On conflicting resolutions
It occurred to me over the summer that, in England (read: without Gerlie around), I’m a much better parent. Forced to spend time with my children, I actually do. And – here’s the big surprise – this summer I enjoyed it.
DD is now verging on nine; DS is four. They’re manageable. There are no more toddler tantrums; they go to the same school; they can make conversation about their day, referencing teachers they’ve both had and – much to my enjoyment – even have little conversations in Arabic.
So, when we came back to the UAE in August, I resolved to spend the children’s dinner time sitting with them; talking to them; leading conversations; opening discussions; enjoying hearing their emergent views, rather than shoving them in front of the TV with Gerlie while dashing off to my office to write this blog, which is what I always used to do (my excuse: they ate better when I wasn’t there).
All well and good, but this resolution coincided with another resolution: on behalf of my ageing skin and decrepit liver, I resolved to give up my little 5pm tipple (if you think 5pm’s early, please remember I have, at that point, been up the best part of 12 hours – trust me, it feels like midnight).
So, two months in, how’s it all going?
Well, I’m still having dinner with the children – and enjoying their company. But there appears to be some sort of software glitch when it comes to refraining from an early-evening glass of wine while “encouraging” an ants-in-his-pants four-year-old to remember his table manners (how many times in a day can a person shout “Sit down!”).
Hey, one out of two isn’t bad.