Doing What I Want
'You', says my 10 year-old as I march her a mile to school instead of defrosting the Skoda, 'only ever do what you want!' I point out that I only ever do what is good for her, but my words evaporate in the chilly morning air, for children only acknowledge that a thing is in their best interests if they enjoy it. Thus, in my daughter's eyes:
My sitting for an hour on the floor of a leisure centre corridor while she learns gymnastics is good for her.
My sitting for an hour on a cupboard ledge while she reluctantly learns to swim is doing what I want.
Browsing T-shirts in Hollister is good for her.
Buying supper at Coop is doing what I want.
Submitting to an iPod for her birthday is good for her.
Barring her from Facebook is doing what I want.
Crumpets in front of the TV is good for her.
Wholemeal sandwiches is doing what I want.
An afternoon of Diary of a Wimpy Kid at the cinema is good for her.
Making her walk there is doing what I want.
Clean sheets and laundered clothes are good for her
Transporting them herself from bedroom floor to laundry basket is doing what I want.
I know that in 30 years time she'll see things my way. She'll be inflicting wholegrain on recalcitrant offspring and hectoring them on the health benefits of walking. But 30 years is is a long time to wait for enlightenment and I am battle weary. Maybe just this once I'll take the car to school pick up.