I love my children beyond measure. I really do. Captain Chatterbox will be seven in October. How is that possible? He is reading well beyond his years and manages to combine an artistic, sensitive nature with a confident and often hilarious personality. I feel certain that he will be a third-generation Monty Python fan. This pleases me enormously.
Mademoiselle Headstrong is, well, just that. She is three going on thirty three. Her teenage years promise to be … intriguing. She also has an innate concern for others – for example, she rubs and kisses the “ouchy” knees of both grandmothers – and simply overflows with affection and love. “Good morning, my beautiful mummy” was a recent wake-up greeting. “I am so proud of my brother” was another randomly expressed sentiment. Yes, she really is only three.
However, there are times I am sure that if I hear the plaintive and elongated imploration “Mummeeeeeeeeeeeeeee???” for the ten-thousandth time in twenty four hours I will stick pins in my eyes.
In addition, I have a pretty solid handle on the English language in both its written and spoken forms. I describe and explain things to my children clearly, logically, and with all the patience I can summon (I am not renowned for this quality). My certainty in this matter often wavers, however, due to a) the often blank and uncomprehending expressions on their faces when I speak, or, b) the utter absence of any kind of response.
Am I unwittingly speaking in a foreign language? Has the cone of silence descended without me realising?
Particularly bewildering to them are such utterances as “please put your school clothes on, it is almost 9 o’clock” or “no, you may not have an icy pole for breakfast”.
One recent morning, at 9.03, Captain Chatterbox finally accepted that Adventure Time pyjamas were not suitable school attire, struggled into his uniform, and then promptly disappeared into the back yard. I found him basking in the sun like a lizard. Me: “We need to leave, mate. The bell goes at 9.15.” A blank stare. Me: “Hello?” Captain Chatterbox: “But I’m cold.” Me: “Put your jacket on.” Nothing. More basking. Me: “Dude, we really have to go!” Captain Chatterbox: “But I’m COLD!” And so on until my eyes shot out of my head on stalks.
I had a cheeky, beery, school day lunch at The Henson with The Super Tops Awesome Best Friend yesterday. I was child-free, and arrived early to enjoy a Bloody Mary and a novel in blissful silence. She arrived with one of her offspring and a murderous expression. “Oh dear,” I said. A most cathartic and much needed venting of spleens ensued. I know all parents experience the perplexing conflict of emotions that is being a loving, concerned parent of children who are simply being children. But it is so, so very vital to just, once in a while, really hear and know that You Are Not The Only One Who Feels That Way.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY READING THESE POSTS FROM THE MM ARCHIVES: