9 Dec 2010

Hestia & Sonshine - loggerheads

Hestia at 8.30am this morning
Things started off fine this morning.  He came through and snuggled in beside me in bed, wittering quietly about LEGO Universe (£10 per month and apparently excellent value - can he get it? etc) which I tuned out beautifully.

He was then dispatched downstairs to get his breakfast sorted and I asked him to put on his dressing gown and slippers - because this is a VERY cold house and we have mosaic tiled floors in the hall.  Lovely, but will suck the heat out of your very soul.

By the time I saw him again, after breakfast, his nose was running and his hands and feet were freezing (no slippers on) and I pointed out to him that if he came down with pleurisy, he would end up in hospital - off the island.  And that if he was in hospital on Christmas Day, I joked, he'd be on his own because we'd all be here opening his presents.

He immediately flew into a blackened and foul mood from which no poking, cuddling or words of apology could cajole him.

'I hate having you as a mother,' he said quietly.  The Mother word is always spat out in a sort of Bette Davis black and white movie moment.  The fringes of red mist started to descend on me - I've got quite a lot on my mental plate at the moment and a child's tantrum is right down at the bottom of things that I don't really give a flying fuck about right now.

'Right, fine, you hate me.  I hear you.  Just go downstairs now please,' I muttered, scooping up his pjs and pointing him, perhaps with a little more vigour than was called for, out towards the bathroom door.
The next thing I know, the front door slams and he is GONE.  GONE.  Out the house.  Jacketed up, booted up, hatted up, and gone.

I flew downstairs in my jammies and dressing gown and flung open the front door to the freezing morning.

And then I turned into a Fish Wife.

I skidded my way down the path  and shouted, SHOUTED, down the street - much to the amusement of  passing children:  'Sonshine - if you do not come back to this gate within the count of 5, your hamster will be put out for the BINMEN.'

Thereby confirming to my son that I am indeed a cruel and heartless sonofabitch and to my neighbours that I am verging on the unhinged.

He stopped walking and looked up the road, his small white face an inscrutable mask beneath his stripy woolly hat.

'NO!' He shook his head.

'WHAT.....W H A T???? ARE YOU DEFYING ME, YOU LITTLE SOD?' oh dad, I could just hear you laughing your socks off at that one.  I have turned into my father. 'COME BACK HERE THIS INSTANT OR ELSE.....(I'd run out of threats.  The ace card was the hamster and I'd blown it at the first attempt.  I was in a panic).....I'LL CANCEL YOUR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!!!'

Several small children looked at me aghast and hugged themselves tighter to their Wonderful Mother (ie one who actually had her clothes on and was outside escorting her child to the bus stop).  I realised that I looked utterly ridiculous, but the Red Mist was now so impenetrable I would cheerfully have punched the Archangel Gabriel's face in if he'd dared to put in an appearance.

Sonshine reluctantly came back up the road.  'Do you have lunch money?' I asked tersely.
'Right, wait there and I'll get you some money.'
I gingerly made my way up the icy path and into the house, retrieved some money and made the perilous journey back to the gate.

I apologised and assured him that I'd NEVER get rid of Nibbles and that we'd almost certainly visit him in hospital on Christmas Day if he had pleurisy.  I tried to make a joke of it. Tried to give him a hug, but he pushed me away.  He took the money without looking up or saying thanks, turned on his heel and walked back down the road.

I'm wondering whether it would be a Bad Thing to cancel the little bastard's Christmas entirely.  It's not even 9am, but the Gordon's Gin is looking like an attractive breakfast prospect.  After all, it's 5 o'clock somewhere.


  1. Oh, you Wuss! No wonder he doesn't listen to you if you fold that easily. If you're going to threaten them they have to believe that you mean it!
    Best way is to proffer a carrot then snatch it away, i.e., "Lego Universe? You think you've got a hope in hell of getting lego universe behaving like THIS? Hah!" It doesn't promise anything and if it works you have a beating stick to ensure good behaviour until Christmas.
    If you want any tips on being mother-from-hell, just ask :D

  2. I never had any intention of getting him Lego Universe at £10 a month. That's £120 a YEAR for a GAME. I wouldn't even spend that on SHOES never mind a computer game.

    I know I'm a wuss - but the problem is the Red Mist. It truly takes superhuman effort not to just let everything spiral out of control and just take a fucking FLAKY. And the only way I can avoid that is to totally back down - cos there is no half-way possible.

    I mean, I'm fine now. If he was here we would be able to discuss it and I would be able to come up with all sorts of creative threats, mean, suggestions.

    Just feel fed up and too tired to be arsed.

  3. You mustn't ever threaten something that you can't/won't follow through with. Make sure Nibbles is hidden somewhere safe and his cage gone into a cupboard somehere by the time Sonshine gets home. Freak the little bugger out for that disrespect. Oh, BTW - I'm not Supernanny ;-)

  4. Beautifully written as always Ali, don't know what to suggest, my Mother used to shout, it always made me stomp off, what really put the fear of God into me was my father, his voice always went very deep, and he remained calm, whilst reprimanding, so practice the deep voice?!!
    Hope your keeping warm, Scotland looks very cold, Brrrr

  5. viv - I REALLY had you pegged for Jo Frost. But I know that deep in the darkest cleft of your self you're Mussolini....

    Dash - Probably your mother had the Red Mist thing going on too. I shall practise the deep, stentorian charms of your father :-D


  6. Yes, but HE doesn't know you had no intention of coughing up for Lego Universe! In one fell swoop you could have punished the misdemeanour and got out of it! "Well, I was considering it, but after THIS there's no chance." :D

  7. What Ania said.

    I get the red mist too, I get it from my Dad but as a rule it takes a LOT to send me there. However as Dad subscribed to the notion of a perfect christmas being a possibility it was usually at Christmas as I would be quite chilled out, then stand my ground, he would scream and I would scream back.

    I genuinely find counting to ten does work and crucially taking one *even* breath. It's hard as it feels like wasting time but no time at all with pass (well hardly)

    Then it's easier to grab something worth saying and not end up backing down to prevent a fight. And I only learned to do this because it was ruining Christmas (which was what both me and my Dad were accusing each other of - but the accusation was the problem more than anything else)

  8. Oh and waiting to hear what will happen when you have misbehaved is HELL. Dad would threaten all sorts but it was more terrifying when he sent me to my room while he figured out what to do. Usually nothing. The going to my room had spooked me enough!

  9. Hi there, just checked out your name thingy and see you have a blog, so glad I did! Your early morning routines/red mist totally rings a chord with me - perhaps we were parted at birth?? How old is Sonshine? I was super patient the other morning in the face of the most awful, annoying shenanigans from Boys 1 and 2, I was Mother Teresa, just wonderful - till we left the house - I then ended up whacking Boy 1 round the head in the school car park, no doubt one of the Mothers Superior will have reported me to Social Services....why do I always lose it in public????
    Will now read your past posts with great interest! like your writing style and turn of phrase too!

  10. Hello Blighty - nice to see you *waves* :-) Thank you for your kind words! Sonshine is 10 and, the way things are going, might not make 11.

    The Red Mist is a fairly new thing to me; wussy is my default setting.

    I would be delighted if you would read some back posts - but I warn you now, there's sweariness and a lot of bad temper in most of them. You will also find a small pain au chocolate in a couple of them. I shall say no more.....

    Siobhan - I never remember to count to 10!

    Ania - take your point about the Lego Universe. My next dilemma is that he may come home from school in a good mood and, if I revisit this morning's events to him, could set the whole bally lot off again. Just forget? Or tackle it head on? Or just drink the gin?


  11. I just found you. Oh, I adore you already.

  12. Dear Ali, I'm still laughing. I can't believe you brought Nibbles into it. I have to say the pain au chocolat story is one of my favourites xx

  13. Christina - don't laugh. He's come home from school in the same bloody foul mood that he left in. I am SO going to flee the country when Tertarus gets home next weekend.

    Irretrievably broken - am delighted to be found. Chip in - the more the merrier :-D

    Ali x

  14. You poor soul.I read this earlier on but it wouldn't let me comment.I was going to say he will come in from school as if nothing has happened.Just saw your last comment so here speaketh the voice of experience...
    You could try the guilt angle something on the lines of how hard it is for you with his father away etc etc.
    Failing that my advice is a relaxing bath,glass of red and a good book!
    Sending hugs!

    PS I did laugh but not sure it was appropriate...

  15. NS - I am fed up and tired :-( I'm involved in a lot of things that I am not excited about and it's taking its toll, I think.

    Feel free to laugh - it's why I tell you about it lol!

    Ali x

  16. Hi Ali, I get the red mist too, for the same reasons, and I have to walk away from the most serious conflict as I am afraid I will crack the little sod. God knows what he'll be like when he's ten, if he gets that far. His turn of phrase at the moment is quite choice and is testing out how long it takes from calling me a shithead (and worse) to his feet leaving the floor.

  17. Man, Ali--you two are going to have some fun in the teenage years.

    I could use a drink today, too. Must be going around.

    Love you lots!

  18. SB - I don't want to think that far ahead lol!

    Legend - are you perimenopausal as well then? :-)

  19. If he felt humiliated in front of any of his friends that morning, his mood may last for even longer. Sorry if that's not helpful at all, you have my sympathies. :-)

  20. According to my now adult daughter, I once told her I killed and cooked her pet rabbit and we were having it for dinner as some sort of punishment. I don't recall this incident but it had a lasting effect on my daughter because she still brings it up...with awe in her voice. By the way, no animals were actually harmed, only hidden. Rabbit survived, daughter survived, more importantly, I survived the child rearing years. Now I get to sit back and enjoy private giggles as my grandchildren pay it forward.

  21. Joanne - I rather think that this is exactly how my mother sees it.

    She assures me that 'You did exactly the same to me when you were a child,' with the merest hint of triumphal gloating at my tear- and snot-streaked face.

    Total respect for the 'we're eating your rabbit,' idea. *impressed face*

    I could do that with Nibbles, he's the fattest wee hamster you've ever seen. My friend thought he was a guinea-pig.

  22. oh ali, i totally get the red mist. it descends rapidly and makes me into someone i abhor. then it passes just as quickly and leaves me appalled at what i have said. awful. mine, however, is black.

    i always say that one of the (many) reasons that i don't have children is that i don't really want to spend the rest of my life in jail for manslaughter. i have always been quite fond of the phrase "i brought you into this world; i can take you out" and have never found much wrong with it...except, you know, the jail time.

    hang in there.

  23. Polish Chick - I nearly spat my horlicks all over the monitor!!! I am definitely going to use that line 'I brought you into this world and I can take you out'!

    Yeah - the jail time stops me from doing a lot of things. Like stabbing Tertarus. I love that line from Cell Block Tango ...'He ran onto my knife. He ran onto my knife 10 times.'

    Ali x

  24. Lori - no, his friends were nowhere in sight! He was on his own :-D

    Ali x

  25. Obviously I'm not a parent, but I think in some situations, you should take back what you said.

    I personally would always give a kid a chance for redemption/to fix things - you don't want to back them into a corner, as they end up fearing rather than respecting you, so i think saying sorry was right. If you'd threatened to take a toy away, perhaps not, but for a living thing he loves, absolutely. I bet Sonshine feels terrible about this too.

  26. I'm well impressed that Sonshine remembered to put his hat on before storming out - I think that nearly redeems him in the situation!

  27. LM - we have come up with a Cunning Plan. When I have got to the point where the Red Mist is making things difficult for me to handle, I will utter the phrase 'butternut squash' and he will know that the next step is Mummy Meltdown. At that point he can completely come out of his mood and no-more will be said about it. Until we is both CALM again.

    Shall let you know how THAT pans out lol!

    Trashsparkle - I tried to jemmy my way in to your blog the other day, but it was having none of it. Have you set up a new one elsewhere?

  28. Ah, bless you for that vision of crowbar-in-hand-hestia... for ages the link was duff, but I noticed tonight it's blue now, and works. Maybe I've passed some magic milestone of posting quantity???

  29. oh my that takes me back but try doing perimenopausal when they're 20....it doesn't get any easier I'm afraid!! I fear if he is now 10 you've lost the war, clearly battle lines were drawn up long ago an unfortunately your threats, screams, rants and rages hold no sway with the boy.... he's won.... I've seen those kids who actually heed their mother's words, to put the fear of God in them you have to get them really young....less is always best I think, they actually can't hear you anymore after the 5th word....however, keeping calm is not one of my vices either!!

  30. YaH - great. That gives me something to look forward to. Not. *grin*


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