Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The one mammoth job nobody warns you about when you have kids is the nightmare of clothing them. 

It's a job that permanently drags me down as I drown in a sea of their clothes overflowing from three wardrobes. 

There are bags that I've been given that are still too big for them. Half-filled bags of clothes that are too small for them in limbo (will I keep them or pass on?). Bags of clothes from friends that I haven't even had a chance to bring into daily circulation yet. And because all 3 kids are having massive growth spurts every month, I can't keep up with everything.

I've spent the last three days trying to get on top of this clothes mountain because I found I had started to get angry at my nearly 3 year-old diva who drags everything out of her wardrobe every morning, trying on 5 different outfits until she's satisfied it feels right. 

The only problem with this is she was either settling on clothes that fitted her last summer or putting on winter clothes that are too heavy for warmer temperatures. And every morning we would have meltdown upon meltdown after I vetoed an obscenely small outfit or a thick winter-wooly on our hottest day of the year.

She is getting really into clothes and expressing herself through clothes, which is lovely, but it's also hard to let her have total free reign over this.

I started to get cross because she leaves all her clothes scattered all over her bedroom for me to pick up. I hate picking stuff up (yet another thing that anyone considering having kids should be warned about: you will spend the rest of your life constantly bending over to pick stuff up!).

But it was unfair of me to get angry with her. Because it was a job  I had not got on top of. I needed to retire all the clothes that no longer fitted her and present her with a summer wardrobe to choose from every morning. But to do that requires a lot of energy and time when they are not around - because they scream that they love something so much that they still want to wear it, even if it's ridiculously small.
I find my anger is so raw at the moment - and very connected with her volatile emotional state and the stress I feel when the baby screams at me all the time and the feeling of being overwhelmed by all the supposedly simple jobs like this to do in the house. 

So anyway, after 3 days of sorting through their clothes, I feel like I've finally conquered Mount Everest, and I feel less overwhelmed. Phew!

As she turns 3 my sweet, darling girl is a highly charged emotional banshee, testing all the boundaries and saying no so explosively to everything that I'm left totally drained (this includes every basic thing such as putting shoes on, going to the toilet, brushing teeth) And quite right too. It's just another eye of the storm for me to get through, and much of it is connected with my reactions and her need to feel secure as she embraces her new confidence. 

When I'm in the middle of the 10th meltdown of the day, I struggle. My rage wells up. I'm not being listened to. I have to repeat myself 10 times. I can't get through to her. She won't let me help her anymore. I've lost my patience. I've lost my mind.

Deep breaths now. I try and take a break. It will pass I know. And she'll come out of this the most delightful little girl ever. I'll get my amazing girl back.

It's just a phase. It's just a phase...

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