“Oh, look at that triangle over there!” I say, every morning as I point to a round drain in the pavement outside The Chunky Monkey’s nursery.
In return he will look where my finger is pointing, then turn, and with a withering look respond with “No, that circle Mummy, NOT triangle”
This is one of the reasons my children think I’m stupid.
I should point out that I do in fact know the difference between a triangle and a circle; in fact I know all my shapes, but this little tradition has become the distraction of him wanting to stay in The Beasts classroom.
After two occasions where I’ve been talking to The Beasts teacher, I’ve then turned around to see that The Chunky Monkey has removed his coat and hung it on a peg next to his brothers, before attempting to find a place to sit on the carpet with the others. That’s when we started to have a problem. He wants to stay in school, not go to nursery, so rather than dragging him across the playground kicking and screaming I focus on things that I know he enjoys, and play dumb as he always likes to be right.
I don’t know who he gets that from.
It’s a tactic that, like lots of other mums, I do every single day, probably hundreds of times a day, to avoid meltdowns and have a quieter/easier life. I use it when The Beast won’t do his homework. I soon learnt saying “right spell FLOWER…” will be met with a grunt and “I don’t rememberrrrr” whereas if I say “Right, Flower, I spell that B…U….M, that’s right isn’t it?” he is more likely to respond with the rolling of the eyes and “NOOOO…you spell it…”
Ironically, in order to achieve a quieter day-to-day existence I have come to terms with the fact that nothing I ever do is done in silence. In fact, it’s rarely anything less than full pitched, one-hundred-miles-an-hour noise, I just have to decide if I want that noise to be excitable and positive or angry and obstinate.
A visit to the local shop to get milk and apples is no longer a quick in and out, it’s accompanied by the sing song “ohh how many apples are in the bag, I can count two…wait…what do you mean six?!” walking back to the car after swimming is often skipping to the tune of “we’re following the leader, the leader, the leader…” as we snake across the car park holding hands to avoid anybody making a run for it and jumping in front of a car.
Even tasks at home, where nobody but me is there to witness a monumental meltdown, are loud, there to make me look like a fool. Post dinner discos if carrots are eaten (and I wonder why I can only Mum Dance these days), songs accompanied to nappy changings (“Let’s change your bummmm, let’s change it foor a cleannnerrr oneee, one that doesn’t smell, of wee, and poo…”), and even when, I’m bribing at 6am with an iPad or an iPod, the loud, repetitive sound of Jelly Car clashing with the Peppa Pig theme tune can be heard no matter how hard I cover my head with my pillow pretending not to be there.
Pass the ear plugs.