Some days just don't fit: like a too-tight pair of jeans, they squeeze in all the wrong places and dig in uncomfortably. Nothing feels quite right and I know that I am no fun to be around. I find myself telling the children that I won't help them, complaining excessively at minor, or even non-existent, misdemeanours and getting cross at their needs because they don't feel as overwhelming as mine. It's days like this when the home-ed demons are out in force and the voice of rationality becomes a hoarse whisper. Suddenly, rearranging equations seems of future-affecting importance. It is vital that it is grasped this morning, right now, so that we don't get behind, fail to cover the maths curriculum and therefore are unable to sit GCSE Maths. University prospects are threatened and, consequently all hope of ever gaining employment, living a fulfilled life and earning enough money to hold body and soul together. So, in this crazy thought pattern, the verbal bullying, the impatience and the frustration are inevitable and unchangeable. The warmth and love in my relationships takes a hit, and my son's self-confidence, or, at the very least, his maths-confidence, plummets.
It's not easy being the adult when the explosive toddler is within. But I did manage to peel myself from the chair, leave him with an easy puzzle and take myself to a different room and persuade myself that this topic could be re-visited when I am in a better frame of mind. I am learning to leave it be when it's all getting too much and I am learning to celebrate my growth instead of re-hashing my failures. And if my son can see that modelled in me as I grow up, perhaps that will be more useful in his future life than being able to rearrange an equation.