Ive been pushed to my bedroom. Two computers in the house. One of which is playing a very blue and yellow film about about a lost fish and the other of which is killing monsters made of bricks. I’m on my bed.
Incidentally, this is exactly where I was when reading the latest self help ‘how to be a brilliant parenty ‘article this morning .Thats what I do. Read advice and then use my family as guinea pigs to see if the said advice works.
You can almost see the nervous glances when I declare that “we are going to make a few changes round here..”
“just going to the toilet” .Gone, for about 45 minutes OR
“Have you done your meditation yet Mummy? “Hmmm ..
Ha ! No need for meditation my dears (I think whilst swishing my magical cloak around in a dramatic twirl ..) Mamas got it all under control..
The article read: ” When you can feel negative tension mounting , rather than enter into an argument with your child, use positive language such as ‘ I know this is not what you want to hear right now’ or ‘Let’s try this and if it doesn’t work , lets try something else’.
Ohhh .. pretty words..pwitty birdy..Dangerous really.
Looking back now, WHAT was I thinking? These are NOT words that I use. This is NOT my language. This is the language of one of those gentle, softly spoken Mummy’s . Who, although 46 years old ,has n0 signs of frown lines on her gentle face. Just smile creases. You know who you are ladies. You call your children Sweetie and let them interrupt you when you’re talking , never giving them the MUM look.That’s you
Did I listen to my wise inner voice? My best friend who loves me more than anyone in the world, the other me? ( think she’s called authentic self)
No. After declaring on a wet and misty (and beautiful ,may I add) New Zealand Sunday afternoon, that we were
“Going out for a long bush walk to get some fresh air”
I dont care if you want to stay at home and light the fire.
I’m not interested that you need to record your You Tube playing games thing in front of camera? No.
“Get your shoes on. Ive made up my mind.”
The dog looks worried. She can sense the tone of my voice ,that sing song unnatural voice .That slightly maniac ‘look how happy and calm I am everyone’ voice.
Have I got Jack Nicholson eyes from the shining ? No, its just you Liz , you’re paranoid. The dog knows though .She’s just being polite . Being kind. She knows the real you. They all do. She just finds a spot on the wall that she decides to stare at.
“My trainers are too small. I can’t come”My 12 year old . Tessa.
“They’re fine. I only bought them a couple of months ago. Just put them on and get into the car” All good so far. I couldn’t manage ‘sweetie ‘. I’m not American after all .
“They’re scrunching my toes.. they don’t fit .. they’re too small .. ” Blahblahblah..
Here it is ! My chance !Lights! Camera! Action!
The fact that I got out of the car and walked into the house without a word set her on edge. You could see her eyeing me with suspicion .
I took the trainer. I took her foot. In my mind I am the ugly sisters mother, ramming her daughters foot into the glass slipper in order to claim the rich prince. In reality I’m trying hard to be that woman. Breathe Liz. You can do this. Be that woman. No one likes a hag.
” I know this is not what you want to hear Tess but lets try the trainer again ”
Stunned Silence from a face that resembled Harry Enfields teenager.
“We will loosen the laces, and if that doesn’t work we’ll try something else”
That was it. It was enough for her to break. Go away weird traitor.. bring back the Mum I know and love..She looked at me with both a terrified and suspicious expression..
“Why are you being like .. I don’t know … like ..Little Miss Positive ??” she exclaimed, with that look that says,”Duurr”.
She took the offending shoe out of my hand and flounced out ,leaving me crouched over the dirty pile of footwear that lives in the garage. Crouched and .. like Bruce Tanner..and wait .. Oh No .. Here it comes..Shirt ripping on biceps….AARRRGGG!!
“I’ll tell you what Tess” (I’m following her out to the car now) “YOU put the sodding trainer on , I’M just trying to help but NO …HERE !! “Grabs another old pair of stinky shoes ..
Picture now if you will a ‘frustrated by being too nice and calm all morning ‘face. Not disimilar to that of the witch in ‘into the woods’ (before she gets beautiful)
Holding the dirty shoe and glaring into the car .. Oh God. .. please let Brian , my husband be looking at the Sat Nav right now and not out at me ..
Luckily she was already in the car hidden behind the blacked out windows of our works van..Meaning that I am now not only likened to the witch in ‘into the woods’ (before she gets beautiful ) but add to that, one with blind eyes, not being able to focus on any given object. Wild. Frantic. Don’t be dramatic Liz..Just for a second or two. I get in .. Huffing and puffing like a steam train .
The shoe fits just perfectly. Glides on. Without a hitch. Silence. None says a word.
Stop reading the self help books Liz. They don’t work .You’re you. Frowns and all. You’re ok. Breathe. Right. What else can I have a think about..I know.. enjoying my kids in the New Zealand bush.There you go. Easy…until tomorrow morning..