Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Parents - they sound like they've got Tourette's

Parents - they sound like they've got Tourette's
23 September 2013

Speaking to someone on the phone that has kids, is a bit like talking to someone who has Tourette’s.

You know Tourette’s right?  That awful and debilitating disease.  And one that I have great empathy for.  It causes involuntary and normally inappropriate verbal outbursts and many, many twitches.  And it must just be so hard to live with.  Not only for those it afflicts, but for their nearest and dearest too.

And on occasion, whilst speaking on the phone, one can be forgiven for thinking that the parent on the other end of the line, is a sufferer too.

Just picture it:  “Right so we’ll meet each other at ‘put-the-cat-down the Mall at about ‘no-you-can’t-put-the-hamster-in-the-toilet 2pm.  Perfect!  Don’t forget to bring your ‘stop-writing-on-the-wall’ movie cards.  I think it should ‘your-brother’s-head-is-not-a-ball-put-the-bat-down’ really fabulous!”
And I’m actually not exaggerating.  Many, many conversations with fellow parents sound similar to this.  And sadly, that’s just the half of it.

In addition, kids also have an inability to be self-sufficient, the second you’re on the phone.  It’s as if they have a little radar that lies dormant for ages.  Yet the second that phone rings or they see you with it in your hand, a switch get triggered.  A switch which activates an alarm and forces the kid in question to penetrate your space bubble.  You know that sacred little force field that protects your personal bubble, and that should only really be breached on invitation?  Yes, well once you’ve got kids, your space bubble is more of a universe.  One they seem to think they don't require a passport before entering. 

And once they’ve entered this bubble, they find themselves incapable of not yanking on you for attention.  They will pull on your shirt, skirt or pants.  Heck, even a sleeve will do.  Furthermore, this will be accompanied by a constant, annoying and indeed repetitive refrain of “Mommy-Mommy-Mommy-Mommy-Mommy”.

Once they have your albeit divided and irritated attention, the requests, nay demands for inappropriate immediate help will start incessantly.  “Can you please plait my hair?  Can you help glue my matchstick school project together?  Can you please watch me kick the soccer ball in the back garden for the 37th time today?  Can you please play a piano duet with me now?  Can you count how long I can stay under water for in the pool (my person pet favourite)?”  This is just but a small sampler of some of the random questions they deem life and death important when you’re busy with a call.

However, first prize with teeny tiny little kids, for worst question to ask while your mom is on the phone is…..

“Can you please wipe my bum?”

Sadly, I kid you not!  And it is at times like these, that I truly appreciate the fact that my kids are luckily past that stage.

And somehow or other, whilst these nagging requests are playing non-stop in your ear, you find yourself blurting out replies in true Tourette style fashion.  Almost unaware of doing it at all.  Because they simply won't stop.  Waging an internal battle, trying to refrain from lashing out physically at the same time.  So tempting at times...

I'm sure I also did this to my mom when I was little.  However, luckily I was protected by the cord of the telephone wire.  The length thereof kept me safe.  But nowadays, thanks to the marvels of cordless technology, parents have a way longer reach...

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Tourette's is no laughing matter - oodles of respect and empathy towards those dealing with it on a daily basis

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