Yesterday Matilda spent most of the day preparing a "surprise" in her bedroom. Every time I went near I was hissed away. When Fanf got home the grand surprise was finally revealed. She had tidied up. Whilst I get the kids to tidy up the communal living space downstairs, I don't usually bother with their bedroom. Fanf and I have a tendency to grumble ineffectually as we step through/on the debris to kiss them goodnight but in the same way that I can't quite bring myself to pick up a duster or put anything away (I am a rampant creator of piles) I can't quite bring myself to insist that the minibeasts do better on the domesticity front. But Matilda did do better. She even folded all the clothes in her drawers. Crazy. Whose child is this?? Her father's, clearly.
Now if you take a closer look, some of the tidying is a little bit slapdash (though still better than I would have managed) but I think it's great that she did it all on her own initiative.
|A bit slapdash??|
It made me think that really my best parenting moments come when I don't parent. I toilet-trained Matilda to the point of exhaustion but completely neglected Owen and he toilet-trained himself pretty much independently. We used to have difficulty getting either of the elder minibeasts to sleep, rocking and singing and camping out on the bedroom floor with miserable regularity but an abundance of life in our lives has meant that Nell has always just had a quick lullaby and then been unceremoniously plonked into bed at which point she turns over and goes to sleep. So note to self: make a cup of tea, grab a slab of chocolate, open your book, and let the unparenting begin.
p.s Owen also prepared a "surprise". He hid a little toy rabbit under his bedclothes for me to find. This also took him all day. He odd.
p.p.s. Yesterday morning, prior to the surprise preparations, I found Owen with his head in Matilda's lap while she read to him. Me toasty heart cockles.