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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Patience Is a Virtue. So They Say.

It's officially Day 1 of school holidays for us. Lord, give me strength.

Ok, so our house might not be an alternative for families who can't afford Disneyland. Outside, we have a trampoline and a slide. That's it. Oh, and the slide is currently broken, because the 3yr old (surprise, surprise) took out the rod that keeps the darn thing together, so it now lies almost flat on the grass outside. The only thing that's going to slide on that at the moment is an army of ants. 

But, you know, the kids have toys. They certainly have stuff. I know this, because I see it all over their floor every day. In fact, just yesterday, they were sent brand new Lego which they are LOVING, but still...I'm getting the question every parent hopes not to hear until at least Week 3 of school holidays: "I'm bored. What can I do, Mum?"


I wish I was bored. I really do. I wish I didn't have Christmas cards to create and write out. I wish I didn't have to think about what I'm going to make for dinner tonight. I really wish I didn't have to clean up the little package this morning that the dog left on the floor of my formal lounge room  - presumably because his 'brothers' were making too much noise downstairs jumping on the couch they've been told NOT TO JUMP ON three hundred and forty nine times just today, and didn't feel like trying to make his way past to get outside and do his business.

Boredom is underrated. I'd give ANYTHING to be bored. Just for one day.

However, the lack of boredom in my life isn't my main problem at the moment. It's my lack of patience. 

I don't know. The older I get, and the more kids I accumulate (that sound like I'm some sort of poor man's Angelina Jolie. I'm not. I only have three kids, but sometimes it feels like I have 300), the less patience I have. 

I remember when the 8yr old was 3, and when he'd get up to mischief, I'd use the controlled voice to tell him what he was doing wrong, and promptly send him to time out. Afterwards, we would discuss in full his wrong-doings, and why he shouldn't do what he did. There would be remorse, apologies and cuddles and all would be good again.

These days, I can barely be bothered explaining anything to the 3yr old when he does something REALLY naughty. When he, say, hits his 8yr old brother on the back with his Buzz Lightyear - I'm more likely to grab him by the arm, drag him in to his room, yell something remotely coherent and leave him in there - screaming to "come out!" - for 3 minutes whilst I calm myself down. 

My problem is: I'm over it. I just don't have the same level of patience I had five years ago. Hell, I don't have the same patience I had last week. Slowly, but surely, my patience level is going dooowwwwn, people.  

But that's not going to do the 3yr old any favours, is it? Or me. I need to find my Zen. My good place. Most  of all...I need my patience back. Because let's face it, with three kids, you need an infinite supply of the stuff. Especially when one of your kids finds Every. Way. Possible. to test that patience level. BIG time. 

How about you? Do you find you have less patience with age? Do you wish you had more of it?

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