A-holes

They look so sweet, too.

I never thought my kids would become a-holes so young. I mean, I know that a lot of people say that toddlers are a-holes but I thought that was kind of, you know, they are always needing and wanting things and they are really noisy about it, a-holes in that kind of way. But no, they can just be so mean. The kids have just gone two and their language is pretty good from what I can tell. They have this brand-new superpower but what do they do with it? They use it for evil.

When I was a kid, my parents used to sing me the rainbow song all the time. I started singing it to the kids a few months ago now they’re learning their colours. They love it! It’s so beautiful when that happens, when you get to pass along something that meant a lot to you. A song, perhaps, your parents sung to you when they were young parents themselves, sung it over and over again and hearing it still makes you remember the feeling of being cocooned in their affection. I got pretty misty-eyed the first time one of the bubbies (Juney, I think) sung it with me, let me tell you. They sing it quite often now. The other day we were driving to the beach and they started singing in the back seat.

*

SCENE: Family car trip to the beach

Nora (singing): red and yellow and pink and green

June (joins in ): purple and orange and blue

Nora and Juney: I can sing a rainbow! Sing a rainbow! Sing a rainbow too. Listen with your eyes, listen with your eyes, sing everything you see.

(Mummy joins in)

Nora, Juney and Mummy: You can sing a rainbow! Sing a – 

Nora: (stops) No. Mummy no sing.

Me: What? Why can’t I sing too? I’m allowed to sing if I want to.

Nora (insistently): Mummy no sing!

Me (to barnaby): You know, the next line is “sing along with me”? That’s really rubbing salt in the wound, isn’t it?

Kids (resume singing): red and orange and pi – 

(I join in and so does Barnaby, in what I charitably assume is a show of support for me and not just to stir the pot. Nora immediately stops)

Nora: Mummy and Daddy no sing!

Me: I can sing if I want to!

Nora (singing angrily): Nora and Juney can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow! Nora and Juney can sing a rainbow, too!

*

I gave up after that.

So yeah they’re total a-holes already, but at least they make me laugh.

Apricots

I try to be a good parent, I really do.

SCENE: We are all in the kitchen. I am trying to start the chocolate custard for the Christmas trifle while Barns makes the kids’ afternoon tea. Nora and June (both 2) are tootling around underfoot.

Me: I’m not really feeling the Christmas spirit this year. It’s like I just don’t have room in my brain for it right now. (I absent-mindedly take an apricot from the fruit bowl and start snacking)

B: Weird. Maybe – 

Nora: My want an apricot.

Me: You don’t like apricots, darling.

B: Do you want some in your afternoon tea?

Nora: MY WANT AN APRICOT.  (I am already selecting an apricot for her)

B: You can have some in your afternoon tea.

Nora: MY NO WANT SOME. MY WANT A BIG ONE.

(I give her a whole apricot. She does not eat it)

June: My want an apricot.

Me: You don’t like apricots, darling. (I start looking for an apricot for her. All of the apricots on the top of the fruit bowl are still rock-hard. Of course they are.)

Nora: Open my apricot.

Me: Just wait one minute, please. (Rummaging in the fruit bowl, I accidentally stick my fingers into a rotten apricot)

Nora: Open it!

(I throw out the rotten apricot. June is horrified. She thought that one was going to be hers.)

June: WHERE MY APRICOT?!

Nora: OPEN IT!!

(B makes placating noises but, hands covered in egg, is frankly no use at all. I hastily wash my hands)

June: WAAAAAAAH

Nora: WAAAAAAAAAH

(I finally find June an apricot, pass it to her and then rip open Nora’s apricot. They are momentarily appeased.)

Me: (to Barnaby) I mean like, Christmas has always been really important to – 

Nora: My no like it. Close it again.

Me: Um. I… I can’t, darling. That’s not how apricots work.

Nora: (doggedly proffering apricot) Mummy want to close it!

Me: Nora, my love, I can’t. You can’t close an apricot.

June: Waaaaaa – (takes a breath)

Nora: CLOSE IT!

June: – AAAH! (B and I stare at her helplessly, as we have absolutely no idea why she is upset)

Nora: MUMMY WANT TO CLOSE IT!

Me: (gabbling) I can’t, Lovey! I’m sorry! I just can’t! I’m so sorry!

June: WAAAAAAAAAH (furious incoherent wailing. Stamps round and round in a circle)

B: (tries to talk to June. Untranscribable. Nobody can hear him. This just makes her angrier, anyway. )

Nora: CLOSE IT CLOSE IT CLOSE IT (takes a deep breath)

Both children: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Me: (Throws away all parenting goals and snatches apricots from children’s tiny hands while shouting) OH MY GOD, YOU’RE BOTH JUST HUNGRY!!! WHO WANTS A MUESLI BAR?

(Peace is instantly restored. B glances at the nutritious afternoon tea plates he has slaved over but wisely says nothing. We unwrap muesli bars)

Me: As I was saying, you know, Christmas, it’s like I just don’t have the room in my brain right –

Nora: My wanna open it myself. (The muesli bar wrapper – brace yourselves for this – is already open)