Sunday 31 January 2010

Dog Days Are Over

Day 106 of thinking of giving up smoking.

Day 15 on the wagon. ‘Tis easy when constantly driving dustblin lids here, there and everybleeding where. And abstaining certainly makes for a smoother morning.

Day 16 of Strictly Mommy. A bit like Strictly Dancing. Without the dancing. So that just leaves the Strict. My free-range parenting was a disservice to the dustbin lids and they were becoming selfish, incapable and anti-social. So strictly Mommy arrived, amid zero fanfare or warning. I promised to help them grow into confident, independent, happy, capable, considerate and sociable members of society. They need to learn there is no such thang as a free lunch. And with a little thought and effort comes great rewards. The new household mantra: ‘the lesson will be repeated, until the lesson is learnt’. They remain unimpressed.

The first days were the worst. The little one, despite declaring, loudly, a clear preference for the old mommy, adjusted quickly. Teengirl, after the initial shock that I was serious, predominantly knows which side her bread is buttered and, keen to earn a social life, realises there is time in her hectic days to do a few chores. To be fair they were not alien to her, just not that regular. Georgeous boy had a little more trouble adjusting. Yet even he has learnt when someone speaks to you: ignore them at your peril. On Day 2 he'd earnt his psp, but lost it after 3 minutes. The older ones were taught there’s no such thang as privacy on t’net and all net comms should be tailored for an inter-generational family gathering. I kindly explained, it's that or have me sit and supervise when you do earn time on line. Communicating on blackberries, they now realise, is not a god-given right.

By the end of the first week they’d largely got it. Lucky for me as frankly I’ve got better things to do, than constantly stuff my pockets with confiscated devices. I want to say Strictly Mommy is not a complete cow and would never take away books or music. And it doesn’t take much to earn a reward. But earn them they must. And as we enter week 3 I have (largely) taken my foot off the brake as they have (mostly) learnt these lessons. And, I’m sure, they won’t ever forget my birthday again.

Contrary to my own expectations I remain married. For better, For Worse. Since Yer Man’s return there have been some changes. Yet...some things remain the same. Dog blankets and underwear have, sadly, met again, in the laundry. The lesson, as they say, will be repeated, until the lesson is learnt.

Am off now to find an outfit with bigger pockets.