We don’t have that many rules in our house. I don’t want the kids to grow up in some sort of military academy, and besides, I’m not sure I can be bothered to enforce that many rules. But the number of times that I have found myself shouting
‘we don’t have many rules in this house, but you do need to follow the few we have otherwise WE ARE ALL DOOMED!’,
lately is sort of undermining that whole policy. Why can’t kids just listen? And what are the chances of me shipping them out to boarding school/relatives (I’m looking at you there, Uncle Andy and Auntie Weezer*….)
*not her real name.
These are the basics.
They mostly relate to eating vaguely nicely and not killing each other. Oh, and putting shoes away. Because, frankly, sometimes I feel like all I do is put shoes away.ALL DAY LONG.
They don’t even have that many shoes (except for Tilly. She inherits any too-small shoes, and she is like a mini Imelda Marcos,) but we’ll gloss over that fact, because, actually, she is not that bad at putting shoes away. But the other two, good bloody grief. They’re like shoe-shedding missiles on a mission to clutter up the living room/hall/playroom/stairs.
Tilly makes up for being quite good about shoes by generally ignoring anything I say, and shouting over other people when she feels the urge to give one of her long and extremely hard to follow state-of-the-nation-style address. She also gets changed approximately 14 times a day, (although she frequently eats meals naked) and doesn’t put any of her clothes away. No one remembers to put their dirty clothes in the washing basket (in fact, Will still says ‘but I don’t know where it is!’ even though it hasn’t moved in 4 years,) and if you ask them to set the table, they dump a load of cutlery in the middle and pour the cat a glass of water.
This is all despite the fact that we were reassured by all three of their teachers at parents’ evening last week that they were ‘beautifully behaved, very polite, and a pleasure to have in the classroom.’
The cat has taught Polly to hiss, which she now does whenever I ask her to do something. This is clearly charming, although not as charming as kicking her siblings when she thinks no one is watching, or Will belching the alphabet. When we are not listening closely enough to her long speeches, Tilly lets herself out and visits our elderly neighbour, who is too deaf to hear much of the monologue, but is too polite to interrupt. No one puts their bikes away. In short, my discipline policy has fallen apart entirely. If I were to be Ofsted-ed (terrifying thought) I would get totally failing, or whatever the rating is that makes parents flee from the catchment area as if they’ve been set on fire.
Today, on the way home from school, Polly said a swear word VERY loudly, as we were casually walking down a road full of retired people, with one of Will’s very polite friends.
When I stared at her in astonishment, she said ‘WHAT? H(child shall remain nameless) said it in the playground! It’s not that bad!’
I’m updating the bloody rules. No swearing.
Of course this blog is entirely undermined by the print that I chose for the living room. It says, in very bold type
DO NOT CONFORM.