Easter 2014 will forever be remembered as the nadir of my parenting career.
Eclipsing the time we started serving our children water in shot glasses and encouraged them to slide glasses along the table top shouting ‘hit me’.
It was funny for about 30 minutes before we realised we had basically encouraged a toddler and a baby to throw 1960’s non toughened glasses at their parents faces.
I expect the government will be launching an initiative warning about mixing young children and vintage glassware imminently.
Enough of the searing political comment, time for more tales of appalling parenting.
As I discussed important stuff like should we have rice or jacket potatoes with our chilli on the phone I spotted a strange shadow out on the patio- it looked like the moving outline of a small child on the kitchen roof.
I calmly went upstairs and coaxed her towards the open window before dragging her through it and shouting that all the Easter eggs were going straight in the bin.
Once the initial emotional exhaustion had subsided I tried to explain why climbing onto roofs is an unsuitable activity for a person who cannot even put their own shoes on.
‘Mummy shouted because running around on the roof is dangerous.’
She looked at me the same way she always looks at me – like a 3 year old child who still thinks doing laps of the kitchen roof is a great idea.
‘Do you understand?’
My daughter will say yes to any question.
‘Do you know what day it is? Yes.’
‘Do you know the square root of pineapple? Yes.’
‘Do you know why Mummy sometimes locks herself in the downstairs loo and has a little cry? Yes.’
The Easter eggs going in the bin had not been as effective as I eggs-pected.* Time to get real.
‘If you fell off you would have to go to hospital’
Her eyes lit up. Grandad was in hospital and she got to meet real life nurses and eat food in bed. To her going to hospital is an awesome day out.
It was time to get real – er. Maybe this time leave out the egg based puns.
I should warn you that there is a Frozen spoiler coming up but to be honest if you haven’t seen the film yet – where have you been? Oh and when you read the name Anna it’s not Anna it’s Au-nna (I know! Weird!?)
‘If you fell of the roof you could die. Like Elsa and Anna’s parents in Frozen.’
‘Don’t be silly Mummy Elsa and Anna’s parents aren’t dead they’re just lost at sea.’
‘Lost at sea is a nice way of saying they’re dead.’
Ta dah! It hits home. The lightbulb moment. Her face crumples.
‘Elsa and Anna’s parents are dead!’
This is it.
I have ruined Frozen and at the same time introduced the concept of death to a 3 year old.
No one runs about on my kitchen roof and gets away with it.
The rest of the day is spent crying and answering difficult questions.
‘No darling if you get lost in the park you don’t die. Or the supermarket. No Mummy and Daddy won’t be going on any boats anytime soon.’
I am so guilt stricken that instead of throwing the Easter eggs in the bin she actually ends up having more treats than she would on a day when she has not behaved like a total idiot.
Next year I am planning something less stressful for the Easter holidays like a trip to the Philippines to watch the re enactment of the crucifixion.
* Sorry. I think I may have been emotionally damaged by events.