“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…