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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Once upon a time

In my early lurking days, I came across a blog where a mother listed a virtuoso account of her son’s destruction, together with photographic evidence. She bewailed the many woes of being a mother to such a child. Much to my [secret] delight, her followers berated her in no uncertain terms. There was mention of terms such as ‘lack of supervision, boredom, any attention, even negative attention is better than no attention and my own personal favourite:- where the hell were you while this was going on?’ It was a salutary lesson to a pre-blogger. This is not to say that when children mis-behave their parents are always to blame, more that we are often, no matter how unwittingly, co-conspirators in our own demise.

Around here there are lots of parental excuses because we have small brains and feeble jugglers. There are issues about midlines and poor core body strength which we tend to gloss over, especially early in the morning. We concentrate on basic routines, to aim for school on time. The minutiae and the big picture collide. Speech production and psychology are upper most, to set them up for a successful day. Attitude adjustment is a priority. There is no point arriving at school in the negative. If we want them to learn and give their teachers a fighting chance.

It’s complicated.

If my son is draped across the table eating breakfast then ‘stop slouching!’ is not going to build his self esteem. ‘Sit up straight’ is not a command conducive to building morale. ‘Let’s see how tall you can sit,’ might be better but it’s also a distraction from the complex multi tasking of food consumption, sitting and talking. This is especially true when sitting is a new skill, consumption has widened and talking is still a challenge.

It’s not merely a question of table manners. It’s also discrimination between siblings. Different standards apply which appear unfair.

It’s also practical. As food flies around due to poor fine and gross motor co-ordination, spilled milk is a slippery hazard for the elderly. Scattered cereal is a temptation for the dog and puppy training must also continue. Then there is my own perspective. Children bathed in their own breakfast must be washed, as must the entire room and furniture. It’s more than sour milk and sour grapes.

If I interject with a verbal irrelevancy, it’s means we will never recover ground within the allotted time span. It is simply easier to let the matter drop. Other times, one small minor adjustment can make all the difference.

My words are merely a warning that I shall be laying hands upon him. I move around to the back of his chair to tuck him in, rearrange his body parts and realign the bowl and spoon to a better position as I mutter, “just let me line you up for success sonny Jim.”
“Yes dear?”
“I am not being Jim.”
“I know dear.”
“I am not being sunny.”
“Er……yes……sorry about that.” I peter out, thwarted by logic, as usual.
“Try, try, try again,” choruses his little brother, “itsan idiom.”
“What’s an idiom dear?”
“If at first you don’t succeed.” I resist the urge to yawn or slouch onto the soggy table myself. We trot through our regular mantra, which roughly translates to ‘I can do it, I know I can.’ We repeat them, as saying them out loud is more effective, buoys them up until we approximate cheer leader status, when they pop out of their chairs, ready to take on the world. “Mom?”
“Yes dear?”
“I’m gonna have a succeedful day.”
“Oh good!”
“Yeah……I’m gonna be EOTM.”
“Er…….EOTM? What does that mean dear?”
“Employee of dah Month.”

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