This is a typical transcript of an evening with The Boy. It spans a time frame of about three hours from 6.30 pm until 9.30 at night.
Me: Goodnight Darling! Sleep tight…
Him: I need a cuddle and a kiss
This is duly done…
As I reach the door…and pause.
Him: Do you know what?
Me: No I don’t
Him: Knock knock
Me: Who’s there
Me: Goodnight Darling. Sleep tight now
Against pleas for a further cuddle and extra kisses and more jokes I close the door repeating the Night Night mantra.
I collapse after a hard day of virtually doing nothing or at least what seems like it as I am no further forward I the great ORGANISATION than before – in fact no further than I have ever been…I grab a glass of wine then hear thump thump thump from upstairs.
Me- shouting through the ceiling: Go to Bed!
Him: I need a wee!
Me: OK! Go now for a wee now Poppet.
This is duly done or at least I think so as I do not investigate this claim – not yet anyway. Perhaps he will go to bed shortly and I can get on with – whatever…I hear the door closing to his room and breathe a sigh of relief.
Five minutes later…and I feel a presence behind me, he has tripped down the stairs and is now watching TV over my shoulder – I hurriedly turn the TV off as I feel that the machinations of the Kings, Dingles and Sugdens are hardly ripe viewing for a four year old.
Him: I need some water!
Me: What now?
Him: Yes, I’m thirsty…
I get the water and hand it to him at the top of the stairs.
Me: OK - here you are. Go to bed now Darling.
All seems quiet for twenty minutes. Then…
Him – from the top of the stairs: I think I need to go for a poo now
Me: OK Darling just go and call when you need me
Him: Mummy! I need you.
Him: My teddies are pushing me out of bed….
Him: I need you!
Him: I think I’ve found something…
Even later still…
By this time I am in the office writing – he hunts me down…
Him: What are you doing?
Me: Go to Bed
Him: Can I do that?
Me: No Darling – it’s bedtime!
Him: You’re mean
Me getting exasperated: Bed, NOW!
Him: You are fat and ugly! You are fat and ugly when you are mean!
Me: GO TO BED NOW!!!!!!!!!
I thunder out of the office and he scampers to bed and dives in.
I close the door.
Me- seething but trying not to explode: Goodnight Darling.
There is silence. I wait at the door. He seems to be staying put. I retreat back to the office and carry on.
Five minutes later.
Him: I need a wee
And so on…