Monday, 2 May 2011

Negotiating with toddler-Hitler is not fun.


loooong loong time ago, when there were only two bugrats to feed to the goats...




I hand the phone to Esmie, my 2 and a half-year-old, ‘it’s for you…it’s Keno’ Keno is her best mate, she drags her around when she sees her, ‘cuggling’ and ‘kibsing’ the life out of her. Keno is gorgeous, and loves Esmie back, thankfully. And is thus never too disturbed by the carting around and ‘attack’ cuggles. Esmie looks at me, like I have just ripped my own head off, and asked her to eat it. ‘Mum’, (please note the grown up dropping of the ‘my’ ie mummy) ‘it is not keno, the phone is not real’ with that, she turns on her heels, and looks for more grown up means of entertaining herself. Like cutting her own hair, the house pot plants, last night, she had managed to get herself out of the bath, and ‘snipped’ in the directions of the other kids, chopping a lock of Monty’s hair off. All before I could get to her and prize the scissors out of her teeny chubby wet hand. Guffawing with glee, and struggling like a Suffragette, as I prize the scissors from her hand, negotiating with toddler-Hitler is not fun. It’s a terrifying experience, one that would test even the skills of Mother Theresa. ‘Better entertainment’ Esmie style consisted tonight, at the table, of her stripping off from the waist down, she’d spilled food on them, she hates being dirty, and proceeding to bend over, smacking her own little chubbly bottom cheeks, and singing ‘look at my bum-bum, looook at my buuum-bum’ ‘Errr, no thank you Esmie’, I chastise ‘it is not nice to show our bottoms at the dinner table’. ‘Does that mean it’s OK to show them at other times?’ Mitzi, 4 and a half, asks. To be expected really. My children are usually the ones that start the water fights, finish the water fights (sending other whoosy kids, who ‘don’t like getting wet’ off sobbing to sympathetic disapproving parents), getting naked, at every available verse end. In fact, no I’ll get to this in a minute. Esmie obeys, and promptly turns around going ‘look at my ninny’ (girl front bottom, after spending months of deciding on a name for it, well with 3 girls in the house, it was a necessity. Funnily enough, it was Peter AndrĂ© who gave us the name, reading an article once upon a time about the birth of his baby girl, he said it was weird, he’d ‘never seen a minny ninny before’. Wise words, and the name, evidently acceptable in Peter AndrĂ©’s eyes, became our word for it.). So there you go, she wins-getting your front bottom out is far ruder.

those greasy dreads- FIT!
So, back to that anecdote I was about to tell you all,  years ago, when Lola was a bun in the oven, and Mitzi but one of the twinkles in her mum and dad’s eyes, we went to see friends in St Albans in the U.K. We stroll along the river on a very hot day. Monty was 15 months old, he’s hot, and LOVES water, we say it’s fine for him to strip off and splash about in the stream a bit. Well of course it is…However a couple also strolling along with 2 slightly bigger kids watch on in disgust. Their kids see Monty having fun, and want to join in. ‘no, darling’ is the response the girl is met with when she asks if she can do what that other little boy is doing. Now those of you who do not know St Albans, this is a very affluent area, and I guess some of the people who live there (as you find else where, yeah yeah, but I am talking about right there, right then) are snobs. There I said it! This is exactly what these parents were. Do you know how she justified her daughter not having a bit of harmless fun? She tells her that ‘that is what we call a ‘nature-child,' darling’. A nature child? Come on, you can do better than that. A bloody nature child. Well, if he is that, then good. I would rather that than he miss out on self exploration, and splashing about having ages of fun in the stream in hot weather. Needless to say I told her I’d show her nature, whipped off all my clothes and dove in, screaming and flailing my arms about like a headless chicken. Alright, I just said in a very loud, purposeful voice ‘poor little girl’. And left them wandering on, sad, non-nature-child in tow.


Talking of nature, my Landlady is a great woman, really fun and we get on really well. She was the one who offered up the advice to leave ‘knobs of butter’ on my toddler’s face to try and get rid of the black irremovable paint that she had decorated her face and ears with earlier on that day. She had thought it would be a better solution to the white spirit I had planned on using ON A TINY COTTON BUD, to remove it with. She stayed like it for a week afterwards, as she put the fear of god and his army of ninja monkeys into me. She has a tendency to do this. Overreact, some might say, I call it ‘typical French’. Another example of this is when she sees Mitzi about to blow one of those blowy dandelions (in real life, what are they called the blowy dandelions? I’d love to know ‘blowy dandelion’ does the descriptive trick, but technically, I would like to not appear as ignorant, thanks horticulturists in advance) my landlady dives at Mitzi, and with her giant grown up woman hand, snatches the dandelion from her little child-hand. ‘ooooo, no, no blowy dandelions for you’ she turns and looks at me, explaining futher that if she has ‘allergies’ then this is singlehandedly the worst thing I could ever give an allergic child. An innocent blowy dandelion. Mitzi is left bamboozled and a wee bit upset, understandably, so I tell her I’ll pick another one for her when the landlady’s out of sight. The things I am forced to do when people are out of sight. Dandelion blowing is now firmly on that list, for if she sees me carrying on this type of behaviour, I will be looking like an extraordinarily unfit-to-be-a-mother, mother. Life’s so unfair. Yesterday afternoon she popped her head up over the fence (they live next door) and remarked on the fact there were only 3 chickens. ‘yep, one died, dropped dead very suddenly’ ‘oh, she’ll have been bitten by a venomous snake’ she says. Just like that, now I am afraid of blowy dandelions AND venomous snakes biting us in or own garden. See what I mean? Scaring the bajeezas out of me?

On that note, I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow, and I need to finish the mopping, as after I had done it, the muddy dog decided to make his entrance. He will not be doing that again, never get in the way of me and my ‘looks like a long haired dancing lady on a stick’ mime tool, I’ll getcha!

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