When visiting a friend the other day her Master 4 greeted me with “look at my finger, my mummy scratched me,” and shot a reproachful look at her. It had happened the day before when her nail had accidently brushed his finger, but the way he was carrying on you’d think he had the meanest mummy in the world. If you do accidently inflict a minor injury on one of your children expect them to tell everyone for the next week. Any war wound sustained must also be displayed to anyone who will listen. If you’re unlucky, like me, the scratch will be on their bum and require pants to be pulled down to ankles in the crowded supermarket for all to admire.
My kids are especially good at making me look bad. They have a microphone that plays annoying music and also has a red record button. You’d be amazed how many times they’ve pressed that red button without me knowing when I’ve resorted to shouting at them for bad behaviour. They then like to play it over and over again to ensure I get my full quota of guilt-tripping in for the day.
If you make the rocket ship described here, and then one of your little monsters pulls off all the tinfoil and leaves it and the coke bottle with the bottom cut off lying on the floor, anyone who visits will make assumptions you’d really rather they didn’t. (Similarly, if your other half uses a knife from your good cutlery set to do some soldering, don’t let them put it back in the drawer.)
My brother-in-law was absolutely mortified when his son announced to everyone he met that they were Australian! Oh the shame! *
And another friend of ours didn’t know where to look when he took his niece to the swimming pool and her knickers, complete with massive skid marks, fell at his feet.
But back to my little terrors. A while ago we were walking up town when a man shouted an unusual sequence of swear words. I looked at my son to see if there was any reaction and breathed a sigh of relief when he failed to pass comment. So you can imagine my surprise when a few months later he uttered all of those expletives, in the correct sequence, when we were in the crowded waiting room at the Emergency Department. It’s at times like these I wish my son wasn’t so damned proud of me that he’d announced to everyone he met that I was his mummy. So I did what any self-respecting mummy would do; I hid under a chair!
*Important disclaimer for non-Antipodean folks. Kiwis love Australians. Really we do. We just don’t want to be mistaken for them.