Emotional

That’s me.

This weekend has been bad. I’ve been all over the place. Grumpy. Possibly irrational at times.

I am craving some nice family time. All I wanted was to get out of the house with James and the girls to do something nice. I’ve discussed before how I am missing my weekends. I am finding it harder and harder to stay sane with how things are. It’s hard for the girls, too. They want to get out, go places and not be stuck at home. They miss spending time with James – every weekend they want to eat their lunch out on the veranda while he has his, picnic style, in order to get some time with him.

Yesterday, we did manage to go into the ‘Bay for James to get a haircut and to get some warm clothes for the girls and myself. It started out fine, the girls and I perused Angus and Robertson while James got his hair done. Ellie showed me all the books she wanted for her birthday and Kahlei sang herself a little song.

At 11am we met Grandma in front of Kmart to shop for slippers for Ellie and Kahlei. Ellie was walking, but we’d left Kahlei in the pram as she was happy there, but it wasn’t long before Grandma was asking Kahlei if she wanted to get out, AFTER we’d said we wanted to leave her in there for the time being.

From there, we went to the toys, where James and I got a disapproving look from Grandma for saying no to a new ball for Ellie. I mean, she only has tonnes. Halfway through the toys, Kahlei was suddenly being taken out of the pram and the girls were being encouraged to go and pick a ball each. Unsurprisingly, I am not thrilled about having our parenting undermined and it’s not the first time we have said no only to have it be blatantly ignored. I don’t know what to do about it because nothing we say seems to make a difference.

Taking two busy toddlers shopping is not always easy (or not ever..), but I don’t think she’d thought that through because, before I knew it, Kahlei was spying things that caught her attention and was trotting off in all directions while Grandma was looking the other way. I was just lucky to have caught up to them. After that, it seemed every time I turned around she was losing the baby. James and I picked out a jumper for me, forgoing the pants I so desperately need (I have one pair that fit – I washed them during the week and put them on today, they don’t fit!) so we could be done. I wasn’t paying too much attention to what I was buying since I was too busy watching Kahlei. Every time Grandma saw me watching her she’d suddenly realise and go looking for her, which started the girls running about the racks. I heard Grandma grumble that she was over it and voted to leave. I just want to know what she thought would happen when she got Kahlei out? We had her in the pram for a reason…

Today, James went back to work in the yard and I took the girls to the park. Apparently, I didn’t learn last week. Again, it started out alright, until my girls caught the eye of a family of kids. There were 4 of them, 2 older boys (primary school age) and 2 girls (toddlers). The youngest girl started following Ellie around, which made Ellie think they were playing and then the elder of the two girls started doing the same. The youngest went to follow Kahlei down the slide, leaving Ellie and the eldest ‘playing’. The funny thing about this girl was that she wanted to play with Ellie went it suited her, without actually interacting with her, but when Ellie wanted to play this girl would tell her to go away. I saw this and simply started crying.

I had tears running down my cheeks the whole time the girls played after that. I was simply overwhelmed with the whole situation.

All Ellie wants is to play, interact and make friends. I feel like I have really let her down, not having any local friends, especially friends with children. I feel terrible that playgroup was such a disaster for us, that it wasn’t the ‘answer‘ and that we didn’t find one to suit us. I hate that we don’t have a car now as I would love to take the girls to explore the beach, visit the park and go to the gathering they hold by the river for children 0 – 5. That sounds more like something we could enjoy than the things we’ve tried previously, unfortunately it has only been running since we sold the car.

I feel oh-so guilty. I worry that her natural ability to make friends and draw people to her will diminish as she gets older because I have been a terrible mother in this respect. I’ve always loved to watch her interact with people in her own way, but now I wonder if I have not done enough to encourage and grow her social abilities.

The eldest girl continued to be rude to Ellie and the younger girl decided it was her park and started making a dash for anything and everything Kahlei looked like she was going to play on. Kahlei didn’t notice, she’s at an age where she’s happy to acknowledge other children with a smile, but is happy to go about her own business and play on her own.

It seemed Kahlei’s disinterest in what the girl was doing was making her cranky and all of a sudden she started pushing Kahlei and saying “Mine” as Kahlei made her way to the stairs. Of course, I wanted to jump up and yell at this girl, or maybe her parents who conveniently didn’t seem to be seeing this when they were quick to jump up any time their oldest boy swung her maybe a bit too high or anyone spun her a bit faster on the whirly-gig. I didn’t move, as I know it’s important for the girls to learn to stand up for themselves, but I did give the girl a stern look. Kahlei just looked at her, stunned, before walking around her to continue on her way. The girl stood there and gave me a look, all proud of herself. She was obviously looking for a reaction from me as she’d not managed to get one from Kahlei.

Soon enough, this little girl was trying to push Ellie. I told Ellie, who reacted the same way Kahlei had, that she should not put up with children pushing her and if it happened again to say “Don’t push me.” Still, the parents didn’t respond and the child just glared at me.

The last straw came when the elder girl was calling out “Look at me, look at me” and Ellie went over and said “Oh, good job!”, to which the girl snapped “Not you! Go away.” I collected my girls and took a few breaths to avoid storming over to the parents to yell “Your children are little sh*ts!” (which is a big deal for me to even think!) Though, as we were leaving I was telling the girls we might try to find a different park next week where there are less rude children. I was speaking rather louder than necessary. Secretly, I hope they heard me.

I am trying to tell myself that we will soon move, I’ll have a car and support, Ellie will go to Preschool (Pretty School, as she calls it), we’ll all go to Playgroup or something along those lines and all will be well. However, the longer I stay here the harder I am finding it to think positively. Especially, when I feel like I am stunting the girl’s learning and growing as they should.

I know there will not always be nice children when we move, I know there will be trials but at least I wont be alone and both girls will have found someone to befriend. The thing I find most frustrating is that I can travel 4 – 5 hours to another park and find lovely people who talk to me and Ellie is always able to find nice children to play with. We’ve yet to have any issues at other playgrounds outside of our town. I just don’t understand why people here simply don’t like me. I mean, I have spoken to some nice people at the park but very rarely does it go past hello and it’s more often than not that I am completely ignored when I greet other parents.

I have mentioned (and demonstrated) here my leaning towards being a stress-head over the years and even though I am trying to find and maintain a little bit of Zen in my life right now I seem to be discovering more things to feel anxious about instead.

Luckily, once James was finished in the yard we all went for a drive to look out at the ocean and play for a while. Thankfully, I have this beautiful family to put the smile back on my face.

5 Comments

  1. I worry about all the same things for my daughter. It's not easy being a parent.

    xx

  2. Those days suck. And it's not your daughter's fault that those kids were bullies.

  3. Don't be too hard on yourself. Your kids sound lovely…so I think you're doing a pretty good job!xx

    PS. Pretty school?! Love that one.=)

  4. Ah, yes, some of the joys of Motherhood. I remember to Love the Moment… because sometimes, moments are all I have.

  5. I'm sure if we met at a park our kids would have fun together. Your restraint was amazing with those little girls – I'm not sure I'd have managed to bite my tongue like that – and with your Grandma. It sounds like you are a very special mum x

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