The story of my life

It was my birthday yesterday and I realised, once again, that birthdays as a parent can be a little less about sitting back while people are unfailingly nice to you, and a little more about making compromises, massaging egos and making sure that everyone feels good about their behaviour towards you (even if it really was less than fabulous!).

This birthday card, received at the end of the day from my youngest child, really serves to encapsulate all of these complicated emotions and familial negotiations into one, short, inappropriately cheery, note.

It begins:

‘Dear mummy, I am sorry for how mean I have acted, don’t listen to those hurtful things get up strong!’

(a bit of life coaching there to start us off. Is it ironic that the source of the advice is also the source of the potential trauma?!)

‘I should never of been a brat towards you

(OK so brat might have been my word to describe her behaviour. Maybe that was harsh….but her tendency to think the world absolutely MUST revole around her had got a bit wearing!)

It continues. ..

‘If I didn’t have you my life could have been over.’

(this was to counter her wish on the eve of my birthday that I had never lived. I think she had started to see the biological impracticality of that wish!).

‘I know you may not believe me but I can’t live without your love and support. ‘

(This child does an increasingly impressive line in melodrama and she’s as melodramatic with the positives as she is with the negatives!)

All these years I should of appreciated me you more.’

(never has there been a more telling correction in the history of apology letters.  It’s all about me (whoops, oh no. Not this time!))

I am truly sorry and want you back!!

(ah… That’s her winning shot right there. The plea for my love guaranteed to melt my anger. She is GOOD this kid. I should take lessons in emotional manipulation from her!!!)

And so, at the end of a long, and not altogether happy birthday, we all managed to join together for a harmonious few hours watching the family favourite ‘Finding Nemo’ and remembering how important family is.

But….just so I didn’t forget that the ups always come with downs, the eldest child decided to lose her rag at bedtime and tell me she hated me, which nicely completed the circle of my day – and indeed the story of my life with two tweens: super highs and crashing lows in one continuous loop!!

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