Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Keeping me in the loop

As a professional communications person, you’d expect more from me. Here are some examples, and these are not invented or embellished, of typical interactions in my house at the moment:

With James, nine: James, could you tidy your room? James, could you tidy your room? JAMES! Tidy your room! Ok Dad. Is it tidy yet, James? Yes Dad. What are all those clothes all over the floor? Oops, sorry Dad. Is it tidy now, James? Yes Dad. (Goes through to room to find clothes still on floor, a makeshift camp set up in the bottom bunk, and what appears to have been the aftermath of an incendiary device detonated in a tub of yoghurt all over the school bags… James is attempting to ride his scooter, but the lego blocks are jamming the wheels. At this point, I lose patience. Right! Do you want to not get tuckshop money on Friday? (His pocket money)… This usually works. Kinda.

Hannah, six: Hannah? Why are you crying? Silence. Hannah what’s wrong? Silence. Can I help you with something? Silence, muffled sobs. Getting worried now- Hannah? Are you feeling sick? Muffled yes… nod… Oh dear! What kind of sick? My ears and my tummy. Good grief, it’s earandtummylitis! So, Hannah, you have swimming at school today? (At this point she breaks down… Idon’twantoswimIhateswimmingIcan’twaaaah). Me, kicking self for saying the S word- you don’t have to, you can just sit on the side of the pool. But it’s too late- what follows is half an hour of gentle cajoling.

Jonah, nearly three: Jonah, breakfast! I don’ wan breakfast. You have to eat, boy, we’re going soon. I don wan breakfast, can I watch a Nemo? No, You have to eat breakfast! (He runs away). Come Jonah, you can have this yoghurt (Opens yoghurt which will go rancid in heat and be ignored). I don wanna yoghurt. Randomly: He wants a hippo. (Make toast which won’t be eaten). Come, Jonah, eat this toast. He dernt like atoast. Please eat, Jonah, I’m begging you! He wants a chocolate. No! You can have cereal (make bowl of cereal which won’t be eaten) OK, (me, gritting teeth) I’m going to get ready, then…. Pause… Daddy, he wants a breakfast…

It isn’t the isolation of these things that catches me off guard, and drives me mad, but that these scenes are repeated all day, every day, and I haven’t sat down to figure out how to stop them. I know I should be figuring out a way to unravel this Gordian knot, but I think my brain will unravel first, if it hasn’t already.

Love this communicating.


  1. James has a compatriot in the I-ignore-requests-to-tidy-my-room in the form of my 9-year old, Emma.

    The worst of it is usually she is preoccupied with reading a book and will NOT stop to put it down to do her I only get PARTLY mad about it.

  2. Ha! James is also prone to reading for hours ata stretch, and it is difficult to tell him not to read... But then, you should see his room sometimes- he is oblivious to mess.


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