I class Alyson as true friend. When I found out I would have to have a c-section when I was pregnant I was a mess, distraught at the thought of my plans for a natural water birth going out of the window. Alyson picked me up and supported me and I owe it to her that I had the most wonderful c-section experience ever.
Alyson's 3 children are a delight and Emma (who is only 1 day older than MC) is gorgeous but, as Alyson explains here, the cuteness comes at a price. I now hand you over to Alyson and her guest post - Bring On The Grecian...
I should probably introduce myself, I'm Alyson, writer of Alysonsblog, RL friend of Heather here at SAHMLovingit and when she asked me to write a guest post I was thrilled to oblige. I'm a 37 year old married mother of three daughters ranging from 13 - 2 years, and there is NEVER a dull day in my house, we like life to be busy, end to end, almost like an episode of Total Wipeout.. or that's how it feels sometimes. I'm studying for a degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy and absolutely loving it and I blog about my life, my work at uni and my volunteering too. So enough about me, onto my guest post.
As a 37 year old bottle blond, I'm not used to seeing the flash of silver in my hair but see this face.
This face is responsible for knocking actual years off my life and introducing me to the joys of the silver foxy.
I swear after having 2 other children, I thought I knew how this parenting/mothering gig worked, thought I had it down pat.. well I thought wrong.
Remember this face?
Well this face tests me in ways I didn't even know could exist.
In 2011 we have had no less than 3.. yes 3.. life altering moments, heart stopping, stomach in mouth moments with her that I can honestly say I didn't have with my others. Meg was calm, placid, polite, eager to please, Lucy was funny, spirited and a true comedian, but Emma... man alive where to start with Emma.
In the Summer whilst on the boat, we were mooring up in the harbour, both Tim & I busy doing our parts tying up, putting out fenders etc and we both heard a BIG splash, looked at each other in horror and did that thing where you whirl around to see what or who fell in, a very quick assessment showed Lucy sat reading her mag and no Emma, NO EMMA, ... Oh God No NOT EMMA. Tim started running, I started running round the boat, all side, desperately trying to see into the marina to know where to jump in... 'did she have her life jacket on' 'I don't know' cue Tim & I both crying, running and screaming her name.. an awful awful feeling to anyone who has ever experienced a lost or endangered child.
In that very moment the cupboard door on the boat flew open and out danced Emma shouting 'ta-da' with her arms out stretched, I didn't know where to cry, scream or fall to my knees, I think I did all three. That was when after 3 children and some pretty lax rules for the boat the new 'getting on the boat' charter was launched meaning that the children are not even allowed to step foot in the marina without their life jackets on and MUST wear them all day - 'no life jacket no boat' is the mantra. You may think it shocking that we didn't already have this in place before and looking back it is really, but the children were always so good around the boat until Emma.. we never had a single incident with the other 2 so I suppose stupid assumptions came into play.
Then we had the car incident that I blogged about here.. Emma ran into the middle of the road, a VERY busy road, which finished up with both Emma and I led in the road being 'saved' by a white van man, another moment that took proper years off my life expectancy.
And then the icing on this cake of parenting nightmares came last week in a routine trip to the local Gym/Swimming Pool, we go every week, its one of Emma's favourite things to do, she loves launching herself fearlessly into the water, sinking like a stone and then bobbing up with the aid of her float suit. As I started to get changed last week, I gave Emma the task of taking off her shoes, I bent to pull my swimming costume up, looked and she was gone, literally in a split second gone. My heart stopped, the swimming pool is only say 12 feet away, and I ran, arse hanging out of suit, to the side of the pool and desperately scanned the bottom of the pool, I screamed to Lucy to check the jacuzzi, I ran into the showers, people were understanding that something was very wrong, I was crying, screaming her name, running back and forth to the pool and in the changing room.
Staff and people are coming running, this is bad, very bad. Someone sits me down as everyone continues the search and the shaking starts, uncontrollable shaking as I'm trying to stand and keep looking, about 4 or 5 minutes passed, I could feel my throat tightening, this is going to end badly I just know it
An elderly lady wanders in from the showers amid the commotion and opens a locker and says 'is this what you are looking for?' I whirl around and there she is, Emma half naked and sat in an actual locker with the door closed, like a little elf, grinning wildly and shouting 'BOO'
Its no exaggeration to say that I sobbed, completely sobbed, heaving, shaking and snotting everywhere, Emma laughing and dancing from foot to foot, whilst people gave her a stern look or a waggly finger about 'not frightening her mummy like that'
We didn't end up going swimming, frankly my nerves wouldn't have stood it, we went home and it was her turn to sob then
I'm reaching for new and unchartered depths in my parenting with Emma, proof if it were needed, that children can be and are SO very different and one size most certainly does NOT fit all, way back in my ignorant, blissful, smug, single child state, mother of a perfect daughter I used to believe it was all about the parenting, that when a child was a naughty tornado that must have meant something was missing or wrong in their life or that they weren't getting enough attention at home... yeah and I also used to believe in the tooth fairy as well, just shows how wrong you can be