Dear Dave

Monday 7 December 2009

Faith vs obedience

Dear Dave,

Sometimes I don't know why I bother speaking.

Fraser was upset yesterday because he'd fallen over and bruised his back. I was concerned with checking he was all right but he was more interested in blaming Lewis. He'd been leaning on Lewis and Lewis had moved out of the way without warning.

I tried to explain to Fraser that really he had to take most of the responsibility for the accident. Leaning on someone as an annoying joke is almost certain to make them shake free, and he should have guessed what was going to happen.

He wasn't having any of it, though.

He just wasn't willing to grasp that other people's actions can be inevitable consequences of what he's done himself. He went into a huff and was grumpy for hours afterwards.

Marie, meanwhile, has recently been erupting in a toddler-style tantrum whenever anything doesn't go entirely her way. She shouted and screamed because one of the boys got to unlock the front door rather than her. She went into meltdown because the socks she wanted weren't washed. She writhed around on the ground because there wasn't time to plait her ponytail...

Every day brings a fresh fight over nothing. It's bizarre.

Why do I even bother speaking?

Then again, perhaps I'm simply saying the wrong things:

Last night, Lewis was telling me and Sarah about the latest computer game he's been playing. We sat and listened while we ate our tea but I had to stop him halfway through. "Are you sore?" I asked.

He looked confused but continued to clutch his trousers. "No."

"Do you need the toilet?"


"Why do you keep fiddling with your willie then?"

He shrugged. "I just like playing with it."

This was pretty hard to argue with and I didn't want to get into the details with a seven-year-old. "Right. Erm... Well, best not to do it when other people are around, OK?"

"Why not?"

"Er... It's a bit like wandering about with no clothes on - no one else wants to see you."


I had visions of this line of interrogation dragging on for a very long time. "Just trust me," I sighed.

"OK," he said with a grin and raced off to return to his game.

There was no arguing, whining, shouting or questioning. Sarah and I looked at each other.

She spoke first. "Maybe we should try saying that more often."

I could only agree.

Yours in a woman's world,


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