YOU know your four-year-old isn’t a baby any more when he turns to you and his grandparents in the middle of dinner and says: ‘Hey, what are you losers talking about?’
I could have died. In fact, I did. This post is being written from *Derek Acorah voice* beyond the grave. I was so mortified that I just upped and died from morto at the dinner table.
Well, I didn’t die, so much as laugh. Because I am a terrible parent and I don’t know what any of you are doing here looking for advice from me because I am the last person who should be giving it.
I’m blaming the PJ Masks. And myself of course, because when isn’t challenging behaviour the mother’s fault?
But mainly, yeah, the PJ Masks. They’re just such smart, smug little fuckers. Solving crime – IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT when children are supposed to be IN BED – and being all sarky and smug with the Night Ninja and the Ninjalinos. It’s all losers and ha! and whatever you’re having yourself.
It’s not the only time Cat Boy et al have got him into trouble either. There was the ‘bozo’ incident in school a couple of months back as well.
It was another child’s birthday and The Beast had been invited to his party that weekend. Upon leaving school on the Friday he turned to the Birthday Boy and said ‘See you Sunday, you big birthday bozo!’.
Big birthday bozo.
Big. Birthday. Bozo.
In full view of the other parents too. All of whom looked like they were halfway between bursting out laughing and marching him up to the local juvenile detention centre themselves.
I spent a good lot of that weekend whispering ‘big birthday bozo’ to myself and biting my fist in agony.
So we’ve had a lot of Very Serious Conversations about appropriate language outside the home and while it’s ok to mess here and call me a Pooh Pooh Head for example, it wouldn’t go down so well in the playground. I’m hoping it sticks for later years when he’s bellowing ‘fuck you fuck face’ at his friends out in the street. I’m hoping by cracking down on bozos and losers at this age, that he’ll think twice before swearing like a sailor on the street when he’s 12.
I’m hoping. (Though, judging by my own language, I’m not very hopeFUL.)
It’s all a sign that he’s growing up and while sometimes my arms ache for the tiny soft helpless baby that he once was, it’s also a positive sign. Well as positive as calling his grandparents losers can be. (Sorry again lads. And sorry for laughing!)
In the same vein we were on holidays recently and noticed that for the first year he was really able to participate in the holiday and ‘get’ that we were on holidays.
He was so much more independent, more able to use the equipment in the playground for example, clambering over the rocks on the beach without help; entertaining himself with stickers while we finished dinner. It was blissful. Ok, it was still a holiday with a kid, so more a work trip than a relaxing retreat, but it really felt like a break this time.
Next month now he’ll go back to preschool for his final year before Big School. We’re not ready for Big School yet, either of us. Much as I’m enjoying his new-found independence, I’m not ready to let him go just yet. I’m happy to keep him where he is for the time being and I’ll deal with uniforms and school bags and classrooms in September 2018.
Which is ages away, right losers?
THE thing about having a birthday party for your child at home is that you have to actually clean that home before you can let anybody into it.
Well, anybody not wearing a Hazmat suit anyway.
I don’t know what I was thinking. It started a couple of weeks ago when we went out to visit Mammy Dunne and in a fit of inspiration invited her to stay the night of Seán’s birthday.
His birthday is Easter Saturday, you see, and we were planning to have Mammy Dunne and the inlaws for their dinner on Easter Sunday anyway so it made sense for her to stay, rather than going home and having to come back out to us a few hours later.
“That’s a great idea now, if you don’t mind. I will stay, I’ll pack an overnight bag and all so I will,” she sez delighted with herself.
All was going swimmingly until we were driving home and I noticed Yer Man shooting me terrified, alarmed looks out of the corner of his eye.
“WHAT?” I eventually yelled when I could stand it no longer.
“Nothing, nothing,” he babbled “it’s just you asked your Mam to stay …”
“YES?” I roared “and what’s wrong with that? Not good enough for you is she? Don’t want her staying? You thundering bastard, I have to say, I’d never treat YOUR mother like…”
“KAREN!” he cut me off, mid-rant “it’s not that. It’s just – where is she going to stay?”
“In the bloody spare room, you big thick, where do you …”
I trailed off, remembering. The spare room. Or The Room of Death as it’s more commonly known around these parts.
The room where we open the door ONLY to chuck in more rubbish, closing it quickly lest our eyes be offended by the filth within.
The room that hasn’t been hoovered since 2010. The room where odd socks go to die.
I looked at Yer Man, horrified.
“We’ll have to clean it,” I managed, gasping for breath.
“I know,” he murmured comfortingly, patting my hand “I know.”
We drove the rest of the way home in silence. Thinking about the beast lurking within our home.
Today is D-day. It’s time to slay the beast.