When it's time for mumma's tantrum
"I AM going to kill my children!” She muttered into my ear and I nodded.
I mean, I knew she wouldn't.
I knew I didn't need to contact Child Protection Services.
But I knew.... oh, how I knew that feeling. That "I am at the end of my rope” desperateness when you have exhausted all avenues and they are staring at you, like they can sense you're close to the edge.
The beautiful thing was I was on the phone to a private dentist who needed to reschedule my daughter's appointment, only to discover her darlings had damaged her laptop.
A woman, who in my mind, is professional, accomplished and likely poised when she's not trying to make the 'H' key work on her apparently-busted keyboard.
It made me feel so much better about being the work-from-home mum who hasn't brushed her hair in three days because I'll likely be tearing it out by noon anyway.
I salute her for her honest, "it's not funny” relaying of events to a patient. Hallelujah! More mums ought to remove the veneer from their work-life imbalance.
Tantrums and fights have been the sole means of communication in my house here lately.
I dragged an inflatable raft, a bag full of beach equipment and a screaming toddler up the beach through a throng of people on Sunday.
On Monday, I dragged a pre-teen into a jiu jitsu club. On Tuesday, I locked two children outside to finish their argument. On Wednesday, I sat in the car, engine running, watching the same two children continue to argue.
Today, I am listening to an hour and 15 minutes' worth of YouTube music titled "Feel Calm” and am still likely to round on the next person who taps my shoulder saying "he pushed me”, or "she stole my Ooshie”.
Is it only through their long-suffering parents that children learn to recognise when they're pushing someone too far?
And even though we're not as likely to fetch the wooden spoon as our predecessors did, we may fetch the cord to the X-box; may even switch off the modem. Heaven forbid.
We may say some desperate things through gritted teeth on occasion too... like "I'm going to kill them”, or my favourite go-to when we are going any place, "I will turn this damn bus around and that'll end your precious field trip pretty quick”.
Peta Jo is an author, mother of three and this is your last warning, kids. Don't make me come back there.