Thursday, June 03, 2004

pfaffing about

It's amazing how much all this 're-parenting' tires you out. Mentally, I'm a wet dish rag and getting up each morning gets harder and harder. At the moment, I'm running about an hour behind my usual schedule and getting into work at 9 instead of 8.

Partly because the boy takes so much effort to get parcelled into bed at night. He pops in and out more often than I can keep track of - I call it 'pfaffing about.' He's the king of pfaffing, and tries to stretch each minute out with the flimsiest of excuses:

"I'm thirsty."

"I've got a headache."

"I need to set my alarm."

"I don't want that music, I want the other one."

" I just need to get my A B or C..."

For crying out loud. By the time I sit down at night it's 9.30pm and I've missed all my favorite programs so I end up watching rubbish just to unwind. Then I sit up too late - usually I'm in bed at 9.30 and up early in the a.m.

Then there's the mental exercises you have to constantly engage in just to stay 2 steps ahead of whatever he is up to. You've got to be able to anticipate what his next move will be or what his reaction to something you are going to say will be, and how you can minimise it.

Not to mention the repetitive nature of most conversations:

"Please don't run."
"Go and brush your teeth."
"Pick that up."
"Finish your dinner."
"Do your homework."
"Please don't hit X."
"Put the cat down."
"Please don't fart at the table."
"Or burp."
"Please use your fork and don't lick the plate."
"That's rude - please put it away."

My girl is like a ghost in the background sometimes as he unwittingly gets most of the attention. She was never like this and it makes me so grateful for her presence. I tell her often how much I love her.

If only the boy had the same love to go home to he could leave. But he doesn't and he can't.

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