Monday, 24 September 2012

Lemsips and Tantrums

Somebody told me today what a credit to me my girls are. I thanked them and then relayed the following reality to them that sometimes occurs at Vivod, although thankfully not too often.

This weekend I had some deadly strain of the common cold and therefore spent the best part of the weekend on the sofa crocheting, stitching, reading, sleeping or generally just annoying the nest by reminding them just how ill I was. I trialled various combinations of cold remedies and painkillers to find that most were pretty pointless! It took all the energy I had to take child #3 to the skate park as promised on Saturday morning and that was about the only time I left the house all weekend!

By Sunday afternoon I did start to feel a little better and decided, as we had eaten that much convenience food and rubbish, that I would cook something nice for dinner as it was Sunday rather than the planned 'shove it in the oven and forget about it for 25 mins' meal I had as backup in case I didn't feel better. The cupboards were a bit bare as I would normally have shopped (at least online if not physically) but didn't even manage that so with a quick nip to the local 'One-stop' for a jar of sauce I rustled up a delicious Spaghetti Bolognese. All was well.

Child #2 had gone ice skating in the afternoon with friends but I knew that finished at 5 ish so I assumed cooking dinner for 6pm would be good. Now, let me explain first that Sunday Dinner in our house may not always be a traditional roast, but is ALWAYS a family event. Its the only meal that I insist on eating as a family, at the table, no excuses etc etc. As I share the nest with my ex partner that also means it only happens once a fortnight too and therefore the nest require almost written consent, with a month's notice, not to be present. Please also remember that whilst I was feeling better, I was far from 'well' at this point. This is what happened next...

5:45pm I realised that child #2 had not returned, so I rang her. No answer.
5:46pm I tried again. No answer.
5:48pm I text her 'Where are you? Dinner will be ready in 20 mins' (no kisses...I was already irritated!)
5:55pm I tried ringing her again. No answer! Hmmmm.
5:56pm She text. "Sorry forgot to tell you I'm having tea at hannahs and were going to watch the hockey match and it finishes at 9 xx"
5:57pm I removed myself from the kitchen ceiling after reading the text...(its SUNDAY!!!...what is she thinking!)
5:58pm I called her. She answered...

"I'm cooking your tea already, you didn't ok this with me, be home in 20 minutes please"

"But mum why??? why can't I go? Its not fair!! Please mum"


"But why???? I want to go, why can't I go??"

"You didn't ask, I'm cooking your tea now...get home!"

"I'm asking now though, but you wouldn't have let me anyway, even if I did ask"

"I might, but its Sunday"

"So?"  (SO??! SO!!!)

"What do you mean 'So'?? Its Sunday! We always eat as a family on know that!!"

"But why? I want to go"

"I'm not discussing this now...where are you...I will come and get you if I have to!!"

"By the shops, but why can't I go?"

"Which shop?! There are lots of shops!!"

"I don't know"

"Well turn around and look at what the shop is called and tell me!! And stop being awkward!"

"Ring you back in a minute"

Ring me back in a minute??? What? Is she trying to wind me up even more?!?!? At this point I stormed up the stairs to find child #1 in order to report to her how 'unbelievable' her sister was! And to mention that she might have to keep an eye on the now unwanted bolognese! She did struggle to keep a straight face but did her best to show support. She asked what exactly her sister had done as Child #2 dared to send another text...I rolled my eyes, turned to child #1 and said..." what she has done!!" whilst dialling child #2's number!

"We have discussed this. I've said No, and I have said I am coming to get you. Now tell me where you are."

"No."   "I want to go."

"I am giving you one last chance to tell me where you are now!"

"Why?? I want to go!"

"Right!...unless you want to surrender your phone, Ipod, internet access and freedom for the next week I suggest you tell me right now where you are!! I am rapidly losing my patience with you!"

"Fine. Sports shop"

"Right...stay there!!...I am on my way!"

I attempted to calm down, whilst locating car keys, and instructing child #1 as to what to do with dinner. (Child #3 was still chilling out on the sofa, watching TV around the chaos...not even batting an eyelid.)

I went to get her. To her credit she was exactly where she said she would be. Wise move. Now child #2 likes the final word, and likes to try and be a little pedantic at times like this. So she gets in the car in silence. Its only a 3 minute journey home but during which time we managed the following level of mature conversation...

"I'm going back out again after by the way"

"No you are not!!"

"Why not?!"

"Because you have annoyed me, and I say so"

"Well you have annoyed me"

"Well I don't care, I'm your mother and thats the end of it!"

"Well why can't I go out?"

"Because its Sunday and I'm not happy about your behaviour at school or at home" (what was I thinking here?!)

"My behaviour at home?"

"Yes, like this now..."

"but I'm not at home now"  "I'm in the car"

"Don't try and be clever now...this counts as home life you know!" (?? does it?)

"I'm not trying to be clever now"

"I think you are"

"I'm not"

"No you are not"


"Don't bother with this attitude!"

"I don't have an attitude!"

"Well you clearly do"

"No I don't"

"Do you want me to take your phone off you?"

"No, why?"

"Well carry on like this and I will"

"That's not the answer to everything mum, you can't just take my phone off me for everything"

"Yes I can"

"How can you"

"Because I can" (remind me who the adult is here?!)

"No you can't"

"Of course I can!"

"No...I won't let you"

"You don't have a choice!"

"Yes I do, its my phone"

"Shut up now...just shut up!" (So mature)

We arrived back home, exiting the car in silence. Child #2 headed upstairs. I headed for the wine and then remembered I was ill so put it back! I counted to 10, then to 20, then to 25 then gave up. I dished up dinner and realised that my chances of a happy family meal were somewhat shot at this point. Nevermind...its the principle remember! Remarkably child #2 came down for dinner in relatively good mood. Now, in the time between arriving back home and sitting at the table I had relayed the car conversation to child #1 who was now sat opposite me. I was also concerned that I may lose the exactly was I planning on getting the phone? I had images of myself ransacking child #2's bedroom in darkness with a miner's hat on trying to find the damn phone while she slept. It wasn't good.

The sacred phone chimed in child #2's pocket. No one moved. I accidentally caught the eye of child #1 who smirked...I had to look away and try not to laugh at this point. Child #1 and I made eye contact again and could no longer refrain from laughing. Child #2 then enquired what was so she extracted the said phone from her pocket and had the audacity to reply to it!!!  It took every bit of adult maturity (that I suddenly seemed to lack) and a bit of self reasoning not to end up wrestling with my, taller than me, 12 year old at the dining room table during a 'Sunday Family Meal' in some lame attempt to obtain the damn phone! Then I remembered the trump I didn't think of this to start with I can only put down to the lemsips! It was obvious now.  

I simply turned to child #2 and reminded her that I have control of her contract. With this in mind I simply had to report her phone lost and the sim would be deactivated immediately rendering her phone useless until they sent a new one and I decided to activate it. Child #1's face was a picture, she looked to her sister with a smile and look of 'Mum's won...what are you going to do now?' on her face! Child #2 sighed, sent a couple of texts and said "Here...have it...sod 2 weeks without a phone!"

Who said I can't use phone confiscation for everything? ;-)

Despite all this we had a lovely evening together, and consequently, once we had both calmed down and grown up a bit, I returned the phone to her later on. One thing I will say for my nest is that none of them hold a grudge, and we all realise that life is a lot better without so many tantrums so we all forgive pretty quickly too. It helps greatly.

I have blogged this purely for my own amusement later in life, but I hope some of you may be able to relate to it in the meantime.

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