Monday, 21 January 2013

Wot kan wee lern from snow days?

I learnt that I am perhaps not getting the balance exactly right.

When my son’s school shut abruptly last week due to persistent snow, I was able to answer the call to go and get him very quickly.

So I’d guess you’d say I had my priorities spot on, right?

Well, maybe not.

I actually ended up fetching two kids from the school, as I answered another parent’s SOS and agreed to take one of his friends home with us, as his folks couldn’t get back from work.

Regardless of how you may feel about a request like that, it is a reassuring – and practical - compliment when fellow parents are willing to trust me with their children without question, not treating me any differently to the female parents.

A blogging colossus bravely admitted recently that she felt a little uneasy leaving children with a man.

But that’s a whole other tin of wriggly things.

The two kids in question here, my son and his friend, get on great.  And actually by having them both here, it afforded me a little more time for the deadline critical work I had to do.

My son was occupied playing with his chum, rather than pestering me for entertainment.

But that’s really my point.

He would pester me if it was just us two at home, and perhaps struggle to recognise that I had other tasks at hand.

His little friend was quiet the opposite, and actually told my son off for interrupting me with his requests for drinks and putting on DVDs.

I got the feeling that he wouldn’t dream about behaving the same in his own home, and certainly not at a visitor’s.  Seemingly much more independent and appreciative of the demands on a working parent’s time.

Now I completely understand it’s about balance.  As in you don’t want a child that is meek in asking you questions, apologetic for their own existence, and lacking completely in any self-importance, but likewise, the opposite can’t be desirable either, can it?

It’s ridiculous really, and with my son it is all about communication, and being consistent with him.

If I point out that I have work to do, what it is and how long I’ll be.  He’s much happier entertaining himself until I’m done.

Pointing out what I expect from him, usually brings out the best in my son, and means we both know where we stand.

He knows he comes top of my priorities, but perhaps needs a few more lessons in why that isn’t so all the time practically.

I am always going to have time for him, and for building vertically challenged snowmen, but at times other things have to come first.