My brother was a whiner, and so is my oldest. When Mapera wants something, she whines; when she doesn't get it, she whines; when I tell her no, she whines; when her sister annoys her, she whines; when her sister is playing happily and singing, Mapera whines cos she doesn't want Kaitereo to have a good time without her assistance; when Kaitereo is playing but not doing something The Way According to Mapera, Mapera whines and shrieks and pushes her sister around.
It seems to be a constant white noise in our house, which worsens when Mapera is tired. She is tired a lot at the moment, because school is hard work for a little person. She has a 6 day week with ballet, which makes her more tired. She has been waking in the night lately, for reasons known only to herself, so she is tired in the day. If she sleeps in the day, she is awake late at night, then she is tired getting up early and so the cycle continues.
On top of the whining, everyone in the house has a cold. Tareka is at the flu end of the spectrum, constantly clearing his throat and coughing and standing around looking dazed. I am not a sympathetic nurse, in fact I am the opposite of sympathetic, in a positively deliberate way. I get annoyed when people are sick; mainly because they get in my way being all pathetic and dribbly and generally being rubbish and not helping. If you are sick, go away until you are better and can help me properly, otherwise you are just another person I have to look after.
I have a cold too, but I can't stand around looking dazed, because there are 3 short people in the house who like to spend their time making completely unreasonable demands like "be a fairy" and "get the playdough" and "feed me". I am also trying not to intervene in the arguments as much, unless things turn violent, and it works in that I am not leaping in every 5 minutes to determine who gets the pink Barbie and who gets the purple one; but I am subjecting my poor ears to a lot more of the high-pitched shrieking that goes along with girls working out peaceful resolutions to their differences.
School is doing Mapera the world of good, despite the tiredness. Her teacher assessed her recently, to get a base-line for further assessment, and to determine where she is in terms of reading, writing and comprehension. One test involved the teacher reading out increasingly complicated sentences to her, which Mapera had to repeat back to the teacher as accurately as possible. The teacher told me that most children get the meaning of the sentence, but get a few words wrong, such as saying "flied" instead of "flew"; Mapera got every word of every sentence. 28 out of 28.
Her intelligence is wonderful and I am obviously very proud of her, but I am now barraged with a whole new set of questions "how do I write 'important' Mummy?" "what does 'dislodged' mean Mummy?" "what does this say Mummy?". Her little sister is at the constant question stage too. My kids didn't go through a "why" phase, oh no. My kids went straight from "what dat?" to "what would happen if all the cows were people, and all the people were cows?"
Kaitereo also likes to tell you her plans for the next 5 minutes up to the next 5 years in ever increasing detail "Mummy, I got a monkey card. When we next go to the zoo with Omi, I am going to take the monkey card, so I can show the monkey, ok Mummy? Ok Mummy? OK Mummy?" this sort of conversation requires more response than a grunt and a nod, or it becomes a louder and louder chant of "OK MUMMY? OK MUMMY?" until your ears bleed and you'll agree to anything at all just to stop the noise.
Despite this, my ovaries are trying to convince me that babies are really cute and nice and that I should have another one so that Hakopa can have a buddy closer to his age, and so he won't get left out of things with the girls. My sane and rational brain tells my ovaries that I do not wish to endure the discomfort of pregnancy with 3 short people to look after, and most definitely wants to avoid the nastiness of childbirth again, but my ovaries are not rational and just keep going "but looook at him, he's all alooooone and he needs a little friend".
I have been known to shout "I'll get him a puppy when he's older!" at my nether regions, I think I may be able to convince them with a particularly cute puppy.