Lindsay Woods: 'Are all the instances that kids today view as punishment, really what we adults view as utter indulgence?'

“Where are you going Mum?” enquired my son as I followed behind, giddily clearing two steps at a time with an ease which belied my dotage.

“To bed!” says I. A statement which caused me to wriggle my entire body with gleeful anticipation at the impending cocooning of my personage between layers of quilted goodness.

The look that passed across his face ranged from incredulity to sheer and utter disgust…

“But, it’s only half eight!”

“I know son, I know.” Cue gleeful wriggling once more.

I love going to bed early. Mainly, because I don’t get to avail of it that often. But, at the beginning of the year, myself and himself decided that Monday night was going to be THE night. 

Therefore, as our children ascended the stairs to head towards the blissful land of nod (or rather, turn on the contraband torch to do ALL of the things which were now deemed urgent!) we followed in hot pursuit.

In preparation for our new routine, I advised my adoring public that I would be unavailable for any phone calls after the hour of 7pm. 

Ok, my mother… I told my mother not to ring me. I wanted ample time to set the scene and no interruptions. Not least along the lines of, “Did you see so and so on the Late Late Show?”

“I don’t watch the Late...”

“Oh, it was very good. I’ve recorded it so you can watch it when you’re down. Or you could catch up to it on the player?”

The aforementioned was what I wanted to avoid entirely in relation to my pre-bed routine. In return for her compliance, she was given carte blanche from Tuesday to Sunday to recommence her interrogations as to why I harboured such an aversion to her preferred TV listings. (Poldark, I’m looking at you. Not in a good way mind, you hear me?)

As the clock informed me it was indeed time to commence proceedings, I trotted upstairs to pick out my best flannel for the occasion. 

Lest we get ahead of ourselves here, my choice of nightwear would give a team of North Pole explorers a run for their money.

I favour brushed cotton and thick wool socks all crowned with a final layer of cardigan. The whole ‘Come hither…’ ensemble is offset to perfection by the approximate 17 pillows I recline upon. A veritable fortress of comfort.

“I just can’t believe that you and dad are going to bed at the same time as us. Why?” whined the eldest.

“Because it’s delicious!”

Whilst buried beneath my ‘All Seasons Duvet’ (a combo of a 4.5 tog and a 10.5 tog… you’re welcome!), I had a budget Carrie Bradshaw moment, sans the Pellegrino but I still manage to take my tap water in a fancy glass.

So, I wondered, are all the instances that kids today view as punishment, really what we adults view as utter indulgence? And it’s not just bedtime. There’s also...

School: What is wrong with them? I would give up my Ryan Gosling calendar for the opportunity to be allowed to spend the bulk of the day in the company of my friends, with a pre-packed lunch, regular breaks and access to crayons and a library. 

Without even having to drive there because you have a chauffeur at your disposal! Incidentally, she is the same person who co-ordinates your lunch options.

Showering: Up until the hormones kick-in they pretty much treat water as if it has skin melting possibilities and therefore must avoid it at all costs.

My son, on return from a match was so disguised in an avalanche of mud that, for a split second, I worried if I had indeed brought the correct child home such, was my inability to make out any distinguishing features. He still begged to avoid soap.

The alone time of bathing is wasted upon them. For me, it is a glorious window to apply all of the lotions and potions which I rarely get around to using individually. 

The noxious effect of same is so eye watering that, it leads my husband to believe that I have actually cleaned the bathroom. Sucker.

Honestly, kids have quite evidently gotten the wrong end of the stick altogether. Who wants to stay up all night, reeking of filth of their own making?

Leave your answer in the comment section: I’m off to binge watch a new boxset in my pjs which have some dinner stain down the front.

- @thegirlinthepaper


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