Geniuses? Geniui? I don't know what the plural of genius is, but I do know that my children are slowly plotting a military style coup and it will only be a matter of time before they BRING ME DOWN and are in full charge of the household, and Husband and I are locked in one room of the house, feeding on scraps that the boys occasionally push under the door. Think I'm overreacting? I've been stealthily observing their tactics over a number of months, taking notes with which to protect myself/use as leverage when we are held hostage. Take a look, and then try and tell me I'm overreacting;
Evidence A: Mealtimes.
Around two hours before any mealtime, said children will start adopting their best bereft and unfed look, and whingeing about being hungry. J will sigh and give mummy a disappointed look when told what todays offering is. Both J and M will tuck in heartily when plates are proffered. I will spend five minutes carving a Phoenix rising from the ashes from a cucumber as requested by J, slicing my finger in my hurry to sit down with them so we are having a family mealtime and they are getting all the necessary skills to become fully functional members of society as adults, blah blah blah. As I sit down, mouths clamp shut. And I discover that they weren't actually scoffing down mummy's wonderful homemade food, they were lobbing it on the floor and feeding the dog. No amount of aeroplanes and funny voices will budge them. They are hanging on for the good stuff that mummy will inevitably crack and give them at the end - raisins, yoghurt, yoghurt covered raisins. Yoghurt with raisins sprinkled in. You get the idea. Slowly, meal by meal, showing mummy who's boss. Not mummy.
Evidence B: Bedtimes.
This is a torture technique that J has solely franchised out to M. Being the main perpetrator of the day time terror, J needs his beauty sleep, and happily conks out for twelve solid hours. Enter M, his willing protégée. This one is a corker - Jack Bauer would be quaking in his boots. It's the Pretend Sleep. This is how it goes down.
Step One: Have milk feed. Fall fast asleep. Stay fast asleep until the very second you hit your cot mattress. Open eyes, wail. When mummy picks you up, fall asleep before she's even finished picking you up. A few seconds later, eyes open and wail. Next time, take a little longer to drift off. When mummy puts you down, eyes open. Repeat 5 - 7000 times. Then it's time to implement the next step.
Step Two: The 'Pretend Sleep' stage. This is the most important part to get right if you are truly going to break mummy. When you fully believe that stage one has got mummy at her wits end, pretend to fall asleep. This takes acting skills of the highest order. Get it right. Quiet, snuffly breathing. Delicately fluttering eyelids. A relaxed fart or two. Then wait till she sighs with exhausted relief and backs away. When she hits the doorway, eyes open and wail. Repeat 5 - 7000 times. Then the icing on top of the cake - repeat pretend sleep stage, but hold your nerve. Let mummy get down the hallway. Into her room. Into bed. Just drifting off to sleep........BAM. Eyes open and wail (An important note - it takes willpower to not actually fall asleep during this last manoeuvre. Stay strong).
Evidence C: Love.
While implementing all of the above and more, my children have ensured we unequivocally, without question, unconditionally, love them. They make us laugh, melt our hearts, learn
from us, teach us, make us cry, make every day better just by being there. They are wonderful, amazing and beautiful human beings.
Dammit they have won.