My Democracy, My Dictatorship


The third little traveler wasn’t happy with a decision that had been made. As he left the room he muttered “I hate you, you’re just so mean”. I’d just removed the iPod from his hands and ordered him outside to kick the football with his brother. So mean.

 We are in week six of school holidays (we have five more to go). G’s been back in Doha for nearly three weeks now, this means there is only one name to call in the event of a crises. A crises like where’s the toothpaste and we’ve run out of toilet paper. For the past few weeks whenever something has gone wrong, the first name to be called is “Muuuuuuuuum”, you know the Mum I mean right? Not the short, staccato one syllable Mum, but the long drawn out three syllable “Muuaaaaauuuuhhhm”. And then there’s the questions.

“What can I have for breakfast?”

“What’s for lunch?”

“What’s for dinner?”

“Are we going out today?”

“Do we have to go out today?”

“When are we going to library?”

“Why do we have to go to the library?”

“Can we go to the beach?”

“I don’t want to go to the beach?”

“When are we going to Granny’s house?”

“Why are we going to Granny’s house?”

“How come you never let us….” this sentence can be completed with any event that has recently been done, but then conveniently erased from their memory. The logic of a child.

I know it because I’m slowly becoming sucked into its vortex. The only thing keeping this house from turning into the land of twenty-four hour television and a continuous supply of chicken nuggets, is the negotiating skills of Kofi Annan which are required on a daily basis. Only Kofi never had to demand the demise of a cubby house that had been three days in the making while catching someone head first from the top bunks. Kofi never had to say “eat your broccoli now or else I will put it on your cereal tomorrow”.

I began this holiday just like Kofi “knowing that information and knowledge are central to true democracy” I will end this holiday with democracy being replaced by a much more comfortable benevolent dictatorship. I sprang into our holiday break believing everyone had a voice, I now think of these voices as white noise in the distance. What began as “what would you all like to do today” has been replaced with “because I said so”. Oh, who am I kidding, it will simply be a strained and shouty “BECAUSE!”

This morning I was awoken in the usual way. My third little traveler aka our blonde alarm clock, woke me with a kiss on the cheek and a whispered “Morning, love you Mum” before disappearing out towards the bliss that is holiday morning television.

It appears that this dictator is not always popular, but she is loved.

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