Often when I talk to other parents about their children, I’ll tell them how polite they were, or how kind they seem, or how nicely they’re playing. Parents usually follow these sorts of comments with “But you should see them at home throwing a tantrum!” It’s good for me to have these conversations, it shows that we’re all experiencing similar challenges. However, usually the comments I get from other people are “Ooh they’re a handful!” or something similar!
The truth is, Norman and Marvin ARE a handful. Probably more often than a lot of children are. But there’s also the bit you don’t see, and I want to talk about those bits because they make me so proud. Underneath the attitude, the cheekiness, the answering back, all of the things that make our boys “a handful”, are sweet and sensitive little souls.
Marvin can’t be within ten feet of a baby without asking “Please may I stroke your baby?” He loves small children, and will make a complete clown out of himself to try and make them laugh! He’ll pull faces, roll about the floor, cuddle them, tickle them… it’s very cute!
Last week, on the last day of school, Norman had fifty pence to buy some sweets and was eating them as he came out of school. We then stood with Marvin’s classmates to give the teacher a present, and Norman proceeded to share all of his remaining sweets with Marvin’s classmates. He told me that he wanted to do something nice for them because it was so kind of them to get the teachers a present.
Every night before he goes to sleep, Marvin tells me to “have good dreams”, and he tells me I must dream about him, and me, and mummy, and Norman, and our pet bunny Mr Tatters. To him, a good dream is our family all together.
Norman Has felt sad since school broke up because he’ll miss all of his friends in year six and he’s worried about them not knowing anybody in their new schools. One of the boys who left his school last year came and gave him a hug today, and Norman was over the moon to be remembered by someone who is six years older than him, who he considers his “best mate”.
I see these things in my children, as everybody probably does in their own children. I think that these things show who our boys are far more than the tantrums, which are driven by fear and anger, or the hitting and hurting, which is driven by anger and frustration.
I realise that my anxiety about the summer holidays is more about me than it is about them. This is a time for them to practice those nice things, to explore their world, and for me to show them with actions rather than words how to respond to things.
I felt angry when I wrote my last post. I felt as though all people were able to see were the challenges, the “bad” things our children do, and that blinkered vision hides all of the beautiful things that they do every single day.
I see them.