Diary of a busy practitioner, juggling work and family somewhere in England. This week: Tantrums, Twitter and standstill agreements
Last weekend was terrible. Deceptively Angelic Looking Child 1’s (DALC1) angelic looks have been more deceptive than ever as she has flown into rages about every hour. She is picking fights with us, to the extent of throwing games of noughts and crosses so she can get angry about losing. I’m frantically reading the Danish Way of Parenting (not the first, or even the fifth child manual I have bought and tried to speed read on such occasions), snapping at my husband for losing his cool about five minutes after she does every hour, trying to ensure DALC2 isn’t miserable ('I’ll turn my chair like this in case she hits me', DALC2 said as DALC1 approached the dinner table tonight, fully aware that she could get whacked just for existing), trying to give DALC1 extra attention in case that’s what she’s after, trying to keep on top of the mess we are creating having all the Great Fun, getting more and more anxious every time I check Twitter because apparently now standstill agreements in 1975 Act claims are NOT the thing, and worrying about Mom jeans.
Having moved away from a very large shopping centre four years ago, most of my shopping is done online. We have the shops, but very small, dated versions of the shops. Am I the only one who has noticed that M&S in the sticks is solely aimed at old ladies? So I’ve been googling these jeans that everyone seems to be wearing (by which I mean the people on the telly, in magazines and the mums at DALC1’s gymnastics lessons). They wear baggy t shirts tucked into these jeans that are straight from the nineties, worn with a belt and a little turn up. Can anyone save me some time by telling me if these jeans are called Mom jeans because they give even the slenderest of teens a post-natal tum or because mums can totally look awesome in them? I am thinking the former. I do need some new clothes, though, because last summer every time I walked through our kitchen a very small Golden Retriever with razor teeth shredded my outfit. One day my shorts came right off.
And what about these standstill agreements. Before I came off social media personally (because of the data theft, end of democracy and very annoying people) I had a Twitter account on which I followed a random selection of people who were on Twitter in the early days, like Davina McCall, Stephen Fry and @HarryMyCatDied which was an account set up solely for the purpose of retweeting tweets to Harry Styles about the deaths of pets. Under my new @mother__in__law handle I have tried to be more selective, which basically means this weekend all I have seen are tweets saying 'STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND ISSUE YOUR 1975 ACT CLAIMS!' This has definitely been covered more comprehensively on other pages of this website but essentially Mr Justice Mostyn has said people shouldn’t be using them and suggests the practice ends immediately. Well, Mr Justice Mostyn, that is just bloody ridiculous. Has anyone ever had an experience where entering into a standstill agreement was a bad idea, in terms of the costs saved and the extra opportunity to negotiate before issuing a (front loaded, Part 8) claim? I might go back to my old account and see what Davina is up to these days.
And as for DALC1, I don’t know. What I do know is how much Pre-Kids Me would have judged her for her behaviour this weekend. Truth is she’s an awesome kid. One and a half years into schooling she’s nearly at the end of the school’s reading scheme. She comes home and makes model solar systems for fun, does maths games also for fun, is very proud of her ‘home learning desk’, is very physically active, loves our dog so much they could end up on Britain’s Got Talent, and is always looking out for Potential Safety Hazards that could harm her little sister. I’m sure there is nothing upsetting her, as such.
My aunt once told me that kids aren’t mini adults, they are practising at being adults. And they get it wrong. This was a lightbulb moment for me. Once DALC1 wrote the word ‘poo’ on DALC2’s leg, which I completely forgot until we got to DALC2’s swimming lesson, when one of the first time mums who have no idea what’s in store as their baby gets a personality said ‘oh, what’s that on DALC2’s leg?’ to which I obviously replied ‘the word poo’, to much awkward smiling and judging of my parenting. The point is, as long as she’s not doing that kind of thing when she’s my age, I think we will be all right. Last night I decided I would take her to Costa at the weekend, for some time to chat. She cracked up at my Costa Fortune joke, so I think I might be onto a winner.