Some days it all works – my offspring can occasionally go for hours at a time being cheerful, polite and helpful. The moments fill me with a warm, fuzzy feeling and the glow of a job well done; what a fine demonstration of excellent parenting.
Then there are the other days – when I feel like I should broadcast a public apology for the monsters I’ve unleashed on the world. Clearly the responsibility for those moments must lie with the school system or society.
No prizes for guessing which today was. I woke up early and thought how nice it would be to make a special breakfast for them to wake up to. A surprising treat compared to the usual fight for the last dregs of cereal in the box, or rooting around for a piece of bread that isn’t mouldy.
So I went out and bought the fixings for a family favourite; cheesy-scrambled-egg-and-bacon-bagels. Yum!
Roxy was the first to stumble down and she asked what smelled so good. When I told her it was the bacon, she slumped in disappointment and said “Oh, I thought it was sausages”. That’s right, I found myself apologising for picking the wrong breakfast meat.
But things only got worse. Hoss, the youngest, actually cried because the bacon wasn’t crispy enough. It is a weird and interesting fact that floppy bacon makes him gag, but really … was it worth crying about?
Then Sunny Jim sat there and moaned about the fact that the car his grandparents gave him is too nice. Apparently because it’s a newer car it will be more expensive to install a new sound system. He honestly expects me to tell them thanks for the car, but we’re going to sell it and get something grottier.
At moments like this it’s important to remind myself that they are basically good, but a work still in progress. Thank goodness for the dog – she thinks everything I do is simply perfect, and is droolingly, tail-waggingly grateful for every tiny thing. Maybe I should have been a mad dog lady instead of a mother.