Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Civil Disobedience...

....Boy #2 Styley

The time: Last Friday evening
The place: my parent's house

It's dinner time for the Boys. Boy #1, delighting in his Granny Food - which of course always tastes so much better than the almost identical meal I cooked for him the previous day - is tucking in with unaccustomed vigour. Boy #2 is being a little more lackadaisical about the whole thing, and I find myself spoon-feeding him in an attempt to get him to eat a respectable amount before bathtime. Despite the fact that we have forgotten the travel high-chair, all is going well, until I notice he is slumped over his plate like a recalcitrent teenager...

Me: "Boy #2. Can you take your elbow off the table please?"

Boy #2 looks at me. If he could raise an eyebrow, he would. He takes his elbow off the table.

Me: "Thankyou."

Boy #2 slowly and deliberately puts his other elbow on the table instead.

Me: "Very funny. Could you please take that elbow off the table?"

Boy #2: "Why?"

Me: "Because it's rude to have your elbows on the table whilst you're eating. Please take it off."

He looks at me, considering his options, then takes his elbow off the table. Thirty seconds later, watching me whilst he does it, he slowly and carefully puts both elbows on the table at once.

Me: "Elbows off the table Boy #2 please. Now."

Boy #2: "Why?"

Me: "Because I'm asking you to."

No reaction.

Me: "And because if you don't, I will fetch the high chair from the garage and you will have to sit in that, rather than in a grown-up chair like you are doing now."

Boy #2 looks at me for a few seconds longer, then even more slowly and carefully, takes both elbows off the table and sits up straight. He glances at his grandmother who is barely holding it together on the other side of the room. He looks back at me, and grins, eyes twinkling. "OK. Love you, mama!"

Give me strength.

The latest reports, after a few days away from my beloved sons (more of which in my next post), are that both of them have behaved like little angels. Of course...


  1. Ah ha... sounds so familiar! Small Child delights in washing her hands REALLY slowly when she's just negotiated that last wee before bedtime! (i.e. when we're actually still in the bathroom I offer her a wee opportunity - she says no - she'd rather wait until that moment just before I turn the light out!).
    But you gotta love 'em!

  2. Why does one so often get the feeling that they are cleverer than one? (Sorry about the pretentious 'one's, but when I wrote it with 'you' in there, it sounded like I was commenting on your, Potty Mummy's, intelligence levels, whereas it was intended as a comment about parents everywhere).

  3. Oh wow...what a character! And isn't it great when they act up in front of the grandparents? And then said grandparents laugh? Good times. Good times.

  4. Why are they behaving so well? - Have you ever thought that the grandparents, relieved of their parental responsibilities, are bribing your little ones with sweeties, and other sugary crap? Have you ever noticed that the rules by which you were brought up have vanished into the ether?
    It's a big plot.

  5. Ho Ho PM, as if you would be told any different! Not to say that they weren't little angels but.... On the extremely rare occasion my Mother looked after my cherubs (twice, if memory serves me well) SHE would tell me they had been 'as good as gold' and THEY would each tell me later what the other one had done that wasn't so good or that I would have not allowed. Funnily enough, just as Expat mum says, those old rules I and my sisters had lived under no longer seemed to apply! Especially the sweeties ones!!

  6. He certainly has wit and charm!

  7. Why are they always so good for grandparents? And why do grandma's peas always taste nicer?

  8. My great granddaughters are not good for me, so where do I go wrong?

  9. Haha PM - they are too too clever. We've had that situ where little person pushes the boundaries just to get the laugh from the grandparent/aunty, actually, whoever is visiting the house at the time. Wasn't it Shakespeare who put is so well saying, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women (insert: children here) merely players."

  10. Sounds like you won the battle eventually though! Elbows on the table are the least of our teatime worries - more like cutlery, bowls and the rest thrown forcibly on the floor....

  11. What a character! He sounds like good fun - you don't want a goody-goody all the time.

  12. I think it's not true that grandchildren behave well for their grandmothers, mine doesn't anyway. He wants to get away with as much as he can and I'll let him. I think those other grandmothers tell fibs.


Go on - you know you want to...