Tuesday, 16 October 2012

My favourite child

My favourite child
16 October 2012

Any parent who says that they don’t have a favourite child is lying.  Come on, keep it real people!  It’s only natural.  We’re human after all.

So, before I tell you who my favourite child is, I’ll tell you who my least favourite child is.  At the moment it’s Luke.  I do love that boy a lot, but jeez, he’s being ever so painful at the moment.  Extremely fussy, especially when it relates to school lunch boxes at present.  It’s like he’s become a lunch box food critic.  The cheese slipped off his sandwich at school (hello, put it back on again), or the toasted sarmie got soggy.  “You know, I can’t eat nuts or dried fruit, because it gets stuck in my braces”.  Well then, you clean the braces.  And so it goes on.  All he wants to do is play hockey, which is a bit of a bummer, what with the hockey season being over and all.  And then it’s computer games.  Normal children tell their parents stories about what happened at school or share funny little anecdotes about their day or a story they heard, etc.  Not my boy.  Every day he spends a very large amount of time talking to me about his computer games.  About how cool something or other is in Assassin’s Creed.  Or Call of Duty this.  Or Battlefield that.  And quite frankly I don’t care.  I really don’t.  But I pretend I do.  I listen to him.  I give him the time, nod enthusiastically and make appropriate noises.  Grant on the other hand can’t even pretend to care and so Luke doesn’t ever open the topic with him.  But I have learnt that given time and patience, the odd little nugget of truth and real life slips in every so often.  So, hopefully my boy is internalising the fact that if he can talk to mom about cool stuff like computer games and fighting and guns and virtual battles, then perhaps he can talk to her about other stuff as well.  And it’s definitely working.  Because Luke does talk to me – when the mood strikes him.  All I need to do is look past the fluff on the outside to get to the core on the inside.  And though I annoy, embarrass and irritate him endlessly, he still begrudgingly likes me and knows that he’s got no stronger supporter in his camp and corner.

Maybe I’m not being entirely truthful here, because for all his hormonal horridness, Luke is still a very nice boy.  And despite the beard stubble and razor burn he gives me when I am lucky enough to get a kiss hello in the mornings and good night in the evenings, he is still a boy.  A very big boy at that – all dangly arms and skinny hairy legs.  So just perhaps, he is not my least favourite child.  Maybe he should get bumped up the list a bit.  So that means that the least favourite child prize definitely has to go to Amber.  For one, she had a tummy bug in the night, so she cost me sleep.  Poor little lamb.  When my kids get sick, I get all soft and squishy inside and have a complete hormonal flow of empathy and care overwhelm me.  Happy to soothe and hug, bath, rub, medicate and feed.  So, apart from the little bout of ill health, she is also starting with her pre-tween nonsense.  Everything has to be done right now.  As in this very instant!  She is starting with the rolling eyeball thing, which gets my blood pressure to boiling point instantly.  And then she has a tone of voice that is grating.  It is a tone that says “whatever”.  You know exactly what I’m talking about.  It’s a combination of you-are-not-worthy, added to a little bit of disdain, mixed with some this-is-not-fair.  Teenagers around the world have perfected this tone of voice perfectly, for the express purpose of annoying those around her.  And let’s give them their due, because it is highly effective. 

Amber is a very organised little girl and loves planning.  But by Sunday morning my ears were hurting, because she woke up on Sunday morning in an extreme planning mood.  By 7h00 she had already made me a shopping list of all I needed to buy for her for the upcoming entrepreneurship day at school.  She had planned in detail exactly what she was going to make and what would be required.  In fact she was quite surprised that I was not willing to go to the shops at 7h00 and start buying goodies for her.  And then, once she realised that with her planning done and her mother being uncooperative in terms of purchasing her gear first thing on a Sunday morning, she would start planning something else so long.  Her next little pet project was my 40th.  She has worked out a theme, a guest list of sorts and consulted some of my old Ideas magazines, to work up a menu of what to serve our guests.  She has planned the entertainment and has offered her services as a waitress.  She’ll probably charge me for the dubious honour.  And then, realising that she had skipped her birthday planning in all the hoopla of sorting out my 40th she set to work on that.  Once again she drummed up a guest list, entertainment ideas, food and snacks, venue, etc.  I tell you by 10h00 Sunday morning I was shattered!!!  She is such a sweetie though and I am ever so grateful that I have a little girl.  They are just different to boys.

It actually would be a bit unfair to pick on Amber simply because she kept me up in the night.  And she is so thoughtful and kind.  She’s happy to make coffee and tea, and very often when I’ve been out and about shopping or running errands, I get home to a tea party that she has arranged just for the two of us.  She uses my most beautiful tablecloths and placemats, the ones reserved for special occasions.  She takes out my very best tea set, that belonged to my great granny – a beautifully decorative floral set.  She provides snacks by raiding the cupboard or cuts up some fresh fruit for me or even makes me a little salad, my favourite. And to add a bit of glam she simply always dresses up.  Utterly charming and so sweet. 

Shame, given all of the above, there’s no way that Amber is my least favourite child.  It simply has to be Cole.  He is a live wire and a real handful.  A very busy little boy, always up to something.  A challenge to channel his energy.  So we’re going the sports route with Cole, as it has the benefit of expending energy and hopefully making him tired at the end of the day.  I find the ADD draining at times. And always try and remember that it’s not his fault.  There are some things he’s just not capable of.  Added to that, he has an extremely strong will and does not easily buckle under pressure.  He has an explosive temperament which gets triggered easily.  I am trying to teach him moderation with very little success.  He is what he is.  And much as I love him, and I really do, he makes me tired.  He is argumentative and competitive and will go very far in life – of this I am 100% sure.  At the same time, he is without a doubt the most charming little boy I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  He loves me with such passion, that it is a joy to behold.  He gets into the car when I fetch him from school, and before he’s even in the car, he tells me how much he loves me.  He’ll give me a nice big kiss and a hug once he’s in the car and tell me he loves me once more.  And so he goes on during the day.  Lots of affection.  And maybe that’s actually the main reason he’s my least favourite child, because sometime soon, in the not too distant future, he’s going to stop doing that.  He’s also going to go all hormonal and horrible on me.  Which is why I’m lapping it up shamelessly now.

So, as you can blatantly see, my favourite child is clearly Luke/Amber/Cole.  Without a doubt it’s him/her.  There’s no two ways about it.

Hockey boy #1
Hockey boy #2
Tea for two

1 comment:

  1. You have exceptionally lovely children - all three of them, but I have seen all or them in action! Got to love them!