7 a.m. and the bottles of Rosey in my belly basement started to rattle with despair and morbid dread, but I maintained poise and was the epitome of fake inner calmness.
“These trousers are scruffy. I look like an idiot. Everybody is going to laugh at me”.
The brand-new school trousers bought to replace the hole-ridden pair that have been flapping around his ankles for the past few months were scapegoated in this morning’s rather baffling outburst.
Pickle had woken up in a grump. Nothing was going to be right today.
His ever-growing defiance in the face of my often overly dogmatic ideals is becoming a challenge and a half!
It was literally a trouser-duel-at-dawn!!
The shiny new, downtrodden trousers, which were so looking forward to their debut playground outing, were simply cast aside with rude disdain while the tattered and worn pair cackled their victory with their large mouth-like holes.
The trousers were off the hook. Of course, they were. They weren’t going to steal all the glory. This wasn’t about the trousers; this was a Pickle morning. Albeit a more prodigious one!
The trouser rumpus, turned into a breakfast rumpus, turned into a teeth-brushing rumpus. You get the idea!
So after Pickle’s preferred approach of choosing to sit on the top step of the stairs screaming, “I don’t want to go to school. School is boring. I would rather have a punishment than go to school’, and after refusing breakfast, refusing to clean his teeth, refusing to put his shoes on, Gherkin and I hopped gaily into the car, birds tweeting around our heads, with a sullen Pickle dragging his shoeless feet behind us.
As the engine started and we set off down the road, Pickle chirped, “I want to brush my teeth”. Well, rats and blimin’ bastardry!!!
Rightly or wrongly, I ignored his request and drove off to school. Explaining that the time had passed in which he could change that particular behaviour but that he could still put his shoes on as a way of rectifying things. However, his recalcitrant nature re-emerged and again he flatly refused to cooperate.
Outside school, there was no way he was getting out of the car. If I wanted him out of the car, I would have to “get the headteacher”. Oh throw me a challenge, please!
Needless to say he got out of the car – without the need for the headteacher -, still shoeless, but now wailing that I was horrid and mean, and that he hated me. I flashed a sublime rictus grin at the passing mother with her perfectly behaved, merrily skipping children and slowly walked towards the school entrance, shoes in hand.
After a few paces, he called me back. The switch had rocked back for a fleeting moment, he put on his shoes as his watery eyeballs leaked down his cheeks.
Once in school, the fist-clenching, growling and head-thumping began. Sadly, that is how I had to leave him….
…with a cuddle, an ‘I Love You’ and in the capable and patient hands of one of his favourite teaching assistants.
And I was left exhausted and wondering…..who exactly wears the trousers around here?