Ordinary Wonders, Parenting

Ordinary Wonders: week two – selfless love

This week’s attempts to find the wonder in the ordinary were hampered by a snotty, teething one year old. Having another living, breathing human want to be in physical contact with you at all times and at all costs can make it hard to see the joy in the small things. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving mummy cuddles and I love knowing my presence makes them feel safer when they are feeling like it is all too much, but even for the most dedicated mummy, this is a trying time.

It doesn’t look like a physical break will be happening any time soon, so while I have the heavy breaths of a toddler rise and fall against my sweaty chest I have decided to escape into this writing.

There is little wonder to be found in a poorly child, even when you know it is nothing serious you still wish you could trade places with them. Take away the aches and pains, restore the smiles. Unfortunately, I can’t even do that with the magic of Calpol for Pea as she is already following in her Mummy’s hippie footsteps, decrying all types of modern medicine to be the work of the devil, or perhaps she just doesn’t like the taste. Even the wonder that you are the soul person that they want and need at this point feels wrong to be called a wonder. Motherhood isn’t about me and my ego.

But perhaps the fact that I am completely willing to overlook my normal need for some personal space, to give myself over to them completely when they need it, is a wonder? Would I prefer to sleep without her sweaty body attached to me and wake to her smiles? Of course I would. Do I resent her needing me? Not one bit.

It isn’t just when they are ill that this selflessness kicks in. Before the little one was struck down this week saw us attend three playgroups. Now, that might not seem like much of a personal sacrifice to some but to an introvert like myself the playgroup is my worst nightmare. I try to give myself a whole list of reasons not to go but then I look at her little extrovert face and my discomfort seems irrelevant. I take a deep breath, push open the door and focus on her lighting up at discovering the new environment, seeing the new people and of course hunting out any and all baby dolls that are in the room. Would I prefer to stay in the comfort of my own home or go for a peaceful walk somewhere? Of course I would. Do I resent her needing me to socialise? Not one bit.

Then there is the Dude. Slightly overlooked this week as it is hard to see over the weight of a 14 month old, but we have still had a few mummy and Dude special times during Pea’s afternoon nap, obviously this was before she became surgically attached to me. During this time it is all about him and what he wants to do, a chance for us to reconnect. What has he chosen, without hesitation, for the past few weeks? Soggy Dog. A simple game of chance where you take it in turns to roll the die and see who will be the unlucky one to set the wet dog off. The game itself is fine, if played occasionally I would go so far as to say it is quite enjoyable. If played every single day I would go so far as to say it is torture. I hate to admit I silently sigh when I get the two word response to my question of what he wants to do. Part of me is itching to make my own suggestions. But he gets first choice. That is the rule. Once I take a deep breath and get out the box – I should really just save time and leave it out – the delight on his face makes up for the tedium of the all too familiar game. How he can still laugh so hard when the dog shakes is beyond me but his joy is infectious and it makes me laugh too. Would I prefer he chose a different game or better still a completely new activity? Of course I would. Do I resent his enjoyment of the familiar? Not one bit.

Motherhood has made me a better person. Don’t get me wrong, even mummy’s have the right to their own time, their own wants, their own needs. But I have found that there is a lot of joy and a lot of wonder in doing the ordinary things that make others happy too.

If you missed last weeks Ordinary wonder, don’t despair you can find it here


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