Dear Sophie & Madeleine
What a day. What a bloody day. It’s September 2015 and I have just spent the last hour cleaning and scrubbing and washing after the dinner the pair of you didn’t eat. Boy is that frustrating. I spent a good hour preparing and cooking a meal that Sophie, you merely picked at and Madeleine… Well honey, all you do these days is point to the freezer and say ‘eye com’ (ice cream) because your darling daddy taught you that’s where pudding comes from. You then cried every time we said no it was dinner first.
Of course, neither of you had dessert today. So I was upset; I’d made food you didn’t eat. You guys didn’t worry about not finishing dinner, all you wanted to do was go and play with your toys.
Leaving the table, we then went back into the living room. Following Sophie’s lead Maddie, you immediately climbed onto the couch. You already know that isn’t allowed, even at the tender age of 13.5months old. You turned and shrieked and smiled because your favourite game is to climb up and have one of us put you back to the floor. Sophie also knows this isn’t allowed but my darling, although you are three, you also understand that wherever you go your sister follows.
Maddie, I realise that you see the pigeons on the rooftops opposite and like to point and scream at them. I also realise that you think climbing is fun and exciting and WOW A MOUNTAIN to conquer. I know this but I have spent days if not weeks firmly removing you off the couch and back to the boring floor and I will continue to do so.
One day, there will come a time you will be the person worried that food isn’t eaten. You will tear your hair out wondering if you’re doing the right thing by refusing to cook a whole new meal/toast/give dessert. You will worry yourself mad that it is the right thing to let your kids go to bed without because they refused to eat a meal that they’ve loved to munch on a hundred times. I question myself daily.
The only reason I won’t make other meals is based off experience with you, Sophie. You used to fight and fight to not eat anything except bread or sweet foods like biscuits. It took a while to work out that you were purposely not eating because you knew we would give in. So we stopped giving in and because you didn’t like being hungry you now eat your meals 95% of the time. Except today. So I got upset and I am not sorry for that. I am not sorry for worrying about you. I am not sorry that I spent time making you a delicious meal, even if you refuse it.
One day, you will watch your precious darlings climbing onto the couch without fear. Sometimes you climb onto the BACK of the couch to see out of the window. You will feel the same worry that I do that you will fall. Yes I am paranoid and neurotic. Yes, I am probably far too overprotective. But Sophie, you were nine months old when you decided to crawl right off the edge of the couch and land on your head. Maddie, you have tumbled down a flight of steps and that has you wrapped in cotton wool for life, young lady. That couch may be a mountain for you, it may be the Everest of mountains where the view is unlimited pigeons and people to shout and shriek at.
I am not sorry. I am not sorry that I prefer to have you on the floor where you can’t fall from a height. I am not sorry when you cry out annoyed that I’ve ruined your adventure. I’m really not sorry that I prefer you to have floor adventures. I can’t encourage couch mountains because when I inevitably have to leave the room to pee, that’ll be the first thing you do and all I will hear is a thud. It’s very undignified to run into the living room with jeans round my ankles, you know. I’ve been there. I know.
I am currently listening to the sounds of Sophie snoring and my tiny terror (that’s you Maddie) shrieking in the cot. And I am not sorry that you’re winding down in there. Today has been one hell of a day and I am not sorry that you both are exhausted from all the games we played and songs we sang and the crawling game. You won’t remember the crawling game when you come to read this. We crawl scaring you as you crawl up and down the room and you rocket off laughing madly, it’s brilliant fun.
So that’s it. It’s the end of the day and I am frustrated and relieved and I am not sorry. You both mean the world to me. We can have other adventures.
Just not on the couch.
Love you, Mummy. X