Yesterday was our last day in Dublin. We are in a tiny, although charming Irish village by the sea called Salthill. Salthill is near Galway and merely a two hours drive from Dublin but thanks to the sea and frequent rain, it is really much colder here than Dublin. Each time I step out of our beautifully appointed apartment that overlooks the sea, I rush back in to add another layer of clothing. Today, I have used the weather as an excuse to stay in because for the first time since I hit the road on May 21st, I am officially tired. The husband will not hear of it, nor will my kids who are on a perpetual sugar high since we left Bombay. So the daddy with his two girls is braving the cold outside while exploring the village. You would think that I would be granted a little time to myself given just how much I am around the kids, but my phone starts to ring even as I decide which hip to balance my body on as I sit down. Here is a sample of my conversation with the husband every time I have sent him out with the kids. Incidentally I receive calls of this nature from him seconds after he has left the door. He: The pool is shut till after lunchtime. I don’t know what to do with the kids now, as they both want to do different things. Me: I don’t know why that is such a problem. Find something that they both want to do together.
He: I don’t know they are really unmanageable. Your girls are really badly behaved especially the younger one. I just can’t handle her.
Me (feeling indifferent about his situation in a serves-him-right kind of way). They are not difficult you just need to know how to handle them when I am not around. You are hanging out with ‘your’ kids. It is not a military drill for god’s sake. He mumbles something and hangs up. Seconds later, the phone rings again.
He: Okay so I have bought them ice crème and now we are going to a café to eat muffins and then we are coming back home.
Me: What? I told you not to feed them anything sweet, they are eating cakes and candies all day long and they get a sugar high. Oh and ice crème followed by muffins?!!
He: Easy for you to say that since you packed them off with me while you are chilling out at the apartment. Anyway they have started fighting with each other now, I will call you later.
Me: No wait, why are you coming back already? Do something, make them tired…. Too late because the line has gone dead at the other end.
No one wants to listen to my insights on parenting. Not even my husband. I have bought myself titled why French kids don’t throw away food from London. It is about French parenting and explains how to get the best behaviour out of children without having to scream at them or threatening them (the English way). I hope to start reading it as soon as my phone stops ringing.