Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Please do not do that without Mummy being there... A pause, my two and a half year old son disappears then returns to the bedroom and proceeds to do exactly what he was asked 'not' to do. This consists of pulling himself up and in a rather athletic manoeuvre flinging himself headfirst over the bed frame, normally landing on his head and cranking his neck (thus good to have supervision present to help him land) but this time more tidily done. But... Consequence...

So what to do? First thing in the day after hugs and "I love you mummy, I love you daddy," Here we go again. Yesterday it took 25 minutes before my son would sit properly by the sofa on the floor for two minutes. The 'sitting on the step' concept. We got the point where he would sit four inches from the alloted spot but still this was not acceptable to daddy. We got there - exactly, eventually. Back to today...

"Into the bathroom young man" says daddy. "Now; two minutes sat in the corner please? That is the consequence for your action of disobeying your mamma..." "I don't want to!" rings out loud and clear and rises to a shrill crescendo as feet are stamped and pitch of voice increases to one an Opera Diva would be proud of. I am always amazed at the volume such a small person can exude. "I don't want to daddy..". a refrain that is repeated again and again as I reason with what is happening and why... and after the tenth explanation stop explaining. He knows!"

My, the freedom to negotiate a child has, the changing intensity, the trying to gain a touch of ground here and there. The 'I'm not held back here so I'm telling you how I feel,' communication. Parents throughout the world will know it but for me, never having been a parent before, it is fascinating, and is most challenging (when I'm tired or cross at someone or something else).

I can understand how a parent, who is very upset at something else could transfer some of that anger against their child when the child kicks off. There is an outlet channel. Thankfully this didn't happen for me, I was unattached to the 'surround sound' with it's impressive volume and wonderful stamping and 'in your face communication' and kept telling him I loved him but there was a consequence. After 20 minutes of me sat in the bathroom and Tiger (Benjamin to his mother) standing I announced I was off to get my breakfast and he could tell me when he would start the two minutes. All was quiet.

"I'm sat in the corner daddy." came the voice from my son after another five minutes. Bless him. I went to look and there was a smiling angel sat 'exactly' in the corner of the bathroom. Two minutes were counted, I went and called time. He came out hugged me and said "I'm sorry daddy, I love you daddy." I love you too now go and say sorry to mamma." " Sorry mummy, I love you mummy. Can I have some breakfast of hoops and milk now please."

Another gentle start to a day. What a wonder children are.

I was reminded of what a XXXX (think horrible, abnoxious, argumentative) teenager I was and how badly I treated my mother who taught me ice dancing. She was my coach. My father let me give up figure skating (singles - which I am better suited to physically than dance) because I said I didn't want to do it. I tried everything to get my mother to say "Well give up then," on the ice dancing side of things. She never did. My story is that her love and determination to give me a future in this area allowed her to put up with as much stamping, shouting and sulking as I could muster. It is my story and may not be true but, as Coach, in acting so I think she lost authority and discipline. I needed to go and sit in the corner for two minutes, or, in my case thirty minutes and then ask if I may be allowed to come back on the ice. Maybe I would have walked away from ice dancing altogether, maybe I might have 'Chosen' to come back and stay. Anyway - she was a Saint to put up with me... I never really 'chose' ice dancing. Even though I did Olympics in it etc..

When one skated onto the ice in Queens Ice Club in London you had to say "Good morning Miss Hogg" to Glady's Hogg the doyen of skating coaches, I remember. Sixteen and full of confidence / arrogance I bumped into her with my partner one early morning session. If you have ever seen the picture of the guy sat in the armchair with his hair blown back by the sound of the speakers that would have matched my look as Miss Hogg proceeded to deliver expletives and discipline to this teenager advising on looking where one was going and safety and ... well it went on and on... I can't remember my response, apart from the fact that I was gob smacked that this little lady could speak like that and I was learning new words and that the tone was very, very clear! I imagine I said something like "Sorry Miss Hogg. Can I carry on now Miss Hogg." I never bumped into her again and always said "Good Morning Miss Hogg," when I went onto the ice in Queens.

Funny what comes to mind... My happy son has just gone to the shops with his mummy, negotiating about shoes to wear, no coat etc etc... Joy.

Have a great day.



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