Before I became a full-time mom, which was about nine months ago, I’d not read a single parenting book.

That’s right. I popped two kids and raised them, part-time, using the occasional bead of wisdom from anyone who’d spare one (and we know how many people there are out there who like nothing better than to tell you how to raise your children), an article or two googled frantically whenever something I’ve no experience with shows up on the girls, and of course, good old-fashioned common sense.

And you know what? I still haven’t read a single book on parenting.

For someone who guards piously the inimitable value of book-learning against her nonchalantly Philistine husband, this is of course a big self-inflicted guilt trip.

In my defence, I used to think these things would come naturally. Evidently, dealing with an obstinate child who watches the 20 minutes she is given to eat her meal tick by, SO she can stop eating in 20 minutes, takes more than a genealogically-imbued understanding of one’s offspring.

But – and we can all be thankful that there is one at this point in my entry – as my girls begin to grow into little people, which they are doing absurdly quickly despite my fervent protests, I am beginning to realise that the people around me, the very same ones whom I’ve turned to time and again for handy mothering tips and tricks, are running out of ideas.

Or maybe they’re keeping the precious few ideas that actually work to themselves for fear of somehow dilluting their effect.

COME ON. JUST ONE MORE!

So really, when will they catch on that we, their parents, have absolutely NO idea what we’re doing? Or does Rae already know? She doesn’t even bother to mask her little machinations these days, challenging us openly by asking us why it is that she has to finish every scrap of food on her plate, as opposed to leaving one scrap behind.

“But why?” she asks, her eyes on mine, demanding a good reason.

“Because Mommy said so!” is what I resort to these days, avoiding the third degree.

 

You know the method some of us moms use, the counting thing, to get them to do something (or to STOP doing it)?

“Rae, enough TV. Turn it off.”

“But mommy!”

“I said turn it off now, please.”

“Mommy, it’s Koala Bro-“

“ONE!”

“Mommy!”

“TWO!!”

“MOMMY!”

THREE!!

Walks sulkily to turn off the TV. Walks to couch and buries face in cushions in show of protest.

“I’m bored, Mommy.”

 

So far, I’ve never had to reach Five. To be honest, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do when I do reach Five.

But I know I’d better figure it out REAL soon because it’s getting mighty close. And I’m pretty sure someone somewhere has written something which can help me.

I hope.