Throughout most of my children’s early years (bar the Terrible Twos which I’ve successfully blotted from the memory bank) I could do no wrong. When presented with a choice of who to sit next to, it would be me. When walking along the street, the hand they would fight for would be mine. And at bed time? It would invariably be me who would be given the auspicious title of chief story-teller and goodnight kisser.
Then all of a sudden, without prior warning, things changed. I became the butt of the jokes, the total embarrassment, the one who it is seemingly ok to mock at every opportunity.
If you are hoping to avoid this transition (who wouldn’t?) then to follow are just a few of the things that my children find either hugely funny or deeply embarrassing. I suggest where possible, you try to avoid them from this day forward….
- Me falling over.
- Me whooping (too loudly) as I fall over.
- Me laughing with my mouth wide open.
- Me laughing.
- Me singing along to the radio using the wrong words.
- Me singing along to the radio.
- Me attempting to use language seemingly inappropriate for my generation (‘lol’, ‘banter’ and ‘hench’ to name but a few).
- Me sneezing too loudly in public.
- Me making any noise in public.
- Me doing anything in public.
- Me talking to strangers.
- Me leaving the house looking slightly less groomed than is acceptable.
- Me stopping to take a photograph.
- Me breathing in a certain heavy, rhythmic pattern.
- Me breathing.
And the absolute worst thing of all. The one that no one will ever forget…..
- Me falling off the button lift on our ski holiday last year*.
Sadly, somewhere between the ages of 8 and 11, every primary care-giver is knocked off the pedestal in spectacular style. That hand that was once eagerly proffered? Snatched away in one swift move. That look of adoration that you have come to know and love? Replaced with one of disdain (see photo above).
And before you think that you will be exempt from this particular parenting milestone (I too fell into this trap), it has happened with all of my children. Bar none.
If When this happens, you have two choices: (a) to wallow in self-pity or (b) to laugh at yourself. Ok I’ll admit it, at times I might have been known to mutter something ridiculous about being bullied by my own offspring, but on the whole? I’ve found that it’s better to laugh along with them. After all, which reaction would I rather my children pick up on? I know I would always prefer to hang out with someone who can take a joke, over someone who is super-sensitive and grumpy.
Have you reached this point yet? Or are you still basking in the glory of being numero uno?
*Do not ever attempt to take matters into your own hands, thinking you can avoid the inevitable. Hanging on to the button lift for as long as is humanly possible, is not a good move. You will not be able to haul yourself back onto it (no matter how hard you try) and it only prolongs the emotional pain for your offspring. Never mind the physical pain for you.