There’s a twelve-man tent in my garden and it’s interfering with one of my washing lines.
Last night, it was erected without my knowledge. I do not know what is going on in my own house. But, apparently, some children are in rebellion.
My house, my rules. Sorry, our house, our rules. Nope, I was right the first time. I like to call it a benevolent dictatorship. A certain amount of freedom, an equal amount of responsibility and ‘do as you’re told when I say’.
It works for me.
And for them, apparently.
Because, I didn’t say they couldn’t put the tent up.
They didn’t ask. But, it goes something like this.
Kid:- Do you think we should maybe air the tent before we go camping?’
Me:- (Not really listening.) Probably.
Kid:- I could do it.
So, that, it would seem constitutes agreement now in my household. No flat out refusal. No affirmative, per se. But, a blank, unconscious ‘Mmmmm?’
A subtle appeal to dad, who does, of course, ask, ‘Did Mum say OK?’
Their answer, a version of, ‘Mmmmm.’
So, last night, my three youngest, 6,11,15 and several friends of my 15year old, camped out in the garden while I crept upstairs and gladdened my heart with a King-sized bed and my duvet, remembering soon that I will be there and calling it fun.
The back door was left open all night to allow for toilet breaks in the midst of their midnight feast. My kitchen was pretty much wrecked this morning, apologies abounding from every quarter.
They cleared it up. But they had an agenda. They’re doing it all again tonight.
I have a feeling that my benevolent dictatorship days are fast disappearing beyond the horizon.
Maybe I’m mellowing, thinking, ‘Aw, who gives a shit? The kids are having a laugh.’
Thank God, I’ve got great neighbours.