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  • jdettmann

A Hot Cross Son for Easter

I’ve been so tired and befuddled this week that I have just realised that there are only four days left to threaten my kids that the Easter Bunny will take a flying leap past our house if they don’t stop that immediately. I don’t know how I could have been so remiss. And it’s been the perfect week for it because Garnet’s been sick since Friday – first vomiting and then coughing – and he has been about as easy to reason with as a chipmunk with rabies. Rabies and gastro and a cough.

This week he has been brought to howling tears by many and varied injustices. There was the fact that I would not go under the house to drag out the old double stroller to push him the half block to pick up May Blossom from school. Why the double stroller? Because he wanted to ride in it with his friend Charlie. Charlie who lives on the other side of the city? Yes. We never do school pickup with Charlie. Yes, that was understood. This was some sort of protest against never doing school pickups with Charlie. It was the filthy Maclaren stroller version of the empty chair representing the imprisoned writer that PEN International always have at events.

There was misery because he couldn’t find his green watch and H and I disagreed that an appropriate way to deal with a missing green watch is to bite your sister on the bum.

On Saturday afternoon there was a good hour of sadness because he follows the Stanislavsky Method of play and thus was utterly bereft when in a game of lions with May Blossom and her friend Seamus, he was orphaned. Bear in mind that this was his decision. He was the one pretending both of his parents had been killed by hunters. There was no reasoning with him. ‘But, mate, it’s a game,’ I told him. ‘Let’s pretend they haven’t been shot.’

‘I want to pretend they have been killed,’ he cried. ‘But I am so sad they have been killed.’

Well that, sir, is a fine pickle you’ve got yourself into, I thought. And if you won’t change the pretend outcome for your poor poached parents, I wash my hands of you.

When given a special dessert treat of chocolate ice cream at his grandparents’ house last night, he cried because he wanted both chocolate and vanilla. That was after he threw a wobbly because my mum said he couldn’t have a sherry glass to drink his soda water from. Oh cruel, cruel world that has such grandmothers in it.

I shouldn’t make fun of him, I know. He is only three and in his sad, tired little mind these are world-ending problems. Goodness knows, there’s a chance I may have overreacted to one or two things this week as well. (Spoiler: the one or two things were both him.)

As the week wore on and the sleeplessness from coughing worsened, his reasons for fury grew ever more spurious. As they did, my tolerance shrank.

I try very hard to validate my children’s emotions so they don’t grow up feeling judged and angry and misunderstood and join the Liberal Party. So all week I calmly reasoned and accepted and said soothing things about how I understood how he was feeling and gosh, isn’t it hard to feel so sad/angry/unreasonable and I tried not to use the words ‘completely mental’ or ‘spoiled rotten’ out loud because those are judging words. Well, maybe not all week. Maybe by halfway through I started appearing in public looking rather more put together than usual because the only solution I could come up with was to drown out his anguish with my hairdryer. I feel pretty bad about that.

But onwards and upwards, eh? Tomorrow is the Easter Hat Parade at school, and then we have four days off to go to the country and run around. The Easter Bunny will probably come, and we’ll hunt for chocolate eggs. With a bit of luck the weather will be nice. With even more luck I will be nice. It could happen. Easter’s a time for miracles, after all.

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