‘Raising a child was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. Then I had two.’
Having more than one child does take things to a whole new level. I am not taking anything away from parents of one child – that is also hard but f**k me, more than one kids brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘challenging’. People have asked if we plan to have more than 2, and I laugh. I laugh in their stupid faces. Do I look like I want another kid? I haven’t had a haircut in 8 months, my husband and I have not had a proper conversation since 2012, I can’t remember the last time the washing machine was not on, there are so many demands from so many people and they ask me if I want to add to my load?!
Our kids are lovely. They are so funny, clever, kind and brilliant but they are kids, and kids FIGHT. There are at least 3 outbursts a day. Screams and shouts and squabbles and punch ups and it drives me INSANE. Now, I did read an article about how natural and important to their development this is and how vital it is to allow these arguments to take place as they fight for their place in the world. I think it was a study conducted by a childless tw*t.
I had been doing everything I could, since the start of these squabbles, to stop them. It is like trying to plug a leak with a tea strainer. They are naturally inclined to knock seven shades of poop out of each other, in fact they thrive on it but I did not want it in our home!
When they were in school, they were way worse. It was constant – I would lose count. They were, no doubt, on their best behaviour all day and then when they got out and into the car, they would go off like firecrackers. That would then continue until bedtime, pretty much. They could kick off about anything, you name it. However, this has improved dramatically since we took school out of the equation. More so for ‘Thing 1’. She has shifted from being very emotional, needy, clingy and whiny to being reasonable, outgoing, diplomatic and far less angry. She is very often the one to settle disputes. ‘Thing 2’, however, is still young. He is prone to kicking off BUT his outbursts are way less frequent and they used to be off the rage scale, whereas now I would say he can manage a level 4 at best. He gets snotty about the usual stuff, having to share his toys with his sister, being accidentally run over by her bike – that kind of thing. He likes a good loud cry every so often – who doesn’t? – but the difference in their attitude towards each other since home educating, is huge.
I would say they appreciate each other more now. They play together and really look out for each other when it matters. Of course they squabble but it is less frequent and less fierce. I do think home education has taken the heat out of all relationships in this house. I always say we ain’t ‘The Waltons’ but then I watched a clip of it the other day for the first time in years – those kids were always fighting. It’s not what I remember at all. I am sure the same will be said in this family somewhere down the line.