Excuse yesterday’s radio silence, we were busy decorating the living room with festive sparkly crap. Normal service is resumed.
A lot of public shaming goes on within my family. Don’t get me wrong, I do not do it to the kids. That is not my kind of shit. But they have no problem with doing it to me.
All the freaking time.
Take yesterday, for example. We were picking Big Girl up late because she had gymnastics after school. Little Girl was tired. Shattered in fact. That kid is suffering badly from almost-the-end-of-term-itis.
Most of the walk went ok. We chatted and picked up stones and dodged around dog crap. The usual. But then as we reached school, she decided to mix it up a bit.
By ripping her hand out of mine while we were halfway across the road.
Luckily there were no cars coming, but obviously I had to have words. I have to put my hands up here and admit that I goofed.
I may, or may not, have asked her to listen.
So there she was, blank-faced and stubbornly refusing to come anywhere near me. And time was ticking away. I did what any parent would do, and went to take her hand and lead her up the street.
Quick as a flash, she twisted away from me and threw herself onto the floor. And the way she did it made it look like I had just shoved her over.
Thanks for that.
I lifted her up off the floor and started walking her to the school. She utterly refused to hold my hand, so I held her wrist. Loosely, I might add. As we went through the gates, she started to shriek, “Ow! OW, you’re hurting me! That huuuurts!”
Then she flopped to the floor again. And made it look like I pushed her again. Twice.
I did not know that someone could be so damn good at this.
I stood there, face burning. I couldn’t see myself at that point, but I’m pretty sure I was pinking up. Parents I know started to walk past, and I smiled and greeted them. All the while, Little Girl kicked and howled.
I was not epic parenting that day.
The good news is that she did calm down after, oh, fifteen minutes or so. And then proceeded to trip and fall flat on her face three (yes, three!) times on the way home.
Never have I been so relieved to see my own front door. I’m never leaving the house again.
The next story is about Little Girl again. I think public shaming is a very 3 year old thing to do.
We were out shopping for dinner supplies. As we wandered around the shops, I chatted to her about what we were going to do for the rest of the day. She didn’t give a crap, but I find it stops me from accidentally falling asleep standing up.
“When we’ve picked up Big Girl,” I said, “I’ll make us some nice dinner.”
“I sit next to Daddy?” she asked, looking up at me hopefully. For some reason, no one wants to sit next to me at the table. Now, I’ve smelled myself. That is definitely not the problem. But the very prospect of it makes their faces drop.
I try not to take it personally. (That is a lie.)
I nodded. Her face lit up, and she continued, “Yay! I not sit next to Mummy again.”
I jokily replied, “Thanks dude, I love you too.”
Apparently, I stepped out of line at this point. But not to worry. She exacted her revenge almost immediately.
She grinned, and said (loudly), “Fanny!”
Bear in mind, we were smack bang in the middle of a shop at this point. I guess experimenting with words is Little Girl’s new trick.
I’m going to finish up by throwing in a story about Big Girl. You know, for equality purposes and all.
When Little Girl was about 8 weeks old, I ventured out to the park with both of them. I was obviously feeling brave. Little Girl was tucked up in her wrap and snoozing away, and Big Girl had a ball climbing and sliding and swinging and shit. Until I said it was time to go.
By turning around and legging it straight out of the park. Which, incidentally, is right next to a road.
I followed her as fast as I could. Which was incredibly slowly. I was trying to balance up getting to her with not damaging the tiny baby tied to my chest. It was far from awesome.
I did reach her in the end, just as she reached the edge of the road. I grabbed her and pulled her to me.
Embarrassing enough already, right?
Ha! No. It got worse. I don’t know if it was the shock of running away or of being caught, but whatever it was, her body couldn’t hack it.
So she fainted.
So not cool. She was fine though. Apparently it’s not that uncommon a reaction to shock in children. Which is irrelevant, in my opinion. Because it still doesn’t look good.
I’m thankful that Squeak hasn’t quite reached the point of embarrassing me in public yet. Apart from the time she managed to crap through a nappy, vest, sleepsuit, cardigan and sling. In 0.2 seconds.