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  • Shwetha Jairam

Breathe... and back off!


Wise words learned from a friend while we were on a run. And one I am going to put into practice as often as I can. When I am at a tough spot and there is nothing much I can do about it, I am going to try to just breathe… and back off!

Lots of parenting blogs say parenting is really about observation: to experience the moment with them, through them. In my opinion it’s Mission Impossible!

Mission Impossible I


Baking together is supposed to be so relaxing. Picking a recipe, gathering up the ingredients, such a lovely time of bonding! And then, the first egg cracks, flecks of shell float in the bowl. Egg-whites drip down leaving tracks. I can feel my muscles tighten, my neck goes tense. This isn’t bonding, this is excruciating!

At last the torture is over! The cake seems to have suffered as much as I have, looking all limp and forlorn. The children are victorious! They are swelling up with pride, swearing it’s the best they’ve ever eaten. What am I going to do? Just breathe... and back off!

Mission Impossible II


New Lego sets to build! We are going to have so much fun piecing all of this together. Plastic bags get ripped open in excitement, coloured blocks scatter across the floor. (Running away from the threat of conformity?)

Finally, each elusive piece is tracked down and fitted. An interminable hour later the wonderful creation is finished. (It was actually quite fun, for a while). This state of completion exists for all of five minutes. Eager little paws with over-enthusiastic actions cause the carefully created set to crash. The new set is broken, my fragile mask of patience is cracked. Eyebrows twitch, jaws clench! Time to just breathe... and back off!

Mission Impossible III

Let’s get out the paints, let’s create a rainbow for the NHS! I draw upon every iota of my barely existing creativity to make this picture. The carefully formed rainbow is soon obscured behind blotches of paint that faintly resemble a grey cloud? The paints are a mess, each colour has lost it's individuality. Finally, the picture is compete, if I look closely I can still see the rainbow peeking out shyly from behind the cloud. We pin up the picture, the children are pleased. And now I think I know what I have to try to do…

Just Breathe… and back off!


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