I don't know why I am still surprised, after 11 years, at the number of different emotions I can feel during a day being the mother of two gorgeous girls. In fact, often those emotions go round in pretty regular cycles .... let me take you through a few scenes here in the last two days ...
Thursday afternoon ... a lovely autumn day, the first day it hasn't been hot or raining ... after school and a little TV and homework ... and instrument practices ... I suggested that the girls take their IKEA play tent outside to play in the cool afternoon sunshine. After a little coaxing they agreed and while I unpegged the washing they started to set up the tent.
My emotion: happiness - the sunshine, the girls playing happily, everything is going right.
Then it turns out that one of the poles has broken (you know, the foldable types with the elastic inside ...) and we spend 10 minutes or so trying to make it work.
My emotion: frustration
The girls suggest that instead they use "Daddy's tent" - actually a sunshelter for the beach, which he was given as a gift and we haven't used yet.
My emotion: relief
We get out the sunshelter, and although it works on the same system it is an improvement on the IKEA tent, we get it up pretty quickly and before I know it it is full of old quilts and cushions and cuddly friends, and happy playing sounds. (wish I took a photo!)
My emotion: happiness
I sneak inside to work on some cards I am designing for a stamping class. All is quiet except for cuddly friends crying occasionally ...
My emotion: calm and peace
Time to pack up. We dismantle the sunshelter and roll the fabric up tightly around the poles, strap it up and then squeeeeeeeeeeze it back into it's packet.
My emotion: frustration followed by relief as I zip it up with Emily's help.
From then on - dinner, a P&C meeting, not so many emotions involved for me - as I leave the girls with Steve for bedtime!
Fast forward to the next morning ....
Plenty of time before school .... girls ask for a lunchorder - yes, we have time to write the orders and visit the canteen before the bell goes ...
My emotion: satisfaction - at last we will get to school on time one day.
But alas, Laura keeps us waiting at the last minute and even when we are in the car waiting she turns back inside "I can't find my glasses!" She doesn't find them and I get out of the car and I rush inside, can't find them either ...
My emotions: annoyance that we are now late, stress as I wonder where the glasses are this time and how happily we will have our "goodbyes" at school
Fast forward again to Friday night ... lunch orders long eaten, some sticky Friday Afternoon Fun involving marshmallows, butter and rice bubbles (yum!), girls have had their weekly "TV Dinner" and Steve and I have had a quiet munch with crackers and dip and a cold drink on the verandah, admiring the sunset.
My emotions: peaceful thoughts, happy anticipation of the girls going to bed and Date Night - watching The Duchess on DVD and eating a delicious steak dinner ....
Just as the girls go to bed I remember the lost glasses.
I ask Laura ... "did you have them when you played in the tent?"
The penny drops.
Laura: "Yes, maybe I left them in the pocket of the tent."
ME: "WHAT DO YOU MEAN MAYBE I LEFT THEM IN THE POCKET OF THE TENT??????
I squished that tent up tight, there's no way they could be in there and survive!!!!"
I run in a panic to our bedroom, where the sunshelter is sitting, quietly, innocently ... I fumble with the zip, too panicky to open it. I run to Steve and he comes, calmly and unzips it.
My emotions: panic, anger, frustration
We quickly unroll the tent. I feel in the pocket at my end - nothing.
Steve feels in the pocket at his end - nothing ... but what's this? A pair of glasses, completely unharmed, slides down from among the folds and rests on the nylon.
My emotions: complete disbelief and relief
(but Laura still got an earful from me)