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Listening Ears

Have you ever had to ask someone the same question five times and they still fail to answer you, or have you had to ask someone to do a simple task seven times and yet till it seems to wash over them? Yes? Then you will know what we are going through right now with our youngest, Tilly.

It wasn’t until Saturday morning I realised that him indoors is also battling this particular developmental beast. I thought it was reserved for me. Certainly her teacher at parents’ evening was quick to assure me that Tilly always does what she’s told. She listens very well at school, apparently.

I was lying in bed at 8.30am, unable to move. After a 6.30am start with the girls him indoors ordered me back to bed zombie like while he got them ready for swimming lessons. To put this in context the night had been like Night of The Newborns. Both girls taking it in turns to wake and call for me, with varying issues from bad dreams to bums that hurt. Nice. Suffice it to say I was tired.

So back to the point. I could vaguely hear the conversation in the bathroom:

“Tilly just answer me yes or no, have you brushed your teeth?”

“Well Daddy I’m just doing the register at the moment.” (Both girls are obsessed with school ‘role play’, I believe this is a good thing.)

“Right. But have you brushed your teeth.”

“Daddy, you have to say yes when I call the names ok?”

“Fine, but have you brushed your teeth?”

“Daddy! You’re supposed to say yes!”

“Tilly. Just answer me yes or no. Have you brushed your teeth??”

“Erm, well I might have done, but I won’t tell you because you’re not being nice to me.”

I could almost hear his frustration in the 10 second silence that followed. The taking a deep breath that every parent will know. The moment where you decide whether to lose it or whether to do what the books tell you. They were due to be a the pool at 8.45am and it was now 8.35am.

He tried again.

“Tilly put on your listening ears, brush your teeth and you can have a donut in the café after swimming.”

“Ok Daddy!”

Job done.

Sometimes I think you will all agree. It’s the only way.

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