Wednesday, 29 August 2007


It's an airport run for Shark, Squirrel, Tiger and Grit today so we can drop Dig down for the 3pm flight. Cleverly, Grit has off-set this boring car journey with a trip to a nearby playground. Even better, I've arranged to meet Am and Jol who are passing through the vicinity. OK then, I admit the playground is not that exciting and is under the Easyjet flight path but hey ho it's the best thing I can find right now. In the past it's proved to be a life saver with Dig's comings and goings and I can always say the children like it. Or they did.

At the last minute before departure we get a lot of 'I don't want to go'. It's too late to summon a taxi and we don't have another plan. At this point, bribery rarely works. So it means another Kaboom! Then Dig goes Kaboom! too as his lift to the airport seems to be vapourising and, if he misses the flight, the consultancy fee that'll cover next month's mortgage goes along with it. It takes some pretty sharp thinking from mummy Grit concerning the knicker problem to get anyone in the car at all.

Then we drop Dig off. Grit's on her own again with an exploding Tiger, a dodgy Shark, a fed up Squirrel and an arriving au pair called Amanda from Nice. At this point it's hard to raise a cheery smile in the direction of Dig's rear end disappearing into the airport departure lounge.

Next up, we get to the park. Tiger arrives already scowling and not playing, Shark is excitable and irritable at the same time and Squirrel is desperate to get her hands on Am as light relief from the horror of having two twin sisters. That's probably when the trouble starts for Am, who not surprisingly gets pretty fed up quite quickly of being pulled in three different directions simultaneously. She starts off bravely enough with a few demands to 'get yourself sorted out' delivered in no-nonsense style to a sulky Shark, then, when resources fails her, has to have a big squeal like the rest of us. My sympathies (and apologies) go to Am (and to Jol) for having to put up with us at all.

But the day's not yet done when Tiger, not fully in rage, takes two fists and wollops Shark while Shark is swinging on a tyre and is pretty much a sitting target. And I do not leap up and respond. Just watch, knowing intervention now will send Tiger sky-high. As I think about my inactivity I know that my ordinary way of admonishment is going to fail with Tiger. Enraged, she's not responsive to consequences and not motivated by rewards. Enraged, she's single-minded, focused, deaf to anything, everything, everyone.

I think Tiger's going to be a journey for us. And just for now, I hope the other parents who are there do not see those fists come down. I hope they're all looking up at the Easy Jet flight path.


HelenHaricot said...

feel free to ignore,or to tell me to shut up.Have you thought of a child psychologist?

grit said...


HelenHaricot said...

sorry, hugs