In our house at the moment, the tantrums are over. Mr Meat & Potatoes has reached that magical age where logic prevails and his vocabulary is sufficient to render tantrums a bit useless. He’ll still have a go, the face screws up and a wail begins, but then for a split second he gets eye contact with me, sees my cross face and realises that there’s just not really any point. He’ll sigh dramatically, storm off telling me that “I’m not your mummy” and that’ll be it.
After 4 years of living with toddlers, it’s a strange revelation to be coming out the other side.
I ask the kids to take their discarded clothes to the laundry – and they do. I warn them to take little bites because something is hot – and they do. I scream at them to stop fighting – and they don’t… I guess we’ve still got a way to go.
Yesterday as they ran off to the daycare entrance together – Miss Fruitarian in her school uniform that now vaguely fits and Mr M&P with his own backpack full of grown up stuff like a spare pare of undies and a blankie – I was struck by this lovely moment of perfection. The sky was blue, the day warm and my lovely little children were giggling and running just for the sake of it, because it feels good. They yelled, “race you mum” and then at the gate they were triumphant but softened the blow of my poor performance with “don’t worry mum, you’re lucky last”.
These perfect moments are always just a flash throughout a mundane day. They’ve happened throughout their childhoods, but are occurring now with more frequency. Perhaps pushed forth by their impending change into proper grown-up children. I’m so aware of the daily little events that are all about to disappear. The little hands covered in baby fat, that still curl up around my neck when I pick them up. The clumsy running styles, the little nudie runs at bathtime and my pathological need to squeeze their little bums whenever they’re presented to me (and them letting me do it). Their enjoyment of being with me, the way they like me to hold their hands the whole way to their destination. How I’m supposed to stay in the playground to wave goodbye. Their pride at abstract scribbles and folded bits of paper. At the moment, it’s all PERFECT.
Which means of course, that any day now I’m going to wake up and find that it’s all in the past. They’ll have suddenly made the leap to the next level and I’ll no longer have a 6 and 3 year old (and I’ll no longer be 37). Will I grieve it? Hopefully it’ll just be replaced with another stage of enjoyment. And just for today, I have one more chance to embrace my inner-Buddhist, and live life wholly in the moment, enjoying the perfection surrounding me.