Friday, 26 August 2011

When I'm a mum I'll never do that... FAIL (Part 1)

Ture story: 1991. I was fifteen years old. It as 13 minutes past 11.  I was at a house party at someone or other's house.  I was slow dancing with the boy of my dreams - Geoff. It was the culmination of weeks of glances, flirting, and "My friend Lindsey like's your friend Geoff"ing.  My life was complete. My best friend  was dancing next to us with Geoff 's best friend.  Life was gooooood.  As Extreme are reaching the crescendo of More than Words' soppy soft-perm-mullet hair metalness I heard Geoff gasp - "Ha ha ha check that out".  I looked up and there was someone's Dad standing in the middle of the party in his pajama's pointing at his watch.  Oh noooooooo! I felt a little like Cinderella, except I hadn't turned into a daughter of a lesser woman in my cooking, washing, scrubbing and mending clothes at a ball, I'd turned into a teenage girl dying of embarrassment in front of everyone that mattered, even the cool kids were there...  It wasn't my Dad (my school friends will back me up here - my Dad never collected) - it was my best friends.  Apparently he had been waiting for us for 13 minutes already.  Geoff never phoned me.  And my best friend and I made a pact - we'd NEVER do that to our kids, no matter how late they were.  We'd UNDERSTAND why they were late...  So far so good on that one

But there are plenty of others that aren't going so well. Here's just one of them - others will follow:

I'll never say "Yes, yes hurry up" when my child is telling me a story

I talk a lot.  No really, a lot.  Every school report I ever received says pretty much the same thing "Lindsey would be well served by talking less during lessons" or the like. And people feel the need to tell me all the time that I talk a lot.  Yes thank you, so I'm frequently told, if I let any one get a word in.  As a child I'd tell incredibly long winded stories, (yes yes - so what's changed), but here's the thing - my beloved Dad would either say "Get to the point" just as I was warming up or even worse "That's enough" - dismissing me before I'd got to the good bit (and Dad, you'll never believe it, then Mr D came in in his pajamas!).  This really irked me. It made me sad. I would never do that to my child.  And in fairness to myself, I've never done it to Eldest K - and she does occasionally drag a story out.  But Middle E - that's a different business.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree on that one.  I must point out as well that E had developmental delay in her speech, associated with dyspraxia, so her talking is a big deal anyway.  But E regularly tells stories that lasts longer than a car trip from our house to Cambridge (a 25 minute drive) - usually about absolute mundanities (a complete running commentary of what happened on Peppa Pig that morning).  And I do have two other kids in the car, plus often my nephew, waiting to chirp in with something important like an update on the progress of their monkey on monkey quest (I got the red pants of power today), the sighting of something pink and fluffy nearby or in Baby G's case, a firm assertions of "adaaaaa".  But E doesn't let up.  She goes on and on and on and on.  About nothing really.  Or something she's already told me.  And on occasion I swear she is looking around of something to talk about just to keep the floor...  I must confess I have heard the words "Yes yes get to the point" escape from my mouth.  FAIL!  Don't do it, Lindsey, don't devalue her contribution, don't make her feel unimportant or overlooked.

But here's the thing - this is a reflective blog after all (Blooms level 7, metacognition for all the teachers reading) - am I doing her any favours by letting her hold the floor for unreasonable lengths of time at her sisters' expense?  Am I setting her up for problems in the lifetime of people trying to shut her up she has ahead of her.  I do need to alert her to acceptable social norms.  I need her to understand that people have a limited concentration span for what you have to say.  I need to explain to her that she can't just go on and on and on - well no until she gets a blog of fer own anyway...


Post a Comment