Wait until the very final moment before announcing they need to pee
It was this that planted the seed for this blog post in my mind, when I almost wet myself after waiting until the end of a film before making the necessary trip. I realised, actually, I do that all the time. If three decades on Earth have only taught me how to *just about make it* then perhaps I should be more understanding when one of my tiny kids declares out of nowhere (and typically when we’re nowhere near a toilet) that the contents of his bladder only has a shelf life of another 8 milliseconds.
Lose their shit over completely irrational stuff
Some causes of my 2 year old’s tantrums this week:
>>> My inability to repair a snapped cracker
>>> My inability to make the passing motorbike come back
>>> Wanting socks on and off at the same time
>>> His inability to eat his burger with chopsticks
The cause of my irrational tantrum this week:
>>> Significant other smiled at me in a way I perceived to appear sarcastic.
Be fickle about food
After months of existing on pasta and cheese alone, the 4 year old finally decides he likes carrots. You are ecstatic and buy 37 bags of them to celebrate. Two days later, they are “sgustin” again and promptly picked out of all your lovingly prepared recipes. %@#*&!
(Meanwhile, you are finally a grown up after deciding in 2016 that vegetables are in fact tolerable, but shh don’t tell the kids).
Spend too much time staring at screens
My older two kids would spend 16 hours a day staring at the computer screen if they were permitted, and my little ones require physical extraction from the TV when Ben & Holly’s on. Screens are the bane of my parenting life – I fantasize about moving to an island without technology and hunting & gathering for survival. She says, on her laptop screen. At 11.51pm.
Actually, this is one I try hard with. It drives me crazy when my kids interrupt, but it drives me even crazier when I am talking to one of the kids and another adult comes along and talks to me as if they’re not there. So I do try to model this, but if a really vital thing pops into my head during one of my kids’ long and elaborate narratives, it does occasionally slip out over what they’re saying. It feels acceptable at the time because – to me – it is very important. So I guess that is worth remembering before admonishing the kids for interrupting with something they deem vitally important too.
Lie to get out of trouble
My son had to write a confessional letter to his teacher and lost a week of screen time this week, after lying about having no homework for a week.
I have no counter-example right now because it’s been a while since I’ve done it. However, I know I have done it, and there are no consequences for me. Where’s the justice in that?!
Create mess. Everywhere. All the damn time.
My week generally goes like this:
Mon – Can we all have a tidy up please?
Tue – Come on guys, your stuff is everywhere, pick it up please.
Wed – This house is a pigsty. TIDY UP YOUR CRAP.
Thu – IF THIS PLACE STILL LOOKS THIS BAD BY THE WEEKEND, I AM LEAVING YOU ALL!
Fri – I CAN’T COPE! I CAN’T COPE! I CAN’T COOOOPE WITH THE MESS ANY MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
Sat – Catatonic rocking
Sun – Massive surge of energy > Beautiful house (for 5 minutes)
Meanwhile, this is my ‘freshly made bed’ after the outfit selection process is complete:
Leave everything until the last minute
Ahhh, school mornings. They are so leisurely. The kids are soooo relaxed. Until, that is, the door is open and we’re getting in the car. One needs a crap. One has to quickly finish his homework. One has to urgently locate his Transformer for show & tell. One has just remembered he needs to remove his pyjamas from under his clothes.
KILL ME NOW.
But not before I’ve had chance to quickly straighten my hair, email my tutor, put on my make up, find my phone charger, put dinner in the slow cooker and brush my teeth in the 90 seconds before I walk out the door, of course.
Mess around way past their bedtimes and then get grumpy when they’re tired the next day
My kids at 9pm:
Me at 1.09am:
Want want want
Sometimes parenting can feel pretty thankless. Wherever we are, they need something! However hard I try, it’s not enough! Whatever I give them, they need something more!
However, perhaps this is just part of the human condition? I might not stomp and whine (usually) if I don’t get my own way, but I have years of cognitive development on them. It is easier to draw the line between reasonable and unreasonable as an adult than it was when I was 6.
Would window shopping even be a ‘thing’ if humans did not live in a perpetual state of wanting?