Monday 14 January 2013

How to Confuse your Child in One Easy Step

What you talkin' bout, Missus??

So your child/s is complaining/whinging/grizzling or just being.

You are tired.  It’s been a long day.  A day that is still, no matter what way you look at it, only 24 hours long, but whose bright idea was that?

It’s a question you would like to ask Mother Nature if you had the opportunity to book an appointment with her.  Sure I may as well make a list.  Just in case.  Two more burning questions of mine would be: did you really invent Fridays and weekends just to have a laugh at mothers?  Well, it’s not funny.  And the million dollar question:  why do kids wake up from 5am onwards, bright eyed and bushy tailed while their parents are cemented to their beds?  What’s the big idea?  Should that not be the other way around?

So back to the witching hour, where your child/s seem intent on making the last few hours of the day, the most miserable and loud ones. 

In my house, at any rate, the craziness goes a bit like this:

A fight breaks out over a piece of Lego or just because someone looked at someone else.  Breathing in the same air as a sibling is also a boxable offence.  The dog is racing round, barking the odd time and making grabs at random pairs of shoes.  DS consoles are blaring and more rows start over the games for them.  There are a myriad of demands made for food/drinks/stories/lost items to be found/bathroom visits/homework. 

Smallest Boy is insisting on being carried.  More fights.  It begins to get physical.  There are punches dealt and screeches for punishments to be meted out.  The accusations start: 

“He won’t leave me alone.”  “He keeps hitting me!”  “Get him away from me!”  “He’s stoopid!”  “You’re stoopid!”  “Mammy, he called me…………………….”  “That’s coz you are!  Stoopid poopy pants!”   “I hate you!”  “You can’t! Because I hate you more!”  “No! I do!” “No. 


That there would be me.  I take deep breaths and wipe a dramatic hand across my brow.  I reach for the smelling salts (Wine to you and me) 

No, I don’t.  Come on!  That would be crazy!   It’s still only 5pm.

I make myself wait at least another half hour before I try to dull the pain and stick a straw in the bottle.

“He’s still looking at me!”  “Well, he keeps touching me!”  “Because you keep looking at me.  I hate when people look at me.”   “I hate you!”  “I hate you more!”

Oh, boy.  Maybe 5.00pm isn’t too early after all.

And then there’s PMS (Poor Me Syndrome).  You know exactly the one I mean.  And this is how you get them. Pay attention now peeps.  Here comes a good ‘un.

Them refers to my boys.  Me refers to, well, me.  Moving swiftly on.   Convo would go as follows:

Them:  “Can I have a treat?”
Me:  “No.  You’ve had one already.”
Them:  “Well, what about……………………?”
Me:  “I said, no!”  Insert mammyism of your choice here for good measure.  “You’ve had enough/Leave some for tomorrow/You’ll rot your teeth/You’ll get a pain in your tummy.”
Them:  “It’s not fair!  I never get anything!”

Here it comes!

Agree with them.  Go on.  Try it.  Not only does it confuse them terribly, it also shuts them up.  You can actually see expressions, like cogs on a wheel, change on their face as they process what you’re saying to them.  It’s gas!  There is a strong inclination to agree with you but the suspicion that you are being sarcastic stops them. 

Drop everything you’re doing, look straight at them and use your most earnest voice.
Me:  “Yes, you’re absolutely right.  I agree with you.  You never, ever get anything.”  Now that you’ve got their attention, nod for effect and continue.  “All those toys you get.  All the swimming lessons.  Never mind about Freddo Fridays and when your Daddy brings home Kinder Eggs.  I don’t know how I didn’t spot that you never get anything.  What do you want to do about it?  Have you any ideas at all?”

Look innocently at them and if at least one of your kids doesn’t open their mouth in an attempt to point something out, but stop dead because they know, on a sub-conscious level, they won’t win this one, I’ll come over to your house myself and entertain yours for an hour.*

*Disclaimer.  I’m an awful liar. 

Now where’s that aforementioned wine.

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