Child for Sale
Oh that was cathartic. O.K. a warning if you are not the sort of person who can empathise with a mothers need to club her child over the head with a baby seal from time to time please read no further.
Today has just been one of those days and having just spent 10 minutes trailing around the house after a pyjama clad toddler who point blank refuses to go to bed without her plastic tea pot I am seriously considering putting both of my children on eBay.
Sally didn’t sleep well last night, consequently neither did I. Sadly Helen slept a little too well and thus declined her afternoon nap, depriving me of mine. Sally’s afternoon nap was brutally cut short by a bad case of poopus interuptus meaning that by five o’clock I was grumpy and frazzled and both of my children were orbiting the ceiling.
5 O’clock is usually a happy time when Allan arrives home and interacts with the children whilst I cook dinner. Sadly on a Monday night Allan goes to fire brigade training. (Really this means he stands around gossiping like an old woman whilst dressed in his fire fighting finery) While he is out enjoying himself I have to cook tea, then bathe and bed the two little monkeys. A job which usually fully occupies both of us. Tonight after cooking a gourmet meal of frozen pizza, baked beans and broccoli (well one must have some standards) I spent around an hour trying to tempt Helen to the table. She has recently discovered the concept of picnics. As a result a number of pop up cafes have sprung up around our home. In these locations various toy animals are treated to a variety of delicacies such as plastic toast, plastic potato, wooden fruit, plastic chicken drumstick, building blocks and (my personal favourite) mouldering apple. I found a cache under a chair in the kitchen which had obviously been there for some time today. These feeding areas are as sacrosanct as any religious site and cannot be interfered with under any circumstances even though the high chair the rats sit in entirely obstructs access to Helen’s own booster seat. Furthermore once mealtime is announced Helen then has to make her rounds of the catering establishments checking that the needs of the toys are all met before she can possibly imagine eating something herself. Whilst I admire her Little House on the Prarie – esq principles I really wish she would just sit down at the table and eat her dinner.
Once she had deigned to join us at the table she demanded a wholegrain cracker (because Sally had one) then proceeded to pile beans on top of it and then refuse to eat it because it looked ‘minging’. She did eat most of her pizza but sneaked her broccoli onto Sally’s tray when she thought I wasn’t looking – Sally was looking though and that broccoli was a goner in no time.
Helen is always good whilst I am putting Sally to bed because I bribe her with children’s television. Even better Cbeebies end at 7pm which is exactly when I lay Sally down so usually we don’t even have to argue over my brutal turning off of the television mid programme. Not tonight though – Helen almost burst into tears at my high-handed turning off of the blank screen.
Next she refused to open her mouth to have her teeth brushed – I can’t remember what dire threat I came up, perhaps I threatened to pull the plug out of the bath but anyway I won and finally I had her pyjamas on and we were onto the home straight of bedtime. We were onto the second story and my mind had wandered longingly to a cool class of white wine when Helen suddenly announced that she needed a picnic in bed and leaped up to start gathering the necessary utensils. I staunchly continued the story but eventually I could not ignore her increasingly passionate demands for her plastic teapot. A quick tour of the house failed to uncover the necessary tableware. I tried reasoning with her – you don’t really need a teapot in bed surely a cup of tea will be enough. Negotiation – I can’t find the teapot but you can have Sally’s caterpillar. I tried being firm – Helen I’m getting quite cross now; you’re just going to have to go to bed without your teapot. The final threat resulted in the flappy hands and jutting lip of the overtired two year old on the verge of a major tantrum. We searched the house again.
Eventually she was snuggled up in bed with the teapot (which we had found in the tumble drier) a plastic roasting dish, a ladle and the toy rats (oh and Sally’s caterpillar). I was about to start my rendition of twinkle twinkle little star when Helen played her trump card and announced that there were pets in her bed. I don’t know where these pets have come from but every time Helen goes to bed it is now overrun with pets – species unspecified. There appear to be so many of them that Helen could not possibly get in beside them. Oh no! I must pick them up and carry them to a cardboard box in the utility room (kept there specifically for that purpose) in which they will sleep. Oftentimes the pesky creatures will escape during the night and Allan or I will be summoned to remove them which we do with increasingly bad grace as the hour grows later. I don’t know where the idea came from. Her imagination astounds me. We also have a family of pigs living with us who frequently wave at Helen and make extremely funny jokes when I’m not listening. If I had my way all of these unwanted house guests would be banished down to the weaves but Helen won’t hear of it.
Anyway both children are now safely tucked up in bed. I am ignoring the cavorting and giggling coming from Helen’s room. No doubt the pigs are keeping her entertained. Now I’ve vented I’m off to look for that glass of wine.