Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'Mummy, you're a good mummy'

So said Bear as we sat eating breakfast. Beloved almost cried as she laughed. Bear is pushing boundaries and being a 2&abit, but there's no doubting she's got a big heart.

It's hard to be sure, but she may be acting out more now than she did when Mitt-Mitts first arrived. Long days fighting for the attention of a mum with an infant brother who needs feeding all the time, circled by angst-ridden cats and trapped in the modest confines of a townhouse that has what estate agents might euphemistically describe as 'low maintenance outdoor spaces', must take its toll. And not just on Bear.

Beloved is indeed 'a good mummy'; as I've mentioned before I remain in awe of her focus, staying power, and capacity for love under such pressure. Right now, I don't know how she does it. To see her holding Mitta on the boob with one hand and an open book with the other, reading to Bear, is to witness multi-tasking that would (or at least should) make Rudd's Chief of Staff wince.

She takes it in her stride, but her eyes show the tension of working constantly to maintain focus and sanity under such pressure and with so little sleep or support. I try, but working full time again means I just can't be present for the hardest bits.

As for Bear, well, she's doing ok but she lets us know. A girl is articulate and demanding, and balancing the need to push back and set boundaries with the need to reassure and give unconditional love is like removing ear wax from a sleeping moose.

(I have no idea where that simile came from, but I had to keep it.)

Last night she somehow crawled under her doona and woke to find herself trapped. She was screaming and shoving in all directions when I got to her room, head pressed against the side rail. She sobbed and sobbed with pulse racing as we stood there in the dark, my hugs and back-patting little consolation until Beloved arrived.

Sometimes reassurance can only come from a good mummy.

4 comments:

Mindy said...

Did she immediately calm down once Mum arrived? I have noticed with my daughter that if Dad gets there first, although she still reaches for me, she is much calmer and stops crying almost immediately. If I get there first it often takes a few minutes for her to calm down. So Dads really are an important circuit breaker, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.

Armagnac Esq. said...

I think I had some minor calming impact, perhaps as you say a circuit breaker. A few posts back I wrote of my first experience of successfully calming Bear after some standard (ie not to do with being stuck under a doona!) night terrors, so I'm getting there.

I think part of it is the need to insist on mum arriving, proving she's still around, and that having something to do with now sharing mum so much with Mitt Mitts...

Ann oDyne said...

The main way to be A Great Father, is to be A Great Husband, taking care of the one who does the mothering.

Mishela said...

Wait til Mitts starts movin around and want The Bear's toys. It's going to be ON!
Trust me,
I'm a Nanny with 15 yrs experience currently caring for a 2 1/4 yr old and 9 mth old twins. Its a battlefield!!