week three days of lone summer holiday parenting going?
Oh, thanks for asking – it’s going mostly fine. I did nearly have to kill Amber this morning, but otherwise it’s pretty smooth.
Yeah, that’s right; I did say “kill Amber”.
Why? Oh, you know, just the usual reasons; like coming downstairs this morning to find she’d tried to make breakfast for herself and for Millie but had tipped half a box of Cheerios and a couple of pints of milk across the table and all over the floor.
With hindsight she gets full marks for initiative – we’re still foxed as to how she managed to get the milk (a half-full four-pinter) out of the fridge (a six-foot tall leviathan) but null pois for execution. I had to calm myself down for ten seconds before I even started to deal with the mess.
Amber’s only alive this evening because she must have sensed this and decided against her customary (at the moment) naughtiness and refusal to listen. The really annoying thing about her present behaviour is that she does something she knows is wrong, refuses to listen when you ask her about it and ignores the “count-to-three” that we always give the girls after explaining the consequences of not doing what they’re asked to.
Then, when the aforementioned consequences materialise completely as ****ing predicted, Amber will launch into a furious crying fit and tantrum!
This morning, after things had calmed down once more and we were all cleaning our teeth, I sat down with Amber and explained that I loved her and that I was sorry for shouting and getting cross but no-one in future was to put out the breakfast things unless either I or the Lovely Melanie was present.
(I explained it in simpler terms than that but if you’re reading this blog I’m assuming you’re at least ten years old and most probably triple or quadruple that)
Amber and I had a quick cuddle, I gave her a kiss and sent her downstairs to put her shoes on. There, all sorted.
Thirty seconds later we were back to square one as she had an almighty benny about… Oh, I don’t know; certainly nothing of life-threatening importance.
Fortunately, we got her to nursery without a single fatality, which left Millie and I free to enjoy a much easier and quieter day. Yesterday, as you probably saw from the picture, we went to nearby Foots Cray for a couple of hours. Today, with the weather in decline, we went to the cinema in Bexleyheath to watch The Smurf.
I had wanted to go and see the latest Studio Ghibli film, Arrietty, but the only dubbed (as opposed to subtitles – useless for a six-year-old) was at Brixton at 11am – too far and too soon), so The Smurfs it was. And it was OK. Not as charming as Winnie The Pooh, but not as bad as I’d feared either.
Millie loved it – laughing exactly where you would expect and jumping out of her skin a couple of times where you wouldn’t!
I should point out that she hasn’t been a perfect angel the last couple of days either – there’s been too much shouting and rudeness for my liking, but I am a surprisingly strict dad at times (surprising to me more than anyone).
Tomorrow is my last day at home with her, a day when I was planning to keep Amber home from nursery and take them both to the seaside or swimming. Sadly, as I mentioned, the weather is in decline, and after today’s experience with Amber have decided to enjoy another day alone with Millie, who, as the Lovely Melanie pointed out, now she’s at school seldom gets to spend a day on her own with either parent. Amber, on the other hand, gets to do exactly that every Thursday and Friday.
And to finish up, here’s a picture of Millie taken today outside the Bexleyheath Shopping Centre with her all-new, all-metal family. 🙂
If I can find the time there’s a post to be written here about my experience of parenting over the last few days – both good and bad – and how Trev’s death has reached out to affect even that.
But fulfilling my responsibilities as a father must come before blogging about them…