As the years tick on, and my daughter stretches and grows in front of my eyes, I find that every day I end up having to repeat just about everything that I say. Every day I then have to explain why I’m repeating myself. And every day I think that this is the day where I might have actually have got the message through.
Alas, that day doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon.
My forehead is now so flat from banging my head against the wall, I reckon I could easily get a job on the Starship Enterprise – and blend right in. Some days, as my words whistle through both her ears and I am met with another incredibly blank look, I have to gather up all of my self control to stop myself from leaping across the room and shaking some sense into her.
I’m frankly quite sick of hearing myself say “Why can’t you just listen to me”, or worse still, “What did I just say?” Utterly pointless things to ask a child when they are being reprimanded for not listening in the first place.
So yes, sometimes I do ask myself, what happened to my sweet and innocent little girl? The one who thrived on nothing more than love, hugs and praise. My incredibly tidy little girl, who liked to sweep the floor and rearrange the Tupperware cupboard for fun. The one who regularly arranged the contents of her underwear drawer so it was colour coded, and made her bed with military precision – spending at least 10 minutes lining her toys up in height order along the pillow.
Oh how things have changed. Her room now often resembles the second day at a Next sale, with her clothes hung up all over the floor. Her bed seems to look the same whether she’s in it or not, and her toys are, I think, expected to regroup and tidy themselves. She is going through a ‘Mary Poppins’ phase, so maybe she has been trying to ‘click’ them back into place.
Yes, Yes. I know this is all probably perfectly normal stuff. And yes, I admit that her earlier love of neatness could sometimes border on the side of obsessive. But still. While I was expecting to one day have to wade through her pit of a room, with dirty clothes up to my waist and week old toast crumbs under my toes, I just wasn’t expecting it so soon.
I guess I can live with the mess, as long as it stays behind her bedroom door. I can even live with the toys scattered aimlessly across the floor. That is as long as she doesn’t mind the odd Polly Pocket hat or shoe disappearing up into the Dyson. What I can’t live with however, is the losing things in the mess behind the bedroom door.
Take her golf glove for example – the one that I brought her a few weeks ago, to help improve her grip and keep the blisters at bay.
Buying the glove in the first place was a 3 act drama to say the least. Because her hand was so hot and sweaty from an hour on the driving range, we couldn’t work out which size was right for her. Think ‘The 3 Bears’ and you’d be halfway to the dilemma that unfolded, with open packets and assorted gloves flying all over the place.
Eventually she was taken off to wash and cool her hand, so it could shrink back down to a normal ‘Size Small’. Like I said, a complete 3 act drama.
The glove was eventually chosen and paid for. Later I was to learn I had paid more for hers than my golf loving husband had even paid for his own. Never mind, it was cute. And pink.
The glove was then worn home in the car, stroked lovingly the whole way. It was waved around, tried on several times during dinner, shown to everyone 5 times, and then taken to school the next day for ‘Show and Tell’. It was even used as a sleeping bag for her toy furry mouse, and positioned next to her pillow for the night. I think it would be safe to say that the glove was definitely the prized possession of the week.
What it wasn’t however, was put away with her golf clubs like I asked her to. So sure enough, the morning of her next lesson arrived, and the glove was nowhere to be seen. You could say that I was a tad mad at her for losing it. I believe the kitchen walls did shift slightly in fright as I made my point. I was also mad at myself for not preventing the incredibly predictable.
We both searched her room, her toy box, her bed, the garage, the garden and the dogs kennel. I searched in places that the glove would never be. Like on top of the dresser and inside the shed. Not a bleeding sausage – or glove, in sight.
Of course the woman in the golf shop remembered us when we went back in, how could she not. An identical glove was bought, this time paid for with the contents of my meek child’s piggy bank. I did explain why we were back so soon, and was told that if the missing glove reappeared, I could return it, along with the latest packaging and receipt.
Guess what. Several weeks later when we were out in the car, my daughter stuck her hand in her jumper pocket and pulled out the elusive glove. Hurray we thought.
Then I went to find the receipt and the packaging. Both of which I had tucked up high on the dresser shelf for safe keeping. Naturally they were both bloody missing and nowhere to be found. So now we have 2 gloves and no receipt, and I am admittedly feeling slightly guilty. Particularly as she had reduced the weight of her little piggy by many, many months. Never mind I told her, take it as a valuable lesson for you to learn, about the importance of looking after your things. I think she listened this time.
As for that missing receipt and packaging, I still can’t find them anywhere. I think perhaps that was a mild dose of parental karma, come back to give me a good hard bite on the arse.