Saturday, 1 December 2012

It was me. I was the one shouting at my child in the street.

Yep, that was me.

Why is it that my children seem to look particularly angelic when they've just done something I've asked them not to do?  

When they were little I was always really good at ignoring the temper tantrums.  We made a conscious decision that we wanted to be the ones in charge of the kids instead of the other way round, and we had a fairly close example of what we didn't want to do, which helped when I was gritting my teeth in the supermarket with a screaming red ~ faced runny nosed child rolling around at my feet.  I was calm and relaxed, and blanked them completely, and it worked ~ as toddlers they knew if we said no then we meant it.  

So what changed?

I really don't know.  

But these days, things between me and the gorgeous boy child hiding in the leaves are strained, to say the least.  

He's nine, and I'm already dreading what life will be like when he's a teenager.

And he's the only one that makes me feel like a cartoon character with stream coming out of my ears.

So, yesterday evening we went to the Christmas market in Bath.  We go every year ~ its the first proper Christmassy thing that we do ~ its like a signal that the season has started.  On the way back in the car we put the Christmas CD and it plays until the 25th, by which time we have all had enough and are more than happy to put it back in its case, ready for next December.

But yesterday at the market it was as if he was deliberately trying to push every single one of my buttons.  

As a treat, I bought pasties from the bakery.
It's not fair, she got a bigger piece than I did.

We went in a couple of shops, including Hawkins Bazaar, which they love.
But he got a longer turn fiddling with the sticky stuff than I did. 

We bought a slice of fudge from the fudge kitchen.
But I wanted a different flavour, you never get the one I want.

More after the jump...

I think we'd looked at about five stalls when I reminded him that  when there's cheese to try you only take one piece.

Two stalls later, I reminded him that the same rule applies to chutney.

So then when he went straight to another cheese stall and did it again I saw red.

That's enough, come here right now.  I said now!  Do you remember what I just said to you? (why don't you pay attention to what I say?)

Yes.(I do pay attention to what you say, I just don't do it.)

So why are you doing the exact thing that I just asked you not to? (why not? Didn't I just speak? Is there any point in me saying anything?)

Don't know. (don't  care)

That isn't an answer ~ I asked you a question, I would like you to think about it and give me an answer please. (I want you to prove that I didn't imagine talking to you)

But I don't know the answer.  I was just trying the cheese. (I'm just so obviously sweet and innocent, I really don't know what I did wrong)

No, I've already had to talk to you about this twice in the last ten minutes. (I'm tired of being ignored)

I'm sorry, I thought you just meant don't have any more cheese from that stall, I thought it would be okay 'cause this was a different one. (I knew exactly what you meant, but I think this sounds like a plausible enough excuse to eat more cheese)

Forget it.  You do whatever you want.  I'm going back to the car. (now I'm in a bad mood and I don't want to have a good time looking around)

Well we'll all come back to the car. (I'll be calm and reasonable and maybe she'll change her mind)

No, 'cause then you'll all miss it.  I'll go back by myself. (I'd rather be grumpy by myself so I can make it all someone else's fault)

It's fine, we'll all go.  Come on, put that down, it's time to go. (still being irritably reasonable and calm)

So that was the end of Bath Christmas Market for us this year.

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