“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well”

Before I was 30 I’d have said I wasn’t a fan of children, I didn’t like them one bit.
They absolutely weren’t for me and I’d never have one.
Ever.

Then I hit 30 and was struck with an overwhelming urge to procreate.
I don’t know where it came from or why, but there it was and so,a couple of years later I found myself with two children all of my very own.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a fan of children, or more specifically children that aren’t mine.
My children are fabulous, I adore every last little bit of them but other children?
Nope.
To be fair it’s not ALL children. I can probably count on mine and Rory’s hands the children I DO like. Rory is exactly the same.
We are both quite intolerant of OPC.

Other People’s Children*.
We tend to avoid soft play due to OPC.
A trip to a wildlife park will result in one of us rolling our eyes and uttering “bloody OPC”. (I’m aware this makes us sound like terrible people. Don’t worry, we LOVE your child/ren).

Alas, a while ago an OPC entered our house for a ‘playdate’.

It was a difficult time.

The first thing the OPC did was ask for food, luckily I was biscuit prepared (I usually avoid having biscuits in because, you know, I eat them).
We dished out squash and biscuits, all was good.
I was the hostess with the mostest.
Then OPC spotted Seth’s Paw Patrol character.

OPC –   “Urgh, my sibling likes Paw Patrol”
Aoife – “I do too!”
OPC –  “But it’s soooooo babyish”
Aoife – “No it’s not”
OPC –   “hff yes it is! It’s babyish”
Me – *thinks, look mate, you’re 6 not 16*
Me – “It isn’t, I love Paw Patrol, Chase is my favourite”
Rory – “Marshall is mine”
Aoife – “Skye is mine”
OPC – “Skye is my favourite too”
Nice back pedal pal.

Rory leaves the house!

They decide to go upstairs, the only rule is not to go into my bedroom. Pretty easy rule.

I hear them in my bedroom.
I shout up
“Can you get out of my bedroom please?”
OPC – “But the cats are in there and I want to see them”
Me – “But I don’t want you in my room please.”
OPC – “The cats are in there though”
Me – “I know, I think they’re probably hiding from you both”
OPC – *hisses at cats*
OPC – “Come here cats. What are they called?”
Me –  “Louis and Xabi, now please just come out of my room”
OPC – “Sit, sit, come here”
OPC – *hiss noises”
Me – “Please. Just. Come. Out. Of. My. Room”

They come downstairs.

OPC – “Let’s play ‘Dont’ take Buster’s bones**'”
Aoife – “No, I don’t like it. It scares me”
OPC – “But I WANT  to play it”
Me – “Aoife, if your friend wants to play it maybe you could have one game?”
Aoife – *hesitates*
Aoife – “Well OK, but don’t put Buster close to me”
OPC – “OK”

* frantic barking and a shriek*

Aoife – “Mummy, OPC pointed Buster at me and made him bark on purpose and he scared me”
Me – “OPC, that wasn’t nice. Aoife told you she was scared of it so it’s pretty mean to do that.”
OPC – “If you don’t like it, I’ll just take it to my house. I’ll have it”
Me – “It’s ok here thank you”
OPC – “I’m hungry”
Me – “You had a biscuit”
OPC – “Yeah, only one though. At home I have two”
Me – “But you’ll be going home for your lunch soon”
OPC – “Well I’m still hungry”
Me – “Well there’s no more biscuits”

OPC – *Points to reindeer teddy*
OPC – “Really!? Why do you have a CHRISTMAS teddy when it’s not Christmas”
Me – *1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10*
Me – “Because I would be silly to get the teddy out only for December when Aoife and Seth can play with it all year”
OPC – “REALLY!?! Why do you still have an advent calendar up?”
Me – “Because we haven’t finished it”
OPC – “Why not?”
Me – “We’ve been busy?”
OPC – “Really!?! I’ll take it home”
Me – “It’s ok thanks, it’s fine just where it is”

Rory returns and enters kitchen looking busy,

Aoife – “Do you want to dress up? I have lots of dresses”
OPC – “No, I’m going to do drawing”
Me – “Actually, your responsible adult will be here soon so we’re not getting the colouring out. Can you both start to tidy the toys away please?”
OPC – “No.”
Me – “Oh”

I leave room, re-enter. OPC is drawing I go to kitchen

Me  – “I’m glad it’s not just my own children who ignore me.”

I tag Rory in.

OPC’s responsible adult comes to collect.
RA – “did OPC behave?”
Rory – “Yes. Absolutely fine”

They leave.

Aoife- “That was fun, can OPC come to play again soon?”
Me- “You barely played together, OPC was pretty rude and just wanted to take all your things home. Did you honestly have a good time?”
Aoife – “Yes!”
Me – “Really?!?”

I’m proud that Aoife is a better person than me, seeing the good in everyone.
Still, nothing makes you appreciate your own children like an hour with OPC.

*Not even remotely to do with the book by the same name.
**Buster’s Bones is a game where you must try and take a dogs bones without waking him, if you do he snarls and barks and it’s pretty terrifying.

Identities are purposely vague to avoid identification.
It totally wasn’t your child though.
Honest *winky face*

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