Thursday, 1 April 2010

Bringing up Boys: You treat me just like a slave!


“Your treat me just like a slave!” stormed my eldest as he stomped into the bathroom where I had retreated for a bit for R&R amid the heady smell of Cath Kidson’s Wild Rose.
I peered at him myopically over the top of my novel and said nothing.
Him: You DO
Me: I do?
Him: You ALL do!
Me: What even Bog Boy?
Him: Yes even him. He’s the worst. He’s ALWAYS getting me to do things for him.
The Boy plonks himself down on the loo seat arms folded and glares at me challengingly. I note that his eyebrows nearly met in the middle when he scowls - just like his fathers’. I reluctantly lay my novel on the chair by the bath. This will take some sorting out and it looks like I am to be on arbitration duty.
Me: So what’s happened?
Him: Do YOU know I have to do EVERYTHING? I have to lay the table and put things away and everything and he doesn’t and it happens all the time and I am just like a slave!
Ah here’s the rub Bog Boy isn’t doing his share. I am reminded that in the little world in which my children live there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice. I feel I have to hedge my bets on what has happened, though I have a pretty good idea. However, I know I am not being told the whole truth merely a watered down version.
Me: Why don’t you go down stairs and help Daddy. Once you’re done as he’s asked it will be all over and you can do what you like.
Him: But it will take forever and it’s not fair Bog Boy doesn’t have to do anything and anyway you’re always telling me what to do I can never do what I want to do. You’re all horrid and meanies…
The Boy flings himself out of the bathroom leaving the door open and letting in a waft of freezing air.
Me, shouting after him as I dive beneath the rapidly cooling bath water: Shut the door!
Him yelling back over his shoulder: SEE you’re always telling me what to do!!!!
Sassy, the EBJ (evil black job) whippet pokes her head round the door to check on all the fuss.
Me: Well, that went well didn’t it?
Sassy gives me a look as if to say what do you expect and disappears to do further nepherious things to the Antique Eiderdown in the spare room.
As I haul myself out of the bath I remember how I used to rant at my Mum about how unfair it all was and how she could do just about anything she wanted whenever she wanted and how mean she was to send me to school and how even if I lived to be 100 I would have been incarcerated in THAT place for a tenth of my life.
As I skitter down the corridor wrapping my towel more tightly around me I make a promise to myself to hug The Boy more closely. For if we are all honest with ourselves being a kid is pretty horrid sometimes…

12 comments:

TheMadHouse said...

I remember having those conversations with my mum when she was in the bath!

Me I am just looking forard to the day when the boys dont just stip off and jump in with me

Lou said...

I thought that was the point of children....legal slavery!!
Please tell the CSA that I AM KIDDING....'ish, setting the table is the RULE! Mind you, I seem to stomp around lately saying 'I am not a slave!'....although clearly I am.
Can I come and sit on your loo and talk to you?

Nappy Valley Housewife said...

As the mother of a 14-year-old and a 5-year-old that conversation sounds all too familiar! And, sadly, I was the oldest girl and remember saying much the same thing to my own mother.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I remember coming back from my holiday job in a department store , plunking myself down on the edge of the bath and ranting on to my mother about how I was the dogsbody at work .
My mother , 6 feet up a ladder at the time with a paintbrush , listened and nodded .
And didn't even blink when I told her I'd just used my staff discount to buy a mountain of wool and I really needed her to knit me a Chanel suit for this Saturday .

Expat mum said...

I mustn't be cracking the whip enough as mine don't complain, but I am of course, entirely to blame for all the homework!

Cait O'Connor said...

Ah that sounds like a normal family, worry not they grow up too quickly.

diney said...

My son never complained as he was so laid back he was horizontal, but my 10 year old complains if I ask her to lay the table some days...and we have amazing conversations in the bath too! I used to think that I was a slave at times to my Mum, but never dared to say it out loud, but our kids maybe feel more able to be honest, which is a good thing (? I think?!!!)...sometimes....

Iota said...

My kids are always telling me life isn't fair.

Iota said...

Oops, hadn't finished.

My kids are always telling me life isn't fair. I've started saying to them, if it WAS fair, would their lot be better or worse? Trouble is, they usually say 'better', which isn't the right answer at all.

A Modern Mother said...

I thought just girls were like this. It's probably just a phase.

Tattie Weasle said...

Right try again! I hate blogger sometimes I really really do! This time I will save all my painstakingly witty comments so all I will have to do is cut and paste rather than do a total rewrite which is never as good as the original...
The Madhouse - do you know I will miss it when they stop and have an awful feeling they will be keener to stop then me. Oh dear sounds like I am gonig to be that mad embarrassing mummy afterall!
Lou - I'd hoped for that one too. I swear when I was a child we never had rights....you can come and sit on my loo for a chat anytime but you may prefer the sofa whicvh I am told is far more comfortable!
Nappy Valley Housewife - I have a terrible feeling I was complaining just the other day to my Mum and I'm...well let's say I'll not see 40 again...
SmitoniusAndSonata - I truly appreciate ALL my mother did for me now!!!
ExpatMum - We're always to blame for something! Though your whip comment reminded me of something my mother-in-law said when discussing bringing up boys (she had three). "I brought mine up on valium and a polo whip!" I am not sure if the valium was for her though...
Cait - they do grow far too quickly. One minute they're quite helpless and the next well far too grown up!
Diney - definitley a good thing. I'd far rather have the bizarre concversations and complaints than nothing at all!
Iota - they are so sharpa nd witty these days. I so admire their chutzpah - it's not fair why wasn't I like that as a kid???!!!
A modern Mother - you see I knew it was a girl thing. Obviously the gender sterotype is beingf eroded in my household.

Exmoorjane said...

Came to ogle whippets primarily but I do love your writing SO much! Sorry also to hear that the bastard black dog (not the real ones) has been biting... It's been a long tough winter and I'm only just surfacing myself.
big hugs
Janexx

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