The Fruits Of My Loins Have Gone Rotten.

On the day before we flew out to Paris, we headed to the shops to pick up a few last minute things. It was the usual scenario before catching an international flight: packing to be done, balancing feeding a family versus not leaving food to go off in the fridge. Things kept popping up in my head – he needs shoes, we need a new backpack. Did I check the visas? Did I tell the guitar teacher we were going away?

I love that moment when you finally get on the plane. What’s done is done. Officially on holidays and eyeing off the drinks trolley. The part before that? The twenty four hours where you inevitably end up scrambling around like the proverbial headless chicken. I’m not a fan of those twenty four hours.

In the midst of the madness G and I ducked into a sports store to find a backpack, we left the little travellers by the front door with clear instructions “watch the shopping trolley”.

Two minutes later I looked out of the shop window and saw this.

Shopping trolley? What shopping trolley? Sorry we’re a bit busy slapping the crap out of each other in the crowded shopping centre.

They were feral. Completely hyped on a mix of no school for the next nine days and Disneyland in their immediate future, they measured a 9.9 on the revolting child richter scale. G and I did what any self respecting parent would do, shook our heads in disgust while looking around for their parents.

We had an agreement in Paris. Before we left the house each morning everyone had to help in getting everything tidy. We were staying at a friends house and the little travellers were learning a lesson in respecting other people’s property. Each morning the carpet under the table was vacuumed, the dishwasher was packed. Everyone quickly learned which bin was for what, beds were made, tables wiped down, and bathtubs rinsed.

There was nagging. At one stage after breaking up a fight over who should pick the kleenex up off the ground, G completely lost his shit. “FOR GOD’S SAKE SOMEONE JUST PICK IT UP!!!”

I was getting dressed when G walked into the bedroom and said “The fruits of my loins have turned rotten.”

We both laughed.

We’ve all been there right? When you can’t believe that your angelic, beautiful child is performing a fabulous impression of Sean Penn in a paparazzi scrum.

Each day we chip away at the rules. Say hello to the adults when you walk into a room. Make your bed before you come downstairs. Don’t whine. Be grateful. Today after a reasonably revolting exchange in the car over where we should get our lunch from – a TREAT that we have every Tuesday on our half day, I heard one too many moany suggestions. Someone grunted at me without raising their head from their book.

“That’s it, you can all bugger off, we’re going home for vegemite sandwiches.”

It’s a work in process. For both me and them.

Parenting challenges? What’s your biggest?

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