Have you ever had a day when you have followed through with a threat as instructed in all the parenting manuals? Well if you have any manuals left I would chuck them right now, this technique does not work. On Monday 2nd January I had work to do and my boys (animals) were not complying. They busied themselves by protesting about how unfair it was rather than getting ready or listening to my reasoning, ie if you dont let me work how the hell do I pay for your football, how do I put you through college, how do we afford to go anywhere. On paper this looks very first world but to my boys having to accompany Mum on jobs signifies the end of civilisation. After one hour of coaxing, bribing and winging (more me), I insanely announce “Ok, if you refuse to get dressed, you can go in your PJs and you will look really stupid and everybody will laugh at you, but if its the only way Mum can do her work, needs must”. The answer I got was “Ok then”, accompanied by fleeting concern from my oldest that he might look like an idiot. First stop, Asda where we bump into a fellow classmate’s Mum who is infinitely more sorted and together than me with well behaved children. We chat, I am suddenly aware that she is looking at me oddly, the penny drops and I have to explain about following through with my threat, she looks slightly bemused not in an altogether sisterly way.
Two bus rides and a tram ride and we are at my place of work. The boys run around the shop like feral bears. People look, mostly old women who I believe should know better, surely they remember that sometimes hellish time of life known as motherhood. I tell the boys off a lot, they are spoilt, selfish, entitled and mean. Somehow I complete my tasks. A climax is reached when younger boy falls over whilst charging round and bangs his head just above his eye. He cries I am not sympathetic, it serves him right. By the end of our excursion I forget it is unusual for ones children to go out in PJs. No lessons have been learnt.