Sunday, March 19, 2006

Running Away From Home

It goes without saying that someone who refers to herself as a maniac mum doesn't consider herself to be the best mother in the world. But this week I was given notice that I was a really really bad one.

At seven pm on Wednesday night, when her big sisters were out at Brownies and it was actually time for bed, no 3 announced that I had given her no choice: she was running away from home. My crime? Turning the tv off and telling her it was bedtime. The resulting tantrum ended in her running upstairs and going to her cupboard and packing a suitcase.

This isn't the first time one of my children has tried to run away (you see? I am a really bad mother). No2 has also had a go, for reasons which escape me now. She too, packed a suitcase and headed off down the stairs with it. On that occasion I tried to bluff it out, by saying ok, off you go. Unfortunately no2 double bluffed me and promptly opened the front door and headed out of it. At which point I had to drag her back inside, and lock the top bolt.

With this in mind, and considerate of the fact that it was after dark, I decided the best option this time was to try and keep no3 in her bedroom. I found her sobbing dramatically as she packed, wailing, "I don't really know if I should do this, but I have to."

"But where are you going to go?" I asked.
"I don't know," she hiccuped, "but I can't stay here."

No clearly not. Why would you stay with a demon mother who turns televisions off willy nilly. There must be some other nirvana where mums do what they are supposed to and let children stay up all night, watching tv and eating junk food. Shame no3 got lumbered with me...

She then hit something of a dilemma. She had packed so many of her clothes, she couldn't fit her toys in the suitcase. With a look of grim determination, she got out a back pack and promptly shoved her cuddlies in it. If she was going to be cast out by her evil mother into an unyieldingly cruel world, at least she would have something to snuggle up to.

"It'll be dark outside," I pointed out.
"I know," another hiccuping sob, and a set determined look. She then wanted to know if she could take a sleeping bag. And when it was pointed out to her she couldn't carry it all, some of her resolve started to crumble.

By now her sisters were back from Brownies, and no 2 was taking a sisterly, Been There Done That interest in proceedings.

"You'll need money," she says."You'll have to take five pounds from Mum's purse." Great a kleptomaniac in the house as well as a runaway. My bad mother points are mounting up here.

I pointed out that this was stealing.
"Is it?" no2, was interested to discover this, as clearly because it is me, she thinks I owe her.
Er, yes. Just because it's your mum, you still shouldn't take money out of her purse.

Spouse took this moment to come home, at which no 3 went into a blind panic. If I am a bad mother, apparently the thought of her dad discovering her trying to runaway from home is even more terrifying then having to leave your rotten mum in the first place.

She started flinging clothes back in a drawer, in between throwing herself into my arms sobbing. "I think this is a bad idea."
"I do, too," I say. "Here, let me help you."

Phew, crisis averted, Bad Mummy clearly not as scary as Nasty Daddy. For once my personal maternalometer rating seems higher then normal...

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