5.
I know that with you fighting fire with fire doesn’t work. When the red mist hits you and the rage fills your every being I know that the time for calmly talking is later. I have held you for what seems like eternity when you couldn’t calm down. My chest on your back and my arms wrapping round you holding you whilst I calmly talked to you about how much I loved you and that I understood your anger and that I would hold you until you calmed down. You were ridged but your cries became quieter, your anger left you and your body relaxed in my arms as I breathed a sigh of relief. I turned you inwards to me and your tear stained face stained my top but we didn’t care. Your arms tightly held me and I told you I loved you.
These times are lessening but the intensity is increasing when they do. Your punches hurt now, your weight means you are heavy to move into another room or carry upstairs and whilst I know that you’d never mean to hurt me I’m beginning to see that it could be a possibility through accident.
I stop typing and resting my elbows on the desk I put my head in my hands and sigh a deep loud sigh and think of the, in the words of the so called baby whisperer Tracy Hogg, ‘accidental parenting’ that happened to land me at this point in time. But then I shouldn’t really be thinking of how I got here but more where I go from here.
I don’t like the cries of ‘oh he’s a middle child, what do you expect?’ or ‘he’s a boy! They’re all like it!’ I have 2 others who aren’t and being a middle child shouldn’t mean you’re written off. He needs to learn how to handle his cocktail of emotions that it’s okay to be angry and fiery but it’s what you do with all the anger that’s important. I feel a few pillows being scattered about for him to punch should he need too and time in the garden shouting as loudly as he can so he can hear his anger and feel it leave him. It’s worth a go, you never know…
I love him. Totally. Unconditionally and forever but I need him to handle his anger for his future life as no one should make others do what they want just by being bigger, stronger or shouting horrible things to be powerful. He will grow taller than me that’s a given but before that happens he will grow stronger so I need to know I am safe when he gets angry. I will not be frightened of my own child, I have never been frightened of anyone and refuse to start now especially not of someone of my own creation.
Fire is mesmerising, it has great power and strength and it’s dangerous but handled in the right way it’s beautiful and life giving and I feel the same way about him…