Reframing This Kid

I’m punching this post out on the fly, without thinking it through or analysing things because I’ve been trying to work it out for too long, then forgetting that I was trying to figure it out because I’m in the middle of living in it, and I’m so tired, damn I’m so tired because Flynn, you are fireworks and thrills and all kinds of magic, but darn it if you aren’t more exhausting than a colicky newborn wrapped in an eight-month pregnant lady sprinkled with Vallergan, and all my brain can come up with is just breathe through it.

(Perhaps some more punctuation would improve my sense of breathlessness…)


This kid is in his pyjamas today, mid afternoon, because I spent half the day putting his pulled-off shirt back on, and then it was pants, and then nappy, and then:

I just weed.




Maybe I don’t want a rug after all.

This kid, who I’m constantly paying extra for wherever we go and taking three times as long because don’t touch that, and there goes $30 on a candle we won’t burn (but oh, it smelled nice). Because put that down, means along with the apples we came for, we’re taking half a container of cheesy bacon croutons home with us. Because stop! and I’m on my hands and knees picking up spilled, splayed, and unfolded everythings.

This kid, who has decided to intermittently toilet train himself. Except I’m busy trying to put 200g on your baby brother in a week because jaundice and fifteenth percentile and do your job mama (and I simply can’t be doing this right now.)

This kid, who takes stop when we are near the road as a challenge to run faster, who pinches soft skin, and pulls on hair to see what kind of rise he can get.

This kid, who when I say black says white and will argue the whole afternoon long about nothing, for no other reason than the sake of the back and forth.

I tell anyone who’ll listen that this guy is more work than the other three put together (he is!), but I’m realising lately that I’ve got to stop that.

It’s one thing to commiserate, seek sympathy, empathy, insight, relief, but there’s a line, you know? Life and death in the power of the tongue and so on, and I want to speak life, to breath it into these moments because if I don’t, who knows where we’ll end up, and I want to be the decider of where we’re going.

One of Wyatt’s preschool teachers gently reminded me recently that last year, when I would drop Harry at preschool last year, Wyatt would run around the playground crazed, overwhelmed with excitement, crying when I would drag him away, and they would think to themselves that they’d have a handful on their, well, hands, the following year when Wyatt would begin preschool. Except, they didn’t. By the time the preschool year had started, he had completely shifted. The sweet and gentle notes he held (which had always been part of his personality) had taken over as the major shareholders, and it was that kid, at that point on the spectrum of his ever changing (ever same ever changing) self, who I dropped off at preschool. So when the teachers reminded me of the crazed three year old he used to be I was a bit, oh yeah, of course, how could I forget? But I had forgotten, because the sweet-natured gentle boy that we’ve had the privilege of parenting this year had taken over as the one we know, the one we define him as now, the one who overwhelms me and the one whose spirit I pray his youngest brother gets blessed with some of.

Earlier this year, Rebecca Woolf published a post about her own thundercloud, Bo, and I remember thinking I feel you mama. This month she’s reposting various things that have stood out over the last twelve months, and yesterday’s was that post, with a begdendum (addendum at the beginning) about how Bo had changed/grown/shifted through the year. (Although as I’m writing this I’m releasing that Flynn is still the same little hurricane – sweet and snuggly one minute, and this amp goes to eleven the next.) So when it comes to Flynn, I know I need to take a breath and let go of the tension I’m holding around who he is right now. Because who knows what is around the wheels turning, leaves turning, corner?

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Dinner at four-thirty. Early bedtime plan in the works…


And yet, and yet…..

I say thank goodness he has spirit, because we know he’ll be a force in the teenage years, uneasily swayed by the whims of peers. What a gift! Except lately, I’m realising that I need to reframe things right now. For this day. In these moments. Because I don’t want to be holding out for one day, some day, what ifs, or when he settles down, because right now is where it’s at. Where he, and I, and we are at. Because right now this little tornado (who is the same tornado he’s been all year and may ever be) needs to be loved in all his moments. Right now is always where it’s at and where the love and uplifting and celebration needs to come in, because that’s where it’s felt by him. By me. So right now, my mission is reframing how I speak about and see this guy in these moments.

And with that, I’m off to bed now. At eight pm…

(In the meantime, tell me, are you on any current parental missions? Or just getting by with a mix of wine, friends and double-coat Tim Tams, like my usual self?)



  1. tash says:

    Big hugs Bridie!

    Just remember it’s the toughest job on the planet! Strong willed kids make for great teens as I have found out.

    Hope you get to chill a little on the weekend.

  2. Lila says:

    I hear you on the tiredness. I no longer worry about Eve remaining dressed unless we are going out. For me it’s a pick my battles thing, her diet has helped but isn’t a cure. I look forward to the day the her strong willed nature doesn’t mean zero sleep for me.

    Hope you get some rest soon.

  3. Bele @ BlahBlah says:

    I was reading ‘Thrive’ by Ariana Huffington and her big thing was how damaging sleep deprivation is for people, which I find fascinating considering how many people live with it. What a beautiful mum you are with a show stopper son. Congrats and I hope you’ll be given some space to rest soon xxx

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