Motherhood has taught me, especially recently that expectation has no place in raising children, especially if you want to maintain your sanity.
Christmas with it’s extended run up, mass consumarism, eagerily anticipated present opening, turns out is not the place to have expectations on the days proceedings or how your children will react.
The morning went well, the girls were super excited about Father Christmas’s visit, their stockings and presents. The jolly old man had delivered a multitude of fun in a bag including new bike helmets and even thought to write a note that they should be worn at all times when riding; then low and behold Mummy and Daddy had left scooters wrapped under the tree, what are the odds? Anyway, the scooters were a big hit in the house; then came the time we had eagerly been awaiting, the perfect Christmas morning, the girls scooting around the streets while we watched with big smiles and warm hearts as their little cherub faces lit up with glee as the zoomed along. That’s what our expectations had been, that is not what happened.
I’m not one for loads of rules, boundries yes, but rules no. Though when it comes to safety, helmets must be worn on scooters is the new number one rule. This is pretty much where our wonderful family Christmas morning fell down. We did not leave the front door step, they would not put on their helmets and gently but firmly we would not concede the point. After some big emotions we decided to call it a day and leave the scooters for another time, take some time to collect ourselves and do some building with our new K’nex.
Later on we resorted to bribery, chocolate coins in exchange for helmets on. This worked for Em but not Ru. In the face of sweetened cocoa currency she stuck firm to her guns, she would not take the chocolate, she would not wear her helmet and she would not be bribed. Instead she would just walk along with her scooter. I had nothing but total respect and admiration for her strength of will.
To be honest I’m not entirely sure scooters were the best present as the next time where I had envisioned a great memory making moment was the girls scooting along with their best pal, needless to say this also ended in very emotional kids.
Today the girls had their first ballet class. Pink tutus, cardi’s and ballet pumps at the ready and then for 25 minutes two tots stuck firmly to my lap not interested in taking part, not willing to talk or make eye contact with Miss J, the teacher or her assistants until the last 5mins when they ran around giddy with excitment at the big space not listening to me or Miss J.
Check your expectations at the door people, parenthood is living the unexpected.