Sunday, August 2, 2015

Things I say to my Kids...repeatedly

I read this article last week and it made me laugh out loud. It's a bit sweary but covers all the things you find yourself saying to your kids.

The two that rang most true for me were "When was the last time you had it?" and "We'll see?"

Actually, instead of saying "When was the last time you had it?" when someone inevitably loses something I now say "Sorry, not my day to keep up with it." Sounds a bit callous but it sends the message that something has to be really lost before I'm joining the hunt. And of course, the usual end to that caper is me putting my hand straight on the lost item, so it's prefaced with "If I come in there and find it, there will be hell to pay."

"We'll see" seems to mean different things to different children. One of mine always used to sigh and say "Oh, that means "no", while to another it meant "Yay, she's going to cave." So now I usually don't commit to anything except "If you keep on about it you're definitely not having/doing/getting it."

A few more things that I found myself repeating over the years are -

"Can you please stop talking?". I don't believe that children should be seen and not heard, but I do believe in some thought being put into the talk - thought about the content (don't ramble on about super heroes or horrible school friends ad nauseam) and the timing (when I'm trying to reverse the car into the tightest spot on the planet I simply cannot process questions about playdates or tonight's menu).

"I'm standing right next you". Some parents say "Inside voice please" but the intent is the same. STOP SHOUTING. Americans (ie. my children) have louder voices than Brits, in my opinion. Unless you're on the South West rail line where commuters seem incapable of not talking on the phone, and of talking quietly on the phone. American voices project, -watch any political news show with invited guests. They obviously have no faith in the microphones clipped to their jackets and shout, so that everyone in America can hear them.

"Where are my keys/sunglasses/shoes?" My kids used to do an impersonation of me running around with my sunglasses on my head, yelling "What did I do with my sunglasses?" Very funny. In my defense, when you're walking through the door with multiple children, backpacks, violins, shopping bags etc. it's very easy to lose track of where you put things. When you live in a house with multiple drivers, (you know who you are) - all bets are off when it comes to locating car keys. Ironically, the ex-Queenager bought me a clapper-key locator last year for Christmas (I know, because I was with her) and then forgot to give it to me. I only remembered about it a few months ago and I have no idea what happened to it.

I can't be the only parent who says the same thing over and over?


Friday, July 31, 2015

Re-entry is always difficult

Well, I've been back since Tuesday night and it's now Friday. The jet lag is killing me I have to say. First night back, we didn't get home till about 8pm so I was forced to stay up until 9pm (3am body clock) when usually I would have wimped out and hit the sack long before. The Little Guy (now 12, and not at all little) didn't want to go to bed and since I was the only other person in the house, I was obliged to stay up with him. (I'm not usually that benevolent but since he was the one trying to do the right thing vis a vis jet lag, I went along with it.)

The inevitable waking at 3am was not helped by the Punk Rocker, who is practically nocturnal these days (partly due to a part time graveyard shift job). Oblivious to other humans in the house, he proceeded to sing for a good fifteen minutes. I was just about to get up and hiss at him when he disappeared into the bat cave his bedroom and all was quiet again.

Rose at 5am, had to have a nap at 3pm on the first day. Didn't do much better on the second day, and today I managed to sleep till 6.30am, which may sound normal to some but is not my idea of a reasonable time to be getting up and starting the day.

Meanwhile, I have been tackling everything that seems to have been put "on hold" in my month long absence despite the presence of various warm bodies in the house throughout that time. (Ball & Chain, Ex-Queenager, Punk Rocker, I'm looking at all of you.)

My back garden looks like a scene from one of those movies where the earth is scorched and civilization has come to an end. The front isn't much better, with all my lovely potted plants either dead or shriveled. Thank goodness the plant shops are now selling everything at 50% off so I have just re-stocked. Given that it's currently about 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) I won't be planting till it's cooled off and I have a chilled glass of white in my hands. (Any excuse...)

My Tupperware cabinet looks like it has exploded. You can't even open the door without lids and size 11 bowls flying all over the place. Sigh. The pots and pans drawer isn't much better, with large pots balanced on top of smaller ones, instead of..... well, you know how they should be stacked. And don't get me started on the pantry. I'm not particularly Type A, but I do think it makes sense to keep cereal together, tea & coffee together, tins on one shelf, oils and condiments somewhat close to each other. You know, just in case you need to find something in under an hour. Well, let's just say it's not like that at the moment.

Mine doesn't look like this.

Oh yes, the vacation's definitely over.



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