Monday, October 02, 2006

Moan Moan Grumble Grumble

When I taught English as a foreign language I was driven bored to distraction trying to explain the same stuff day in day out. I tried to vary the poison by asking as many personal questions as possible of my adult students to make it relevant to them, and add a smidgen of interest for me.

I have long since given up teaching English, to my ever-present joy, but I find myself repeating words to my eldest in much the same fashion, such as:
  • your attitude is your decision
  • you decide to be bad-tempered
  • why be difficult when you can be pleasant
  • you live in a family, not in isolation
  • complaints to the chef can be hazardous to your health (jk)
Day in, day out, practically the same ideas expressed in tones which vary according to how much at the end of my tether I feel. It gets very wearing and extremely boring, but he has a destructive streak which really impinges on his normally happy, agreeable self. I wouldn't like to say who he takes after with that, but it doesn't come from MY side of the family (natch!).

I'm clinging desperately to the belief that repetition is the key to positive messages being drummed into his head relentlessly and that they will bear fruit eventually although I may have to wait until he's a young adult (*anguish!*).

All is not bad, however, as he is, for much of the time a very lovely boy. It's just around mealtimes that he is beset by the devil. This takes the form of systematically complaining that he doesn't like the freshly-cooked food on offer, that he doesn't like doing the minor chores I request of him, and that he doesn't want to do his violin practice.

Do I really have another 8 years of this?

I reckon!


  1. Another 8 years ? Most likely. I have a 9-year-old and your problems are all too reminiscent of those produced by him :( Sigh !

  2. Oh, Mike, I empathise with your situation!

    They get through it in the end, and so do we, although probably aged considerably more than 9 years!

  3. i don't have a kid myself, but my sis once called me to deal with his eldest who was submerged in porn. he was 11.

    you'll have more fun in the future. Much more fun.

    i bid you well and wish you good luck.


  4. Submerged in porn ? [aaarrrgh] ! At just 11 - OhMyGawd ! And my wife's engrossed in the case of Mark Foley over here in the USA. If you haven't seen it, take a look at the Wikepedia entry
    that logs it all - good, bad, and ugly !

    Sarah: thanks for the blog; yours has finally convinced me that doing it is possible for me too, so I'm taking the plungs (under the title "A Brit at the Court of the King") as I live in the USA. I couldn't come up with as good a title as yours, though [grrrr] !

  5. OMG, treespotter, porn at 11? How worrying!! I'll be checking those parental filters on my computer, that's for sure, and make sure they are a solid barrier against that sort of thing popping up.

    le Mike, glad you like my blog. Blogging is a very pleasant passtime even if it's filled with nothing in particular, like mine.

  6. We're proof that there's life on the other side as we've just emerged at the other end of the tunnel at 17 so yes you've got time to do. However, stick with the repetition it does pay off. Another thing i learned was to never ever let anything go! My son's a total joy but I do now understand why boarding schools' are such an attractive idea.

  7. Well, of course, one of the advantages to being divorced is that you get boy-free time. It's priceless sanity time.


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