"Small Boy" is 5. He finds life hard sometimes, in fact he finds it hard a lot of the time!
He is a worrier, a sensitive little hedgehog who will either curl up in a ball and hibernate or get out all his prickles and get ready for battle when he is finding things tough.
Going back to school after having a break is always a struggle. The intensity of his feelings never fails to amaze me and, if I'm perfectly honest, exhaust me. This morning's meltdown was of epic proportion. He was just not going to go to school and told me so the minute he opened his eyes. He followed me around the house shouting at me...... crying and very distressed. So I tried empathy, humour, distraction , his favourite breakfast but at that moment in time nothing was going to work. The prickles were well and truly out!!!!
I decided to get on with getting myself and the other children ready for the day and deal with "Small Boy" WHEN and IF he calmed down. Having a shower with a small, wild haired creature screaming at you is not the most relaxing experience, however letting him in to the bathroom was a slightly better option than locking the door with him trying to bash it down with the intensity of the drug squad on an early morning raid!
To cut a long story short, after barricading himself in the bedroom with the toy box and dressing himself in a rather snazzy outfit that consisted of a Christmas jumper and a pair of joggers.....He started to calm down. I scooped him up and hugged him and between his tiny little sobs he told me what was wrong.
He had just started that week to play outside in the big playground at school just for one playtime. He didn't like it .......It was too big, too scary ,too busy and too noisy.
Yay! We had got there. I promised I would talk to his teacher and see what we could do and managed to wriggle him into his clothes and get a banana down his neck ready to go.
The other children had been amazing and had sorted themselves out. So it was coats on, shoes on and bags at the ready. We were off....We'd done it!
I just hoped that everyone in the playground thought my wet hair and "bedraggled" look was the result of a new year fitness regime of an early morning swim and NOT that I was a harassed , stressed mother of 4 who felt like she'd done several rounds in the ring with a boxing legend!
Amazing "smiley reception teacher" bundled "Small Boy" into the classroom with the promise of staying In with her at playtime and he was gone.
Feeling relieved it was all over (until next time)! I started thinking about all the messages that we get as parents telling us we should "enjoy" every moment with our precious offspring and how unrealistic that actually is. We will have amazing times, hideously testing times, sad times and those days where we just survive and that's okay surely?
So let us treasure those moments that deserve it, the laughs, the smiles, the crazy things they say and the precious memories we are making day to day. Let's nurture ourselves and our families through those tough times, the tears and tantrums, the squabbling and the meltdowns and pat ourselves on the back for those days when we have just survived the roller coaster ride that is parenting.
Storms don't last forever and tomorrow is always another day ..and when all else fails just remember ..There is always chocolate!