First thing this morning we had another bad episode of Shouty Mummy. I was getting dressed when Jenna opened the stair gate and took herself and her sister downstairs. I called after them to wait for me, but obviously nobody heard (or they pretended not to have heard anyhow!) so I gathered everyone's last bits of clothing and went down after them in time to find Jenna pouring porridge oats over what looked like an exploded jar of honey. Everything was sticky, and stuck to the sticky were lots of little beige oats. In their hair, on their hands....
I was very calm to start with, and asked Jenna to please go and wait in her room so I could remove Morgan safely to the bath before washing her off. She went ahead of me and (foolishly) I again called an instruction after her even though I KNOW she needs eye contact; "Wait until I'm there, I've laid out clothes for today but you need a wash first!"
I put Morgan in the empty bath and turned around to see Jenna pulling a clean t-shirt (NOT the one I had laid out) over her sticky oaty hair. I ranted, taking the clothes from her and lifting her from the stool really roughly, slapping her leg in the process (I felt really awful about that one, I didn't even need to grab her but even though it happened in a fraction of a second I know I had meant to hit her).
Worse still, she cried, which obviously was totally understandable since she could see that not only was I very angry but I had just used force on purpose (because I was angry rather than because I actually needed to physically lift her away from something etc). That isn't actually the "worse still", my words got tangled up and I'm not sure how to gramatically correct them.
The REAL worst is that I made her look me in the eyes and told her, "Stop crying, RIGHT NOW or I will get angry with you." And she stopped dead, not another whimper, but her little terrified face still looked at me with huge teary eyes and wobbling bottom lip. Making her swallow it down like that will haunt me for a lot longer than having thrown a strop and hurt her in the first place. I hope she forgets it sooner than I will for sure.
I saw the lovely Mr Doctor again after the girls had gone to see their grandma, shockingly it's over a month now since I miscarried (how could I be 18 weeks pregnant in a alternate universe?) and he had asked me to come back for a checkup in a month. He had time to listen as I explained how I'm feeling, asking the typical depression questions and gently allowing my outpouring of grief. He thoughfully asked about our future plans, confirmed that I'm doing everything right, taking folic acid and that there is nothing else modern medecine with all its marvels can do for me. He made no comment, not even a raised eyebrow, about us already having stopped preventing.
What's more he asked if I was tired still and I said yes, though it isn't due to illness but down to Morgan night waking again. He laughed and said that it's normal for most children to have phases of waking far longer than they are "meant" to and that weaning her would be unlikely to stop her waking me if she felt she needed to! He was very positive about night-time parenting and meeting her needs, and encouraged me to keep breastfeeding her at night if she wants it and if I feel I am prepared to.
In the last week I have suddenly been kicked into gear with the jewellery making. I realised I haven't taken very much to the stall for a few months, and I have some pretty new beads, so I got going and couldn't stop! I made 13 necklaces and 8 pairs of earrings (about £130 worth of stuff if it sells, maybe more) and I spent £30 on beads a month ago, my first bead purchases for the best part of a year. I could really do with that money, so I hope most of it sells - the signs are good, in that five necklaces sold before they even got put out on the stands. I took the last few (made last night and this morning) to Anita today after befriending.
I was certainly reminded why I do the befriending work today too. My client (what a rubbish word for this kind of relationship) was telling me about her being discharged by mental health services finally after several years. She was saying that they consider her to have made an almost full recovery in the past six months and she puts that down to having someone to talk to. I feel really humbled, not proud as I think she expected me to, after all it's her work that has changed things for her far more than mine. But I know how essential it has been for her to talk things out and have a release, to be able to work things through for herself. I also know that she will still need that for some time!
It's like, when you tell someone else what is hurting you, you make it real - you put a shape to it and can deal with it differently and think of it differently. I'm sure a lot of people feel like that, that really being able to be totally honest with someone else about how you feel and what's going on in your life frees you to change it or let it go or do whatever you need to to move forwards. That's what befriending is for, to support parents to move forwards when their life has overwhelmed them and there is nobody to be honest with.
It's hard to be totally honest about this miscarriage sometimes. I think I *am* being, there are friends that I can really talk to (and I have done) but there are also a lot of people and places where I can't be honest. I have to hold back because I can't bear to hear a cold reaction as if it should be insignificant, or a hugely emotional one that I then feel I have to fix. If I couldn't talk to anyone, couldn't keep the reality of what happened to me, couldn't admit to the pain, it would fester. I can't imagine not having the other, deeper, kind of friendship - where I can cry and someone will just sit with me and hear it.
Morgan may be finally increasing her tiny vocabulary (not that I've been impatient about it, just interested in when she will want to talk to me "properly"). Today she said "baby" to a doll that Jenna tried to take off her, "bop" (meaning stop) to me when I shouted, "teddy" (obvious really), and "pop" (the noise the poppers on her nappies make)! It's hard to speculate whether she's not talking a lot because she can get her needs met very efficiently by concerted grunting and pointing, or whether I am to blame because I talk directly to her a whole lot less than I did Jenna - because we're always doing things that focus on real life and not on babies in specific.
Anyhow, please don't worry about me if I vanish for a few days again (though I know I need to come and talk to some of you soon, and stop being an absentee cl). The weather is still pulling me into the garden and there are times when sitting and thinking (or sitting and writing) make me dwell so much on what can't be, rather than what is, I just feel like running away. So I'm running away now, back to reality and children who need me and busy days and a garden that is producing lettuce, and tea to cook and cakes to bake and I will be honest again when I have the energy. ;)