I used to think I was a pretty patient person -” that is, until I had mini people.

My precious, and most of the time well-behaved, bundles keep my heart rate up and get my blood pressure to exploding point at times.  Now I understand my parents so much more.

A simple trip to the local supermarket has often got me twisted up before we’ve left the apartment.  In public, the men like to run off on their dad, grab tomatoes and sniff all the fruit, saying -˜oh yuk!’ to everything for comedic effect while waiting for a checkout.  Sure, once it was cute, but the sweat and heat coming from my face when I tell them to re-join me in line is enough.

I remember my dad used to purse his lips into a cat’s bum look and hiss some ominous admonishment if we didn’t fall into line.  I too have that look almost worked out but it’s the threat that’s changed.

Instead of a paddy whack on the bum, it’s usually me threatening them that we won’t go to the fish park or that they can’t have dessert. I have given them a short sharp reminder on the bottom every now and then -” but typically only when it’s for avoiding danger.

When we were on the road trip to Melbourne, we stopped in Albury for dinner. We were strolling down the street afterwards and I let the boys have a little slackening of the rein, however, they weren’t to run off.

My youngest decided the gate was open, it was time to bolt, so he took off toward the major intersection.

My eldest ran after him. In horror, I ran after them both as they approached the corner.

The scare they gave me, their mother and their horrified grandmother was commensurate with the punishment.  It could have been worse -” identifying them with a car grille in their foreheads was a possible alternative if they passed the road sign.

Some days can get a little tough dealing with them on your own.  Coffee shops become takeaway stops only and the barista couldn’t pour quick enough.  Even though I only see the boys every couple of days, I don’t want to be the dad who doesn’t want to be the bad guy. Kids need boundaries.

The other weekend, the boys and I were off to the loo in the kiddies park and we overheard a mother asking her daughter in the next section to -˜please close the door’. After repeated requests, it was apparent the little girl had just stood there not doing as was asked. The boys and I giggled as we heard the mother screaming like a banshee and taking away some treat for the little girl in a flash.

We parents sound so funny when we’re going nuts, but it appears to be built into us. All of a sudden you become this heaving, unshaven cranky pants ready to phone up Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny at the slightest whiff of trouble.

Funny thing is, kids know all the right buttons to push to get you tied up in knots -” it’s their entertainment after all.

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