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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Adam and Eve - knowledge begets bounce

I put down my book by Ruth Rendell to think. ["Adam and Eve" and Pinch Me] I contemplate the many ways I have unwittingly tortured my children since babyhood.

All those supposedly innocent little ditties, nursery rhymes and games. We all know them, "round and round the garden," "pinch punch, 1st of the month," "the incy winsy" spider,’…….an endless list. Each and every one of them, has it’s own unique twist of a flick knife, but I didn’t know that at the time. Anyone with more than one brain cell would have cottoned on [translation = realized] that although I tried to engage my children, what I was really doing was beating them with a very large, noisy, prickly stick.

I decided that the ‘oldies’ might not be ‘goldies.’ I even went as far as to purchase a new book on 101 ways to entertain your baby, in the hope that I could improve my skill set and become a little more up to date. As with most things I tried in those days, it was another unmitigated failure. It seemed that there was nothing I could do to induce a smile. Their happiness quotient was independent of my input. Indeed it would be more accurate to say that most of their misery was caused directly by me, no matter how innocently. [translation = ignorantly] It seemed impossible to teach a "primigravidae" [translation = old first time mum] new tricks. [note 1 below]

But of course, that was a long time ago now. I re-evaluate the ditty – Adam and Eve and Pinch Me, went down to the river to bathe. Adam and Eve were drowned. Who do you think was saved? And the response is……altogether now….. ‘pinch me!’ Then you pinch them and everybody laughs, or most people do, especially little people.

As with most things, what was true a week or two ago, [translation = or month, or year] is not necessarily true now. I wonder if it’s worth having another go? What is the likelihood of meltdowns? How many people will have meltdowns? Will they be really, really bad meltdowns, simultaneous ones? Maybe I’ll be really lucky and they’ll just ignore me, or not get it, or be indifferent? I strategize timing factors, variables such as their current mood, their absorption in their activities, as I don’t want my ‘intervention’ to become an interruption or present itself as a transition. [translation = stop one thing and start another]

I dither a wee while until the moment presents itself. They are at the table for dinner. I have read several picture books to entertain them and distract them from the hideousness that is dinner. They are mellow. [ish] I tentatively suggest a change of tactic, a minor diversion from story telling, a little joke, a tiny one, just for their delectation. There is a fluttering of apprehension, dissent, minor protestations followed by resignations. I capture three pairs of eyes and sputter my way through the lines. I smile. I wait a response. I count. I include 'ands.' Brains in small craniums process words, retrieve others, connect the dots. I can hear them whir, the brains that is to say ....…….

“PERwinch me!” spews junior spraying us all with half masticated wieners as he guffaws.
“Ah!” bellows senior, throwing himself back on his chair to collide with the dresser, hurling sweetcorn kernels in a shower of amusement.
“Huh?!” frowns my daughter……

I pinch her, gently, just because I can.

[note 1] Although I already had a daughter, as far as the medical profession was concerned it was so long ago that my body believed it was the first time I was pregnant. Like a virgin all over again!]


Heidi said...

good work! and 'huh?' is a response! My boys would rather watch telly than hear me sing any time. Although I think I do a pretty good rendition of 'Bob The Builder'.
Greetings from not-so-sunny London!

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Primigravida means a mom who is in her first pregnancy, it doesn't indicate the age of the mom. A mom could be16 years old and be primigravida. Though primagravida does sound OLD for some reason. I was a primagravida at age 20. When I was pregnant the second time I was no longer primagravida.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you tried: it sounds like it was fun.

I feel lucky in that mine like a wide range of games (with and without annoying ditties), even the little one. Another way of sneaking in OT, in our household. We also like to play monster games where they are just chased willy-nilly through the house like crazies until mommy is too tired to go further.

Melissa said...

Keep trying... you just never know what might happen! :)
As for singing to the kids, mine usually say, "Stop that now... please!!" :S

Unknown said...

My son is persevorating on Hannah Montana and Disney Radio songs.

I think I liked Thomas Better.

Joeymom said...

Pete and Repete were in a boat. Pete fell out. Who was left?

kristina said...

I'm still laughing at that last scene and a certain singer from Detroit who now resides in your country (when not on tour) is sounding in my mind......

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