Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Something miraculous and slightly disturbing happened last week while Andrew was away. The boys decided to spend a lot of their time taking care of themselves, each other and me.

A bit of background.  Andrew was away for the whole week last week. The boys and I have become accustomed to this but it is still stressful. Mostly because we all know there is no one coming through the door at 6-7pm to save us from each other and ourselves.

The thing that normally puts me through the wringer is that the boys wake up so early. No matter what time I go to bed waking at 5.30am puts me in a bad mood for the day. And to make matters worse I was sick for most of the time as well.

Over the last few of Andrews trips I have been slowly trying to get the boys to need me less in the morning so that I can sleep on the lounge. But on the first morning of this trip Jack asked me if it was ok for him to take Hamish downstairs and make them both breakfast. In my sleepy and disoriantated state I said yes ...

It went extremely well. Jack made them both Weet-bix and milk and they chilled out in front of TV for an hour or so while I slept (albeit lightly) upstairs.

For the rest of the week that was our morning routine. It worked well for all of us, I got to sleep in and the boys got a less cranky sleep deprived mum.

That was just one example of the things the boys did to help me and each other some of the others were:

+ Jack changing the toilet paper role of his own back
+ Hamish feeding the dogs every night
+ Jack looking after his brother at the harmony day celebration at school
+ Hamish staying with his brother at the harmony day celebration at school
+ Both playing together for hours out on the street with the other kids. Both of them looking after each other grabbing food and drinks for each other and me.

And I could go on. The best thing was the way that they were listening to me and each other.

So what you may ask, is the slightly disturbing part. Well the thing is how much responsibility is to much? I'm not sure.  And as much as the kids were happy and I was happy after it was all over I started wondering if the want to be 'helpful' was something I had somehow forced on them? Or were they just enjoying being able to make decisions for themselves without fear of me reprimanding them.  I was all for it feeling like the whole thing was an experiment of self regulation.
We are mostly back to normal now that Andrew is back. But they are both still asking and getting more responsibilities than they were before. 

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth (where does that saying come from) and I'm happy that they are happy. I just hope that this want to 'look after' came from a happy place and not the feeling that if they didn't mummy would fall to pieces.

That being said.... I am the luckiest mummy on earth and I have the two most caring, empathetic little men I have ever met *grin* so really I should just be quiet, thank my lucky stars and sleep peacefully (albeit lightly).


Catriona said...

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" is a proverb, and, like most proverbs, its origins are too remote to trace

(Though I did find an interesting discussion of its earlier condition as "don't look a given horse in the mouth" when it seemingly first appeared in print in 1546. The discussion is right here


if you're interested.)

Brewer's doesn't offer an origin for the proverb, but it does tell us that the French counterpart is "A cheval donne on ne regarde pas aux dents" and the Latin "Donati non sunt ora inspicienda caballi," just in case you're feeling a bit international.

Catriona said...

Oh, dear. I spotted that missing full stop just as I hit the "publish" button. How terribly embarrassing, to be sure.

Related Posts with Thumbnails