Having two or more children,all boys in my case, has taught me all this and a little more….
1- You spend most of your day calling your child by the wrong name.You eventually will get the correct name for the correct child but by then they are being a smart arse “You picked my name! You should know it mammy” …. you are thrown back to your own childhood in an instance, feeling sorry for your poor mammy.
2- You are the judge, jury and executioner…”Mammy, maammmy! Mam, mam, mam…” You’re then told of the crime, with protests coming from one end of the couch, “He hit me first..I didn’t..He’s lying..” You’ve to determine in roughly five minutes, which one committed the crime, if they are guilty and what the punishment should be. You have to be seen to be fair. Personally, I punish them all. I find they ask you less and less to part take in future arguments.
3- You must have a strong stomach. School bags must be checked daily. Did you know that a half eaten sandwich, left for a week, can turn school books mouldy too? I learned that recently. Always, always check their bedrooms when you’ve noticed cups and plates have disappeared.
4- “Mammy, smell my finger”, never ends well, despite their promises that it’s nothing horrible…it is..it always is.
5- “I dunno” is universal,it can mean: I don’t know, I did it, he did it but I’m not telling, Am I in trouble if I confess to this…..
6- You must listen to each story about school, the playground or about the neighbourhood kid as you will be asked to repeat this when daddy gets home. “What’s up little man?” (Dad may notice small child sulking on the step of the stair) ” Ask mam, I can’t tell it all over again, I’m too upset”. My trick here is to simply, pat said child’s head, “ahh pet, it’s your story, you can tell daddy when you’re ready to”. 6 out of 10 times this works….the other four times ,I am accused of not listening while he poured his heart out to me while I was changing the acrobatic baby’s nappy…or while I was doing speech and language therapy with his other brother- kids have a certain ‘knack’ for timing.
7- You must lock the bathroom door. I cannot stress this enough. Even when daddy is home. LOCK.THE DOOR. They don’t care if you are in the loo, or trying to have a shower, they will walk right in and ask you “Can I…” mainly because dad has already said no.
8- Ahh,the dangerous -“Can I’s?”….They will ask when you are busy. They will ask all at once. They will be in a rush. They will be hopping from one foot to the other, not unlike the “oh I need the loo” dance——do not , I repeat, do not agree to anything until you can give them your full attention.
9- No body knows how the baby got a hair cut. NOBODY knows… they know when I don’t have the time to play detective …they can be thick as thieves when it benefits them. They will stick together. But, there’s always a weak link, it’s amazing what a bit of chocolate can coax out of a child. FYI.
10- They are dirty, messy, busy, nosey, loud, rough,tough and full of questions…they are however also full of love, cuddles, laughter, fun, adventure and they make my house a home…an untidy one…but a home all the same.