Things I’ve learned from my children today

It’s possible to wake yourself laughing. We’ve all roused ourselves with a start, or even a scream, from a nightmare or found ourselves coughing, sneezing and scratching ourselves out of slumber. It has even been known for certain people to break wind so loudly sleep was impossible. Boy Three, however, has started laughing as he snoozes, giggling so hard it wakes him up smiling. I wonder what he’s dreaming about.

Fraternal competition finds outlets everywhere. Setting off by car after a recent snow fall, peering up, One and Two were fascinated by the snow on the sunroof.
“Look it’s moving.”
“It’s like tectonic plates.”
“Bits are breaking off.”
“I bet my side goes first.”
“No, look, it’s going to be mine”
“Go my side.”
“C’mon, Boy Three, it might be yours.”
“Oh it is going to be his. Maybe we should just watch the snow now,” Boy Two quits while he’s ahead.

Expectation management is a key part of parenting. Boy One has a clear vision of the surprise he’s going to bring to Christmas. So far it has involved a large cardboard box, two tubes of wrapping paper, three rolls of Sellotape, hundreds of shards of cardboard on the floor and the absence of all my kitchen scissors from their right place. I think, in his mind, the end result will be some kind of mixture of a Playboy Bunny leaping out of a cake, the living doll scene from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a slender 10-year-old santa popping out of the fireplace bearing gifts. It’s a jolly festive vision and I’ll do everything I can to help him bring it to life, but, somehow, it’s never, ever going to be so good in real life. Especially as there now can’t be anyone who he hasn’t shared his vision with.

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