I came home from a meeting the other night when the kids were already in bed and met MyNigel in the kitchen. He turned to me and said ‘it all went wrong tonight’. Assuming that our tired 6 year old had had a tantrum or somesuch I wasn’t much concerned (and it wasn’t really serious or I wouldn’t be blogging about it). Then he told me what happened. You know that feeling when you suddenly realise you aren’t doing the amazing job you thought you were? Yeah, that.
I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say that our son had devised and carried out a plan to get his little sister in trouble. Not serious trouble, but ‘sent to bed early’ trouble and it almost worked perfectly. Almost. It was only her adamant denials (from her bedroom) that she had not done what her brother accused her of – which was taking something of his and ruining it, as she has done numerous times – that made their Dad suspicious. Our son was adamant that she had done it, until asked to swear on his pocket money. Then he came out with it. He had set her up because, he said, she got away with stuff and he got in trouble for it. When she made him angry and he got angry back, he was the one in trouble. When he was told to go to his room he went, she just screamed and ran around and didn’t go to her room and WE DID NOTHING ABOUT IT. He does have a point. It’s rather horrible when your 9 year old skewers you like that.
We do expect him to behave better because he is the older sibling, but he’s right that we have let standards slip with his sister. So his Dad has promised that we will shape up and be fairer with them both.
What I’m taking out of this, as well as a deep sense of failing as a parent, is relief that he still thinks we can be saved and is willing to be upfront about our failings as parents, that he trusts us enough to, finally, come clean and tell us what is wrong. We are pretty impressed that he planned and carried out this little scam too, but we aren’t telling him that. Because it is also just a little bit disconcerting that he played it so well. I don’t know if it would have been as effective if I were here, but it probably would. He’s a clever little bugger our son. I just hope that his parents are up to the task of teaching him to use his powers for good. Or fiction.