The perils of parenting older children!
I recently went to a one year old birthday party and all of the other children present were much younger then my two and I got to thinking, gone are the difficulties of parenting a wobbly walker, a child who can’t speak and tell you what they want, or a highchair houdini. Those days are far behind me now, but it’s not to say that parenting older children doesn’t have it’s own challenges.
They can read. Please believe me that when you are sitting happily tapping out a text to your mate about how fit you think Stefan from the Vampire Diaries is, the last thing you want to hear is a strident voice over your shoulder piping up with; ‘Mummy why does a vampire need a diary and what’s a ‘good staking’? Do you mean you want to go to lunch with him? Do vampires eat steak?’ Er, yes darling, that’s exactly what Mummy means. Ahem.
They can open doors. And they do. The very minute you relax down into the bath with your book, the door handle will start to rattle before the door flies open and one, or sometimes both children will burst through the door, either chattering loudly about what they have been doing or airing their grievances and presenting their defense case with a passion. Then one will get in with you while the other sits and does a poo, both talking at you incessantly the entire time.
They can talk. And they do, a lot. You spend months and months encouraging them to talk and then suddenly, you can’t stop them! And whilst you love hearing what they have to say, sometimes, just sometimes, the blow by blow account of their day down to the very last millisecond can be slightly exhausting to listen to.
They can argue. With each other, with their friends, with their Dad, with me! There’s an answer for everything and you end up spending serious chucks of your day refereeing!
They pick up on things. ‘Mummy, what was that funny look you gave Aunty Sarah when she asked what time Daddy got in in Saturday? With your eyebrows all high and funny? Like this, look, like this, look, look, look Mummy. I’m doing it now, look, shall I ask Daddy?’
They tell other people stuff they really shouldn’t. ‘I told Miss today that we hadn’t done my homework because you said there were better things we could be doing on a lovely sunny day then sitting inside doing Maths and that you don’t think 6 year olds should have any homework and that in other countries children don’t even start school until they are 7 and they are all just fine’ Oops!
They understand things. Gone are the days of watching whatever the hell I wanted on tv with a baby on the boob and a tube of pringles by my side. Now anything over a U I have to watch furtively when they are out, or in bed, turned low so they won’t hear the inappropriate language or big vampirey slayer scenes! (It’s a problem, I’ve done about 4 series’ in a few months, I need a Vampire Diaries helpline!)
They repeat things they don’t understand. Don’t get me started on lyrics, when your children start dueting at the dinner table about ‘sexy bodies’ you know you need to change radio stations pronto! And trying to explain why something is inappropriate, minefield!
When I was on that sofa, my tiny baby on my lap, milk drunk, I never imagined she would ever get so big, I remember seeing someone’s facebook post about their little one turning 6 and thought it was so far off and suddenly, here we are with missing teeth and gangly limbs. So if you are in those newborn baby days, do make the most of it, all too soon they will be reading your texts over your shoulder and blurting out your secrets to the world! 😀