Saturday nonsense.

>> Saturday, 5 April 2008

I'm in the thick of the 'mummy wars' at the moment. Both my delightful sons have set their sights on only one objective; my attention.

  • Boy #1 wants a story. Boy #2 demands a drink.
  • Boy #2 wants to help with the cooking. Boy #1 needs his bottom wiping.
  • Boy #1 wants a cd. Boy #2 refuses to let me up from my chair as he is sitting on my lap (and then, to assert his dominance over his brother still further, leans forward and lets rip. Charming).

This morning, to break the deadlock, I gathered up the results of my most recent clothing cull and yomped to Oxfam with both Boys in tow. Note; drop-offs at charity shops where the Boys' clothes are involved are invariably at lightning speed these days; mainly because, having delivered clothes that have mostly been worn by two active youngsters, I'm worried that the good souls in Oxfam will take one look at the contents of the bags and hand them straight back to me. Especially in our area, where unworn Christian Dior and Calvin Klein baby clothes regurlarly appear on their shelves... Somehow I think that our worn-out Gap and M&S may not cut it. So I do a smash & grab in reverse, hustling the boys into the shop, practically throwing the bag at the counter, and high-tailing it out of there as fast as our legs and the buggy can make it, before they even think to open up the booty...

So, we set off. I was in my dark glasses, Boy #2 was doing his Buddha impersonation in our pantechnicon buggy, and Boy #1 was on his scooter. In between asking me whether we were nearly there yet, falling off due to cracks in the pavement, and demanding unscheduled stops for snacks, he announced that he was 'exhausted' His legs were 'bendy'. He was 'incapable of scooting any more'. Repeatedly. This was on a walk of around 15 minutes each way...

But it put me in mind of a conversation I had with a friend this week. Her two sons are similar ages to the Boys, and she mentioned in passing that her younger one - H - is not really speaking yet.

There was a pause - I think in her case in expectation of an exclamation of horror or sympathy from me. Privately, I was thinking 'you lucky devil', but after a suitable interval I asked if this was a problem.

Friend: "Well, no, not really. But I met up with X on Tuesday and she mentioned that H is not really speaking, and asked me if I was worried. Should I be worried?"

H is not yet two.

Now, I have an opinion on people with opinions on other people's children. Namely, that they should keep them to themselves. Because frankly, unless learning difficulties are involved, by the time they are 4, most children will be at similar levels. I remember when Boy #1 was the same age as H. Barely a syllable passed his lips. I was completely unruffled by this - because I knew that with two languages being spoken at home, he was going to take much longer to start than children with only one. Plus - without generalising - he's a boy. And let's face it, we all know that girls start talking earlier (and then don't stop).

In fact, it wasn't until Boy #1 was more than three that he really started motoring in the conversation department. But with 'incapable' and 'exhausted' featuring in his vocabulary now, I feel justified in not having been overly bothered about the delay. And rather cross with the competitive mothers who told me I should be...

I told my friend not to worry. And asked if she really was that desperate to have two little angels correcting her driving skills from the back seat of the car...

Am off to the garden now with my cherubs - and am hoping not to trip over a bag of clean but rather crumpled Gap and M&S children's clothes returned to my doorstep...


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Iota 5 April 2008 at 17:12  

Gap and M&S? Blimey. That's a bit upmarket. Don't you have Mackays and Primark in K&C? (don't answer that).

I think you should send Boy #1 to America, where he will find many a kindred spirit. Most people here would think a 30 minute walk or scooter trip for a preschooler was bordering on child abuse. (The sad thing is, you will think I'm joking, and I'm not - well, exaggerating perhaps, but only slightly.)

Iota 5 April 2008 at 17:12  

Gap and M&S? Blimey. That's a bit upmarket. Don't you have Mackays and Primark in K&C? (don't answer that).

I think you should send Boy #1 to America, where he will find many a kindred spirit. Most people here would think a 30 minute walk or scooter trip for a preschooler was bordering on child abuse. (The sad thing is, you will think I'm joking, and I'm not - well, exaggerating perhaps, but only slightly.)

aims 5 April 2008 at 17:22  

Oh oh! Tell scooter boy that he's lucky he's on a scooter. I just finished reading a news article that says they are trying to levy a $50 fee in your area for cars with higher emissions driving into the city.

All the time I was reading it I kept thinking - don't I know someone who lives in that area?

Unless of course those emissions he's giving out exceed the limit - he's still probably safe for a couple of years.

Mya 5 April 2008 at 17:49  

I SO agree with you about other Mums who offer opinions. I remembering being very upset when someone I know not that well, suggested my son had OCD. This was based on the fact that he had lined his toy cars up in a row. I laughed at the time and tried to make a joke of it, but it didn't half annoy me. Pah! Grrr. Ooh - I'm going to have to go and kick something now.

Mya x

Potty Mummy 6 April 2008 at 01:05  

Hi TV. Thanks for the visit and the blogroll...

Iota - firstly, I won't answer that.... Secondly; am sure Boy #1 has been in touch with Social Services already.

aims; do NOT get me started on what is essentially a tax by another name. Our mayor is a despot who will, god willing, be out of a job by the end of the summer. Having said that, there are more numpties out there than most realise, so who knows?

Note: our car does not have the higher emissions. But that's not the point...

Mya, hope the thing you found to kick was sturdy enough. I always find that a concrete step usually does the trick!

Sweet Irene 6 April 2008 at 05:49  

I don't miss that part of the comparing and superior mothers at all. The ones that were always trying to make their kids look better than mine, smarter, quicker, cuter, whatever...

I want to say to them, "Well, guess what? My kid died sooner than yours did! I've got you beat there, don't I?"

Really, women! Life is so short. Get over it!

Not you, Potty Mum.

ped crossing 6 April 2008 at 07:13  

How can people not realize that all children develop differently and at different rates? And then keep their opinions to themselves. I am pretty sure that one of my boys teachers thinks that I am totally in denial because I am so laid back about his reading.

Oh well. Everyone is just too competitive these days.

Frog in the Field 6 April 2008 at 08:11  

I have an opinion on almost everything!

Potty Mummy 6 April 2008 at 14:03  

Irene, I second that. It seems such a shame to keep rushing your children from one milestone to the next when they are little for such a short time...

Hi Ped, not sure if you watch any British tv shows but if you've ever seen The Fast Show (collection of sketches, probably about 10 - 15 years old by now scarily) there's a great character called Competitive Dad. Which does exactly what it says on the tin - and is just what we're talking about...

Frog - really?

Grit 6 April 2008 at 18:21  

once in our local rspca shop a man came in, very anxious, and asked to take back the black bag he'd just given them. He'd brought them the household rubbish in error. i have always thought that if i get into difficulties at drop-off point, that would be a good line to use.

Carolyn 7 April 2008 at 07:03  

I totally agree with your advice to your friend. Csilla hardly spoke more than ten words until her second birthday. Now, at three, she is extremely verbal with an amazing vocabulary. Personally, I think she wasn't talking because she was just observing and taking everything in.

As Ped said, children develop at different rates and there's no reason to worry...

Carolyn 7 April 2008 at 07:03  

ps - ooops. I was so immersed in your post that I forgot to tell you there's an award at my place for you...

Potty Mummy 7 April 2008 at 13:14  

Grit, that's hilarious (and yes, whilst we're at it, and excellent excuse...)

Carolyn, firstly thankyou for the award! I will be over to pick it up pdq. Secondly, your first comment reminded me of a story (probably a myth, but what the hell) about Einstein. Apparantly he didn't speak at all until he was 4 years old. When he finally did, it was at a lunch to say "this soup is cold." Of course, his family was amazed. "Why didn't you talk before?" they asked. The answer? "Because everything was in order until now." Scary - but cool...

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