Saturday 22 September 2012

Parenting triumph!

I've just finished clearing up the chewed snorkel and mask that Dolly found during her morning stealth mission when Lily calls. 'Mum, I need your help!'

You see. I knew the moment would come when my daughter called upon me in her hour of need. It's taken 12 years, but I'm ready.

'I have a massive dilemma thingamajiggy.'

'What is it, darling?'

'Basically, there's a netball match today which technically I'm meant to be in, but Mattie's asked me out riding all day but I can't because the match is at 2.15 and then I'd miss the riding altogether and I haven't been riding at all yet because Helen says I'm doing too much.'

'What are all the things you're doing?'

'Loads of sport, loads of music. Yesterday I was in jazzamatazz, the day before I had wind band, the day before that I had chapel choir and I haven't had a ride at all but if I go with Mattie all day it'll give me a head start when I finally get a ride with Helen.'

Hmmm. I'm impressed. Lily doesn't usually think in terms of 'head starts'. Or in terms of using canny terms like 'head starts' to impress me when all she really wants to do is have fun.

'Mum,' Lily says urgently, 'I really really don't want to do the match.'

'But darling, they'll be relying on you. You're one of their top shooters after the last match.' I am indeed a proud mother. My darling scored 8 of the 18 winning goals last week. 'I think you should take your dilemma to your PE teacher.'

'But Mum, if I go to Mrs Murdoch and say, "Oh Mrs Murdoch I have a massive problem, I want to go riding when I'm meant to be in the match," she's just going to say, "Go to the match."'

There's a brief pause. Normally I leap to my daughter's aid with solutions and orders, but I sense a new grown-upness about her approach. 'Well, darling, what do you want me to do?'

'I want you to do an excuse, a really good excuse.'

'But it might jeopardise your chances of being in the team in future,' I reason. 'They'll think you're not very dedicated.'

'I would still be dedicated if you say we have a wedding...'

Aha. That kind of excuse. 'Well, darling, I don't want to lie. I think you're going to have to sort this one out yourself.'

'I can't. It's too confusing and hard and annoying and dilemma-y and problem... atic.'

I'm impressed again. She's beginning to sound like her mother. 'Well, how about you just tell the truth?'

'What, that I'd rather go riding?'

'That you've been invited out by Mattie and it's all organised, and you can't get out of it.'

'Oh.' Her voice brightens. 'OK. That's good. That'll work. OK, Mum, I've got to go.'

Yes! I am not a domineering preachy-style parent. I am an amazing American-style parent of the type who has graduated from parenting classes with distinction. With calmness and understanding, I have helped my child solve a dilemma practically by herself!

No comments:

Post a Comment