Friday, 27 January 2012

Totally In Control, Totally ...

Nobody takes me seriously anymore. Though when I say nobody I don't mean strangers in the street point at me and hoot with derision when I walk past... well, not often anyway. No, I mean the children, My Children.

Once upon a time I used to have some kind of authority, an element of control. I used to be able to administer discipline with a raised eyebrow and a meaningful look. I had a particular tone of voice that could freeze a child's blood from 100 metres away. Not any more.

(I'm not)

I'd like to say I don't know what happened, but sadly I do. I had the Teen Twins in 1995, The Third Girl in 2001 and The Small Boy in 2006 ... five years between each of them. That's not important or significant in itself, no planning was involved at any stage.

But it does mean that sitting around the dinner table of an evening trying to convince The Small Boy there IS more to life (and food) than ketchup is accompanied by a continual commentary from the rest of the table.... helpful remarks, the odd joke, sniggering, a discussion on the merits of ketchup versus all other known food stuff, the tricky subject of mayonnaise versus salad cream (which can be devisive in itself), some giggling, the odd guffaw. And, to be frank, it's hard to maintain a grasp of a situation with a constant barrage of criticism, opinion and, let's be honest, disdainful laughter in your ear.

To be fair to The Small Boy too, it's hard to concentrate on what you SHOULD be doing when what you ARE doing is clearly creating entertainment for the rest of the room. No doubt he won't be able to eat a meal without the addition of ketchup and an audience until he's 42. *Sigh.*

And that's not all. Attempts to encourage a sensible bedtime routine for The Small Boy are generally scuppered by a 16-year-old firmly believing a thumping rock beat from the room next door is an excellent lullaby or a ten-year-old with a desperate desire to for an impromptu treasure hunt. *Deep sigh*

And sometimes The Small Boy can be a little bugger quite naughty but try to tell him off in front of the rest of the brood? As if. They smirk at him, he smirks at them. I might as well stand on an empty beach and tell the sea off for being big, blue and wet.

I would take up shouting with a megaphone REALLY LOUD but I know it wouldn't do any good because I can't be heard over the thumping rock beat OR the cackling OR the sudden clang of the children as they pull together ... And one of them WILL turn around and say something like: "Muuuum, what ARE you doing?"

And then they will do that look that they do, THAT look that only a teenager can pull off with the right amount of sneer ... the one the ten-year-old has already learned, the one they are already teaching to The Small Boy - the pitying one.
*Deep, deep sigh*

*Hides in cellar until they all leave home.*


  1. Oh dear! I dread the day when my 3 become teenagers.My youngest(3), is being led astray by the older two (6 and 9)as well.There is no hope is there?

    1. Um, basically, none at all but there IS always gin :)

  2. I hear you can buy tazers on Ebay for less than £50*...

    *not really

  3. My eldest is 7 and she has already completely perfected 'the look' Now I know how my parents felt about me! Just think - in 7 years I'll me just beginning this phase and you'll be nearly done!

    1. In 7 years time, The Small Boy will be 12 .... 12 year old girls I can do: Give them lipstick, nail varnish and don't scream at the eyeliner. 12 year old boys: less nail varnish, more football... yes?


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