In trying to be good and exciting parents to a small tigger child can be a pretty challenging thing to do. Especially when it comes to a 3 year old. They keep you on your toes and you have to keep thinking of, at least, a handful of things that will interest and occupy them. Jigsaws, arts and crafts, train sets, walks to the park, feeding the ducks. All a lot of fun that will occupy a small child for all of an hour. You need the stamina of Rocky doing circuit training to “You’re the best”, on loop. Approximately 45 times.
These last few weeks I realised how a little pre-schooler can run rings around an adult and, when you inevitably take your eye of the ball for a tiny bit, how quickly they can outsmart you.
Take for instance, Little Z’s mission to never eat anything ever. Ever. We’ve always tried to encourage good eating habits. Try to offer different tastes, try to all eat the same thing, keep offering things he won’t try. He still doesn’t eat that much without a lot of coaxing, threatening to take away Ben and Holly forever, firm refusal of pudding, no toys etc etc. He’s getting better but there is many a time when he is eating a very cold lunch because its taken us that long. The past couple of weeks we’ve driven home and about halfway he’s declared “I’m hungry mummy”. Oh no. With another twenty minutes to go its not the best situation to be in. Luckily, the first time I handed him a packet of crisps to munch on which saved the day. It then happened a couple of days later and we happened to be within a mile of a McDonalds drive through. A quick stop, and a packet of chips later, we were on our way again. Little Z happy and one mum relieved he wouldn’t have to wait another half hour before he got something to eat.
Then, the very next day it happened again. Same phrase. Same spot. But this time….
“Mummy, I’m hungry. Shall we go Old McDonald?”
I now carry biscuits in the car for such emergencies.
Crafty little cheekiness aside, Little Z is becoming extremely helpful around the house. His never ending obsession with the washing machine and dryer still reigns strong and he will demand he is the first to take clothes out of one and put it into the other machine. If there was a contest for small children doing household tasks the fastest then he would take the medal home for doing laundry most efficiently. (To avoid social services knocking on our door, we never let him touch the detergent or clothes softener). He also loves help setting and clearing the table, being particularly fond taking things from the table and into the kitchen. Everything handed to him has to be unbreakable so he usually gets things like forks, ketchup bottle, his plastic cup, anything not made of glass. Until last week when the Other Half spotted what he was doing. Little Z was busted trying to take a swig from an empty coke can in the privacy of the kitchen, then announcing “It’s very tasty!” Hmmmm!
Sometimes though, you can do slightly wrong all by yourself. It doesn’t need a 3 year to outsmart you.
Our normal visit to the duck pond this week happened without incident. We took along half a loaf of stale bread, threw it to the swans and the ducks who always try and fail to get past the swans. I always happen to observe that the swans are always a bit aggressive and vicious looking whilst the ducks meekly try to nip around the swans trying to get to a bit of the bread being thrown their way. Throwing bread strategically just towards the ducks always seems futile. The swans are too fast and too strong, sort of the like the Godfathers of the local park. The ducks are allowed any scraps the swans can’t be bothered to have.
I relayed this to the Other half one evening, to which he replied
“You know you’re not allowed to feed the ducks at that pond? There’s a ban in place after the swans started becoming a bit aggressive (wanting more bread from passers by)”. Apparently it was very clearly sign posted around the entire park.
Oh. Right. Oops.