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The art of taking turns

So as anyone with a child over the age of 1 will know, turn taking is a very important art to learn. It will ultimately make one’s life better, easier and more fulfilling.  If you are Eliza then taking turns will lead to stars on the chart and ultimately treats of the chocolate variety.  Taking turns is important whichever way you look at it.

So when you have dutifully drummed this into your spirited child and worn the scars of many battles to prove it, you kind of hope that other parents hold by this philosophy too.  And thankfully most do. Well most that I know anyway otherwise play dates would be murderous, hellish experiences which I would avoid for all my life was worth.

You can imagine my predicament then, when on a visit to the playground this morning, Eliza had already set out her expectations.

“I want to go on the blue swing Mummy.”

“Ok, Tilly can go on the pink one then.”

So there we were.  Have I learnt nothing?  DO NOT MAKE PROMISES YOU CANNOT BE SURE YOU CAN KEEP. Der!

Naturally there was a little boy on the blue swing with a father who was clearly delighted to be pushing his boy (he obviously hadn’t had to do it every day of his life for 6 months consecutively, or frankly he’d bloody hate it). So the point of this ramble is this,  Eliza patiently waited for her turn on the blue swing whilst Tilly was having fun on the pink one.

And she waited.

And waited.

Then waited a bit more.

“Mummy, when will that boy be finished so I can have a turn on the blue swing?” Said very loudly of course in true Eliza fashion.  I looked rather sheepishly at the boy’s father, or maybe it was pleadingly. I mean he had been on it since before we arrived after all, surely his turn was up?

He just looked at me and smiled. Blissfully unaware of what was inevitably going to kick off.

I thought about asking him if my daughter could have a go, but I don’t wish to bring up a spoilt brat who gets her own way and after all life is full of people who don’t know when to share, it’s a lesson we have to learn. It was freezing cold though and I decided maybe a quick go on the see-saw then home would be better than waiting for swing-boy to relinquish his prize.

“Let’s go darling, come on we’ll go on the blue swing another time.” (when that selfish prat isn’t here, I wanted to add.)


Oh shit.

I looked pleadingly.

He ignored me.


“Well we can’t go on it sweetheart because there’s a little boy on it already, so another time. Ok?” Bottom lip was wobbling…

We left amidst a full on tantrum, which Tilly, not wanting to be left out joined in on.  I did the statutory try-to-put-child-in-pushchair-dance and cursed myself for forgetting any bribery raisins.

I think possibly I should have been embarrassed but frankly I couldn’t give a shit about the looks from other Dads (Sunday’s are definitely Dad-days in my part of the world.)

Oh well. All fine now, watching Dora the Explorer while Tilly naps and I have a coffee.


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