Here are three habits my children have got into that are quite adorable for the first little while, then really bloody annoying thereof:
1) Hey Mum, watch this.
It plays out like this:- I am in the middle of a very important and highly dangerous feat of brilliance (such as chopping an onion or catching up on Bachelor revelations) when 1 or 3 children arrive in the middle to shout:
“Mum, watch this Mum, Mum? Mum? Muuum? Look at me Mum!”
At this point I watch as they perform something really amazing and potentially dangerous like a little skippity thing or a bit of a wobbly somersault. Both require some wowing. Too much wowing leads to numerous repeat performances of said skippity thing from more children and the chopping of onion getting so dragged out that the fumes have rendered you blind anyway, which leads to a complete frenzy of:
“Mum, Mum, Mum, Muuuum, look Mum, look, watch, watch, look, look at this, Mum, Mum, Mum, Muuuuuuuum, look at me, Mum, you gotta watch, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, MUUUUUUUUUUUM!”
Until you are forced to yell something bad motherish like, “STOP YOU BOGAN HOOLIGANS, I WATCHED THE FIRST TIME”, and thinking something worse like “Come back when you can do a perfect backflip” and they all slouch off leaving you feeling awful but not awful enough to call for an encore.
2) Hey Mum, what’s your favourite…?
This one is mostly fine. I do like it when they switch their favourites to be like me. And I don’t mind the usual, What’s your favourite ice cream, what’s your favourite film type ones, but they soon run out and we’re left with:
- “Hey Mum, what’s your favourite rock?” – this while looking at a beach covered in thousands of rocks.
- “Mum, which is your favourite ant?”
- “Which is your favourite toe?”
- “Which is your favourite way of eating your sandwich?”
- “What’s your favourite Mum, penises or chinas?” This followed by squeals of laughter.
Sometimes, after a long day and way too many favourite questions, I can no longer pick a favourite because my desire to screech, ‘I don’t actually give a fuuuuuck’ gets well in the way and I want to add, “What’s your favourite – shoosh your gobs, shut your cake holes or shut the fuck up?”.
3) Hey Mum, can you do this?
This is one closely linked to trampolines I find, but is being wheeled out more frequently, often when I’m in a public place and trying not to appear bonkers. A small person who looks quite like me but whom of course I don’t know will approach me while I’m in the medicare queue and say,
“Hey mum, can you do this?” and then hop madly on one leg with their head at a crazed angle, to which I smile a patient smile and say, “I don’t think so, it’s so clever,” which prompts them to try a bit of an on-floor leg-in-the-air thing and shout, “Can you do this Mum?”
I wish I was the sort of mother who would give the on-floor leg-in-the-air thing a red hot crack right there on the purple patterned medicare carpet, but I’m more of a, “Darling, would you like a little sit down and a shutupachup?” type. Unless I’m at home. At home I’ll try most things – the on-couch head stand, the crawl through chair legs trick, the dance with the dog, the make your hair stand up with shampoo trick…
Sometimes though, I wish they’d lie on the couch with their eyes closed and say, “Hey Mum, can you do this?”
But of course, I will embrace all these questions as best I can, love the askers and answer them with as much patience and understanding as I can muster, because really I do want them to continue for as long as possible.
One day in the not too distant future they will switch their favourites so as to not be like me and they will grow out of wobbly somersaults and not be in the slightest bit interested in what I can or can’t do and possibly go for long stretches without asking me anything or even talking to me at all. And then I’ll whinge and moan about that and do lots of silly flippety things in the hopes that they might see me.
Tags: children, motherhood, mothering, Parenting
My (other)least favourite phrase from an otherwise beloved child is… “I want to help,” accompanied by the sound of a chair being dragged across the floor to the kitchen bench where I had been planning (possibly, in some wonderful make-believe HousewifeWorld)to roll out some delicate pastry…