“STOP BEING SILLY”. It’s the words my neighbours hear far too frequently being hollered through the walls of our adjoining homes, or out on the front driveway, as I’m trying to coerce one of the kids out of an irrational meltdown over one of their ‘things’.
By ‘things’ I mean those strange little habits they’ve formed that seem so incredibly important to them, but totally crazy to anyone else (particularly Mum who is trying her hardest to get everyone out of the door).
My eldest daughter totally freaks out if I don’t wait for her on the bottom step of the stairs – God forbid I should walk on into the kitchen without her. Or, another favourite; being the first one to get into the car. Cue major devastation should I happen to have thrown the mouse into her car seat first.
So what is the right way to deal with these stand offs? Should we as parents be standing our ground over these ridiculous preferences, or as a wise boss once told me ‘pick your battles’. With a sly under breath FFS and comply to the demands of the smalls.
It definitely feels like these moments are sent to try us as parents, having to line up the whole set of bedtime teddies on the bed (having just had to do a sweep of the house to find the one missing paddington bear).
It’s not just my kids I’m sure – I’ve seen it on the school run… Kids that have to stop at a certain point to carry out a morning ritual, like walk across a wall or run up a hill. You can see the parents counting to ten in their head. And Hell knows no fury like the wrath of a kid whose Mum forgot their scooter.
Having been mulling this over, over a brew, something occurred to me. That is, that I feel a genuine sense of disappointment if my tea is made in a mug other than my favourite. And, when my new favourite mug I was bought for Christmas fell off the side and smashed I actually could have cried.
There are definitely certain meals that taste better when served in my beautiful M&S pasta bowls, and there’s nothing worse than a crisp cold wine served in a really rubbish glass.
I have a total ‘thing’ about cupboard doors being shut properly, and most things in our house have ‘their place’ which kinda freaks me out should said item become misplaced. Including my bum on the sofa, which feels totally wrong if not in it’s usual place on the left hand side, under the lamp.
So, maybe I should cut the girls some slack. Maybe these somewhat alien tendencies are the beginnings of their own little personality traits.
Maybe, we are all just creatures of habit.
So come on – what things send your kids (and you) over the edge? Let’s hear it!