It’s easy to think you’re not teaching them anything. That they’re not learning the alphabet, worry that they haven’t yet mastered their emotions or their bowel signals or their sleep patterns are still, years later, erratic. It’s really quite easy to think that you’re failing, and easier still to miss the good. It’s easy to hear the screeching as they argue over a certain car and easy to miss attention paid to the Lego creation their sibling made or how they hand over the last red piece when they see the other needs it. It’s easy to forget the gentle way they kiss your eyelids before you wake, lost in the 5am screaming that their breakfast isn’t yet on the table. It’s easy to be frustrated when you see meals swapping plates, missing the fact they simply swapped ones’ favourite (sweetcorn) for the others (meatballs). Bedding pulled onto the floor minutes after you’ve made it is more recogniseably mess than the “baby’s bed” that M had made for T. Oh it’s oh so easy to get bogged down in the otherness that you miss all the goodness around. And then you’re sick and after your youngest’s brought you a blanket to snuggle up in, your eldest comes to you with a request and you remember that every little thing you do matters, that every single minute they are learning the most important lesson they’re ever going to learn – what it means to give and to receive love.
M: Can you take us to the market please mummy?
Me: Why, sweetie?
M: Because you’re sick so you need soup so we need to buy chicken so you can make it.
Thanks for the reminder there, Big One.