|Boys Two and Three didn’t read the chapter on loving nature
and how educational historical role play is.
The theory of being an excellent parent is fairly straightforward. All you need to do, is follow the sage advice in one of those books, you know the ones, and all will be well.
It’s a bit like suggesting that all you need to do to lose weight is to eat less and move more. If it was that simple, we’d all be slinking around in our favourite clothes instead of passing them by in favour of something that fits.
If it was that simple I wouldn’t have to send an email to the Panther of News this morning containing this line:
“Boy Three’s sandals honk of pish, so you’ll need to spray them liberally with Febreze or send him to nursery in his Crocs if that doesn’t work.”
Classy stuff, I know.
The reason the three-year-old’s footwear is so malodorous is that he has stubbornly refused to read any of the volumes on potty training. If he had he’d know that a, he should have got the hang of it and that b, emergency vehicle stickers are incentive enough for anyone.
Then it struck me that I have come across lots of evidence that children are not paying attention to what the parenting experts are saying.
They are supposed to be oblivious when you ‘hide’ courgette in tomato sauce. They are not.
Equally, they are supposed to be so impressed by having their meal arranged into a smiley clown face or a tableau from a Cbeebies show that that they wolf down everything. They do not.
They are supposed to follow when you set a good example of, say, the proper use of cutlery. They do not.
Children with Asperger’s are not supposed to tell lies, what with being literal an all. Not so, mine will refuse to grease a non-stick pan because it’s, d’oh, non-stick, while lying about having done his homework.
Getting them helping with cooking will make them want to try a wider variety of foodstuffs. Er, no, you just get a messier kitchen and later meals.
Involving them in cooking will also teach them stuff and enable them to help in household chores. Nope. Instead you will occasionally have to act fast to stop the house burning down.
Keep them constantly exposed to fair, liberal and feminist notions and they will develop similar attitudes. How come then my kids’ favourite programme is Top Gear?
Get them involved in household chores and they’ll start to be more aware about cleaning up after themselves. Hahahahaha.
If you offer healthy balanced meals to your child, they will choose the right foods for them. No they won’t, they’ll learn to raid the fridge/ lick the butter/ steal biscuits.
Make routine tasks a fun game as in “let’s see who can pick up the most toys or sort out the odd socks the fastest”. If they can spot a hidden courgette, you’re not going to get away with this one.
Alternatively take heed of the best bit of parenting advice I was ever given which is “this too will pass” and, by and large, eventually, it does.
Meantime, keep hiding the courgettes.