Not the Babysitter

We had no basketball this morning.

Which was nice.

We filled the void with trying to get out of the house to ensure enough time for me to change a top, procure some cardboard for two school projects and arrive home in time in order to complete said projects, have a somewhat decent lunch and leave for more parkour.

The Leaving The House Process required numerous requests (by numerous, I mean “a gajillionty”) which were only complied with when Mum Lost Her Shit and had a bit of a Ranty Yell that also had the neighbours getting their underpants off their heads, their shoes on their feet and out the fucking door, now!


Off we go, first to Coles, so I may change a top. Monkey Boy spends much of this time informing me “We’re on a tight schedule, you don’t have time” and thinking he was being clever, until I pointed out that he was, in fact, being a smart arse and if I wanted to cut into my time that was my business, not his.

Top exchanged.

Cardboard poster sheet procured.

Home before it rained.

The Damned Projects That I Want Finished And Out Of My Head Before One O’Clock This Afternoon Or I Will Lose My Shit Again projects are completed.

We leave for parkour, after first ensuring both Chippie and Godzilla have something to play with and, secondly, forgetting to pack some snacks. Fuckery.

We arrive and I then realise I also left the work that I wanted to do at home as well.

Which is just as well, or not, because ….

.. there’s a little boy at parkour. He does the kids class, that Monkeky Boy used to do. His mum does that class Monkey Boy now does – which I think is so cool!

This little boy is stocked up with food. And he shares it, which is really lovely, very open to offering it to my kids. Usually, Godzilla isn’t there, so him being there today is a novelty.

A novelty which drives me absolutely frigigng nuts and I’m so in awe of Godzilla for not losing his shit.

Each week, he plays with Chippie. Last week, he kept taking Chippie’s trains from him, causing tears. There were enough to share, and, after a while, I realised what was going on. Chippie was sharing. He’d allowed other kid to play with some trains. Other Kid wasn’t content, and was taking those that Chippie had connected up and was playing with. He smashed them. He threw then. Not nastily – just playing.

This week, he was asked no less than eleven times to leave Godzilla alone. He was snatching his toys – thinking he was playing and having fun. Godzilla wasn’t, and just wanted to be left alone. Particuarly, he didn’t want his toy taken away, and certainly didn’t want it ripped or broken,which was looking increasingly likely.

After Godzilla had requested seven times that he desist, and I’d interevened three, I heard Godzilla say “please leave me alone” with an edge to his voice, and this kid sob and hide. I sat up and spoke to him, pointing out that he had, indeed, now been asked ten times between the two of us to leave him alone.

His mum wandered up and asked if they “needed to have a conversation”

No, I thought, he needs to have gone home with his dad, who just left with his younger sibling, or to fucking learn that when someone says “leave me alone” they want to be left alone.

This kid is six. And he’s pretty switched on. I’ve had a few conversations with him. He’s mostly a nice kid, he’s polite. I constantly have to undo lids and open packets for him, but he asks nicely. He’s not dumb, and most kids his age understand “stop”.

I suspect – based on around four months of observation and interraction with him – that he is rarely told “no”. Even the “conversation” which happened right behind me didn’t appear to consist of any “he told you to leave him alone, now leave him alone”.

I’m in a bind. I’m starting to get annoyed. I make a point of ensuring my kids will be entertained and occupied, especially when I have work to do. I don’t much enjoy having to break up conflicts that I’ve done my best to avoid from the outset.

However, I’m all for supporting this mum – all mums – in fact, in getting the opportunity to do something for themselves.

I’ve been accommodating, but there is an issue. Not once have I been asked to “watch” this kid, and I’m not sure where my responsibilty lies.

I’m happy – ish – to do it, although I prefer to use this time productively, not looking after someone else’s kid when I barely have to watch my own at the time.

I don’t know if it’s assumed I will. And what happens if I’m not there, and the assumption is that I will watch him.

A few weeks back, he took Chippie into the car park. I have my own rules and values about that, about Chippie even going down the stairs – it’s a NO. Do I step on toes and tell this kid he’s not to do it? It seems he is allowed to … and that’s a personal, parental choice. It irks me and I really don’t like it, but I also let my eleven-year-old climb onto the garage roof, and that irks others and makes them uncomfortable.

I called Chipppie back, as it seemed mum wasn’t fussed he was out there. I had words to him about leaving the upstairs area. He’s forbidden to go down the stairs. I called him back several times today.

A few weeks back, he and Chippie were playing with some craft items. They left a big mess. I don’t “do” leaving big messes behind.

“Quick, you two,” I say, cheerfully. “Nearly time to go, pick that stuff up.”

“I don’t want to,” came the reply.

Had I been asked to watch him, I would have known how to handle it … because I hadn’t, I didn’t know what to do ….

I manged to talk him into it – and they did tidy up.


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