Ah, the irony. Yesterday I was regaling you with amusing stories of how we’ve diffused arguments with humour. Today I have to tell a very different story. I was driving to work yesterday morning, catching up with some of my audio blog listening when my car stereo sound faded out. I was puzzled for a couple of seconds, and then my phone started ringing. This should indicate how infrequently I receive calls on my mobile, particularly in the car, because it catches me by surprise every time. When I’d got over the surprise, I answered the call and was surprised all over again to hear the geekdaddy’s voice, sounding extremely stressed.
“It won’t go to nursery”…
I should clarify. We often refer to the geekdaughter as “it”. It’s a term of endearment, but quite often is used when she’s being naughty or playing up.
The geekdaddy proceeded to tell me his tale of woe. For some unknown reason the geekdaughter was just sticking her heels in and refusing to do anything towards going to nursery. He had already had a big fight to get her dressed himself, and had (with suitable warnings) taken away her television and chocolate privileges for the day. They had now reached a standoff with her locking herself in the downstairs bathroom, and him calling me.
(anyone else getting a flash-forward of what she’s going to be like as a teenager?!)
The geekdaddy told me how he had cajoled, shouted, reasoned and argued. She was fighting back tooth and nail. And now he’d had to resort to the final option – phoning Mummy.
I was stuck in my car, most of the way to work. I wasn’t quite sure what help I could be – I have to confess that I have much less tolerance than the geekdaddy does, and by this point if it had been me I’d have probably just bundled her into the car and taken her, kicking and screaming if necessary. But I did try to think about other approaches that might work, and suggested that he start talking to her about what the people at nursery would say, what her friends would say if he took her in in the state she was in at that moment. I can tell he was really struggling, and yet again I felt that working mother guilt kicking in – I should have been there. I’m not sure what I would have done, but I should have been there!
I like to avoid all motorways and major roads on my way to work, which means my route follows a number of small back roads, where the mobile phone signal leaves a lot to be desired, and it was around this point that the geekdaddy got quieter and quieter and then the connection dropped. Heart in my mouth I finished my drive to work, and as I was walking in my my office the phone went again.
“I carried her in under my arm!”
This surprised me – I had imagined that once she realised that nursery was inevitable, she would sort herself out and be reasonable. This is the first time (well, since she was much younger) that either one of us has had to drag her into nursery literally kicking and screaming. I’m not sure her room leader knew what to make of it,
I think it’s fair to say the whole experience upset the geekdaddy more than it did the geekdaughter. He phoned nursery about half an hour after dropping her off, and spoke to her room leader, who said they’d had a short cuddle and then she’d set about her day perfectly normally. I suspect Daddy was stewing about it all day…
He did say that when he picked her up yesterday evening, the first words out of her mouth were “I’m sorry Daddy”.
It’s my turn for the nursery run today – wish me luck!