It's one of those shots where the only person who knows where to look is the professional model (my mum) ;).
So today I was tired and emotional - tired because Roman has been sick, got up early and caused hell on mine and B's sleeping patterns and emotional because today was the day my mum went back home, 6 and a half hours away. She's been here for 2 weeks, spending 5 days in between at my grans. Knowing she was going away and coming back last week I was quite happy to send her away (I would have loved to have been selfish and keep her to myself, of course) but today I knew it was the day to say goodbye - for a while - and even though we kept saying goodbye I'm not sure Roman understood the concept so well.
I took him to the door to say goodbye, then to the gate, and then we walked to the car to say it. He was absolutely fine, took it completely in his stride...and then they drove away. When I began to walk back in with him, he ran to the gate and shouted; 'CAR! CAR! CAAAR! WANT!' I felt absolutely awful by this point. He totally lost the plot when we got back into the house and I was tempted to ring my parents up and tell them to come back. I felt unable to deal with two meltdowns in two days - I know that's probably nothing to a lot of parents but I do not like these meltdowns. I honestly don't want another one for a very long time because I'm not used to them at all.
When we got into the living room, he just lost it. Tears, a red face, lots of screaming, shouting 'door, door!' for me to open the door and it dawned on me that I was really tired and emotional watching him like this. On one hand I began to question my own parenting; have I spoiled him? What am I doing wrong? Have I done anything wrong? Is this normal? and on the other hand I felt all at sea with these new outbursts of pure...rage. Frustration, rage, anger - whatever you want to call it. Roman was not happy that his gran had left. I could tell because I was feeling the same way. I didn't want my mum to leave. But over the years I've learned to dampen that hurt when someone leaves - because I know they will come back.
He doesn't know if they'll come back. He doesn't really understand the concept of time just yet. He doesn't understand 'just wait five minutes' let alone 'just wait another few weeks/months and we'll see them again.' And that's why he lost it. He got attached, got used to the way things were over the past two weeks and most likely didn't even think about the departure my mum would inevitably make when her two weeks was up.
Through his upset I remembered a technique my dad (pictured above) used to use on us and instead of me making animal noises and asking 'what does the doggy/pig/cat/horsey say?' I picked up my photography magazine to the page of a polar bear, made a growl and kept at it until his curiosity brought him to me. It's not that I was trying to stop his upset - if he's upset, it's allowed - but it was a way to calm things down and get his attention onto happier things. Of course it worked. But my heart was breaking from his outburst - I felt to blame or as if I should have done something to stop it from happening - what more could I have done?
I just wonder when it will stop hurting. That extra sore spot hurt you get when your child is hurting, whether that be emotionally or physically. It's like being hit between the eyes and kicked in the stomach at the same time.