Saturday, 30 October 2010

How is it that I'm easy?

Its been three weeks since Peewee (aptly named by Mimi), joined our household, and he's settled in as though he's always been here. Chubba has taken him under his paw, and together they make forays into the garden, sniffing, doing their business and "reading the papers" as my ma says. They make a handsome couple and Peewee is never far from Chubba's watchful eye.

Persuading BH to get Peewee, was easy. "Chubba will teach him the rules" was one persuasion. "It will teach the kids a sense of responsibility" was another. Walking him won't be a problem as I always do it anyway, and in my own weird way I plan to train him with love, after all I've potty trained 3 kids and never lost my temper. I know, I know, like kids dogs and puppies need to know the boundaries, they need to know how far they can push and they need to know who's boss...and it isn't me! Peewee has me feeding him by hand. He just won't chow on down like most dogs but insists I sit beside during each one of his 4 meals per day. BH says that he doesn't do it to him so why do I have the problem?

"You're a pushover!" stated BH "Every time the kids do something naughty, you laugh. It's the same with the dogs...you think him savaging my shoes is sweet! You laugh when he dives into the paper basket and rips up the paper. You won't laugh when he gets bigger and he does it to amuse you and he starts gnawing on the kitchen units."

He's right though. Naughty things the kids do amuse me. I can't get angry because it shows their wicked humour and I'd rather a child with wit and personality than a child afraid to do anything because it may anger me. It's the same with the dogs. I don't see it as a struggle for power but as them expressing themselves. If it's dangerous, then that's very different.

I spoke with Marion, and she agreed with BH. "They need to know who's the boss. They need to have respect and they need to know how far to take it. My kids know who's the boss in my house" Marion rules with an iron rod. The kids do their homework on the kitchen table in front of her, they would never answer her back for fear of being banished to their rooms, and they never get dirty! I sometimes wish I could be as fierce, but then I fear a backlash later. In years to come, would they ever visit me? Would they remember the strict parenting and hold it against me? Would they love me? You see that is probably the real issue. I want to be loved. I want my children to love me when I'm an old lady. I want them to look back and say, "My mum was a lovely mother. She was kind to animals and children and everyone loved her". It's unlikely though that they'll remember my amazing sense of humour or my kindness to animals.

I'll most likely be remembered for my terrible taste in music, my inability to drive on a motorway and my horrendous shoe collection which dates back to 1989.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Don't go to school in your PJ's!

Yesterday morning I decided that the chaos at home deserved more attention than my attire. The school bags had been lost and the packed lunches hastily cobbled together. The shopping hadn't been done this week because the new puppy couldn't be left on his own...and anyway I didn't want him destroying the relatively new kitchen!!

As usual, Miriam (au-pair) was lazing in her pit, while Armageddon was close to destroying her slumber. She was planning on visiting 82 year old Mrs B down the road to do some cleaning and needed to get some well needed rest before the onslaught of cups of teas and more rest. Now I've seen Mrs B's house, and I know for a fact that no cleaning gets done. I've told her she's taking money under false pretences and I've told Mrs B to make her earn her money, but it all falls on deaf ears. Mrs B thinks Miriam is a sweet girl (she is), and she needs a rest from us! Miriam thinks Mrs B is a sweet old lady who only really needs a chat! I say they are welcome to each other.

Anyhoo, because BH dashed off to the office extra early, he didn't wake me up which meant there was no time to get dressed. I thought it unlikely that I'd need to get out of the car, and as we were running late there would be no one around anyway.

Mimi was the first to notice something amiss as we drove to school.

"Mummy, why haven't you brushed your hair?"
"Mummy was a bit busy this morning"
The boys were busy fighting, as usual. In my haste, I'd forgotten to separate them, so they were sitting next to each other. Finn stopped punching Bart for a moment.
"Mum, did you brush your teeth?"
I suppose I could have lied, but I've always told the kids the truth as I feel that as a role model I need to set an example.
"No honey, I didn't have time"
"You always tell us it's disgusting not to brush your teeth in the morning...you said everyone has bad breath...you always say that the postman couldn't brush his teeth in the morning because you almost keel over when he knocks on the door!"

I sometimes think honesty is not always the best policy.

Pulling up into the car park, I see a few parents milling about. I wave at Victoria, who is lugging a cardboard tall ship and dropping bits of sails while shouting at Archie to get a move on. I turned to Finn and asked him if he was meant to bring in anything too?

"Like what?" he mutters
"Like a tall ship, perhaps?"
Finn looks up, his eyes wide with tears welling.
Oh bugger, he's forgotten!
"You should've reminded me!" He wails "That's it, I'm not going in. Mrs F, will get angry with me, I'll get a demerit and detention"
"But Finn, you can't not go in because you've forgotten! Tell her the puppy ate it!"
"You tell her the puppy ate it"
"Finn, I'm in my PJ's, I can't go in"
"Well it's not my fault is it? You should've been prepared"

So there I was in my PJ's, explaining to Mrs F that Finn didn't have his project because the puppy ate it. In this case honesty wasn't the best policy and I hoped that Mrs F believed me!
I also hoped she saw my dishevelled state as a mother who really does too much or as someone who sets fashion trends!! I somehow don't think so!

Puppy on-board!!

Bart (the eldest) had the stuffing knocked out of him a several months ago, whilst playing rugby. He had a black eye, and what seemed to be bite marks on his arm!! He was in a sorry state, and my heart went out to him. Who like to see their child in pain, and who wants retribution? However, I can't take my frustration out on the child who caused the pain, (apart from the fact that I wouldn't recognise him) and I can't stop Bart from playing rugby!!

"What can I do, to make it all go away? Shall I kiss it better?" I'd asked, knowing that this was a rhetorical question. I haven't yet learnt the art of manipulating a conversation to go my way.
"No..it hurts!"
"Shall I beat that boy to a pulp?"
"You won't catch him, anyway his mum would be as angry as you are now, anyway Dad said it was my own fault. I shouldn't have let him tackle me. "
Oh thanks BH, for your wonderful words of wisdom!
"...and dad said that next time, I should punch him back harder, then he'll avoid me the next time!"
Why is that men advocate violence, competitiveness and aggression? But then, I suppose that is their will to survive. BH mantra is "It is better to have fought and lost, than never to have fought at all!". I've tried pointing out the real quotation, but he is deaf to the gentler side of life.

Still, Bart was hurt but proud that he was sporting "the mark of honour". His black eye hurt and the bite marks were not showing signs of broken skin, so no need for a visit to A & E.

Sometime later, Bart appeared in the kitchen doorway. "I know what will make me feel better mum" he said looking broken and dejected.
"What's that?"

"Well, I'm really suffering at the moment and the only thing I can think of to make me feel better is....a puppy!"

"I don't think so Bart..we have Chubba here, why can't he make you feel better?"

"I need something to take my mind off this pain, and I think a puppy would help. I love Chubba, but it would also be good for him as he's geting old now, and anyway, he can teach the new puppy tricks!!" I suddenly realised that Bart had stumbled upon manipulation, just like his father. It wasn't as though his father would agree that this was the best way to manipulate, but I bet he would be proud of him nonetheless.

"I'd really be able to throw myself into looking after it, instead of worrying about myself" he stated...(WTF???).
"No Bart, it's really not a good idea".

So how come, I'm now the proud owner of a beautiful chocolate labrador???

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