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Friday, 11 January 2013

Torture

Happy New Year to you. I sincerely hope that your Christmas and New Year passed with much tranquility, calm and serenity. That your children made you proud and you now realise that the good lord put you on this earth for one reason and one reason only, to be a beacon of parenthood as your offspring show the world just how it's done!

A New Year, a new you. This is the great thing about a new year, you can really draw a line under all the mistakes and ensuing hell of last year, reflect on the good things, resign yourself to excellence and trot forward, (with fanfare, or bagpipes, depending on preference) into an unsullied, shiny, hopeful new year. Which brings me to the title of this blog.

I like, very much, to see torture as a two way thing in our house. We are tortured relentlessly by the actions of our children and in return, once push has become shove, we torture back.

I know that most of you, by now, will have picked up a copy of the book I mentioned in my last nonsense, "How to Talk so They Listen and Listen so They Talk..." you'll have absorbed from front to back cover and now know how to create a well rounded, well conditioned human being. I know a friend of mines husband has his book very safe, very safe indeed, he doesn't want to lose it. It's a step, he has a copy and unlike The Bible, or Fifty Shades of... you can't find one in every room in every establishment in the world. Keeping it safe is an absolute must. As always, I digress.

You'll notice, that in the book, there is no reference to torture. I don't know why, I am writing it now and going to send it to them to see if they can fit it in somewhere, it's an absolute essential in my mind.

This holiday my family moved 3 times. We upped sticks, packed boxes and made our way into the unknown. We have settled now, have been in our house for a period of time that I can't quite remember and don't have the time to get my toes out to count, but it's about three weeks. My eldest daughter is now 5, I too am older, as most people are, but it makes no difference, I came to the very end of a fairly short and gnarly length of tether 3 days before the end of the school holidays and I took the Oracle, Holy Grail, font of Knowledge book and metaphorically, ripped it up, spat on it, stamped it into the ground, poured inflammable liquid over it and set fire to it in an instance. I, hands down, was one of the worst parents that have ever lived.

Both my eldest and my youngest had taken to acting like I had expired " please don't do that, could you manage to pick that up? Can you please help Mummy or Daddy with... That'll end in tears and other such platitudes were met with nothing, not even a tiny reaction. Table manners, etiquette and anything resembling non savagery had completely vanished. In its place was brattish, uncontrollable hideousness from a planet I had no care for or knowledge of. The children that we had sweated blood over had vanished and in their stead were gargoyles of Beelzebub from a place just outside Mordor. I cannot paint the scene vividly enough, because it makes me sweat just conjuring the images in my head.

So, what did I do, I set fire to the sacred rule book, lowered my voice to psycho bitch level and hurled the venom of a thousand hells at my children. Detail here isn't needed, I am ashamed and I know that I have scarred, certainly my eldest,for life. But it was the buffer that had been unrelentingly moved over and over again and I wasn't having it. I think for their sake, I needed to tell them that, BECAUSE they no longer listened to anything Mummy or Daddy said, they were going to live with someone else, someone who they would listen to, as I didn't want to spend the rest of my life having to shout at them to get them to turn their heads and at least look to be listening. I didn't give up, I didn't even feel cruel when the tears and panic came, once the realisation dawned that I meant business and they were off. This, was real life torture. Luckily their father came home and saved them from the jaws of their mother and the promise of another life away from home.

I am not proud of this, this was not my crowning moment as a pathetic example of a parent, but it seems to have done the trick, balance has been restored, listening ears are on a little bit more than off, routine has returned and I am keeping my copy of "How to Talk..." right next to the bed. I cannot condone this, but perhaps, just every now and then a shot across the bough is what they need, too much rope and they'll hang themselves, not on my watch. I love the little terrors, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, don't you?