As if to make up for her absence over the weekend my daughter reverted to her old dependency yesterday. She hung onto my back pockets (a bungee sort of experience in my stretch jeans), wrapped her arms around my leg and called upon me to carry out the usual amount of menial tasks, which I completed with more than the usual enjoyment. “It’s a pleasure to serve you” was on the tip of my tongue. However it wasn’t all fun and games.
She’s taken to irrational outbursts of petulance. Ostentatious crossing of the arms and huffing into a corner: “I won’t do that”. If she gets no joy the list soon escalates into “No, I won’t listen to you”; ”No I won’t do what you tell me”; “No I won’t live here any more” etc etc. She was at it in the playground yesterday. Frustrated by her inability to scale the spiderweb rope arrangement she stormed into a corner, huffing and wobbling her shoulders up and down.
It was the sort of situation tailormade for Supernanny. She would have created some naughty corner or anger step and sent the cowering child there while the parent lay weeping uncontrollably from a mixture of embarrassment, rage and general parent overload. Personally, I find the best thing to do in these situations is to ignore her. Supernanny would probably have fixed me with her gimlet gaze and done that tutting she does, while adjusting her skin tight shirt and secretarial glasses. “Fill up these plastic boxes with her toys and for goodness sake buy a wallchart.”
Eventually my daughter came back for another go, succeeded in scaling the ropes and declared “I’m very proud of myself.” I was proud too. It’s good to have her back.
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
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I do envy fathers the ability to ignore children at certain times. I wonder if all mothers struggle with this? My children can be having a category 1 paddy which is straining my nerves to the limit, and husband seemingly has not noticed. Only when the flailing and screaming veers towards electronic gadgetry might he react. Or if they obscure the rugby.
Don't get me started on my theories! But yes, I think being a dad seems to give you a little more distance in situations like that.
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