“Please can I leave the table?” “Well you can’t take it with you” I was about eleven when I finally got what this meant!
More and more recently I’ve caught myself sounding like my mum. Now don’t get me wrong, my mum is fantastic but I’m sure we can all think back to our childhood and remember things our grown ups said that made no sense at all and resulted in us rolling our tiny eyes or just thinking “what are you chatting about woman?
I always told myself I wouldn’t say those weird, nonsensical kinds of things.
Ever….. “I don’t care if X’s parents let them do that, if X jumped off a bridge would you want to?”
Why would I even ask that? It’s not like Aoife is going to turn around and say “actually Mummy, I would.” Unless she meant she’d bungy jump. In which case I’d reply with a swift “Over my dead body”. “I’ve spent ages slaving over a hot stove cooking this meal just for you”
What the actual heck? For starters, who in the 21st century calls it a stove? It’s an oven. I’m pretty sure that all over the world it’s called an oven. I don’t think it’s been called a stove since the early 1900s. Secondly, I’ve not ‘slaved’ by any stretch of the imagination. I cooked a while. It probably took maybe half an hour. I was not forced. I did it by choice. There was no slavery of any sorts involved in cooking the meal which, to be fair, I probably wouldn’t eat either as I have tried to cunningly hide about seven different vegetables in it. “We look with our eyes, not with our hands!” Obviously we look with our eyes. We FEEL with our hands. Could I be more patronising? I also don’t know why I always say ‘we’. I have absolutely no problem with touching stuff that isn’t mine. “If you don’t tidy those toys away I’ll just throw them all in the bin” No I actually won’t, for two reasons. 1) I spent money on those toys and I’m not just throwing them away. Worst case scenario for the children is I’ll send them to a refuge. The toys not the children. 2) I really can’t be bothered to gather the toys and put them anywhere. If I could be bothered I’d tidy them away myself. “I spent good money on that and you don’t even appreciate it” This makes the least sense, what is ‘good’ money? How does it differ from ‘bad’ money? I don’t have a secret stash of ‘bad’ money lying around to buy things that shouldn’t be appreciated. And of course my children don’t appreciate stuff, they are 2 & 5. They don’t know what it means to appreciate so they can’t appreciate. Besides, they’re at a time in life where shit just appears whenever they want it, and sometimes when they don’t. “Why do I waste my breath?” Well, mainly so that I feel like I have a bit of a grip on this rollercoaster ride called parenting and probably to also reassure myself of my own existence every now and then. There’s nothing like the sound of your own voice to remind you you’re alive in the midst of an existential crisis. “Why would you do that?” Generally used when something has been drawn on or broken, the answer is obvious. Curiosity!
‘Would red look good on this wall?’
‘What does this do?’
‘How does this work?’
THAT’S why they would do that. “I am so disappointed” I don’t have the energy to let you know how very fucking cross I am when I know that you really couldn’t care less and will likely go do that VERY same thing again in a minute. “Why do I bother?” Well. And this one is the most obvious. It’s because I love you so much and would move heaven and earth for you. That’s why I bother.