UNCONDITIONALLY CONDITIONED

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There is a simple reason why the love you have for your children is unconditional; If a friend, relation, acquaintance or complete and utter stranger did half the things your child does (and gets away with), you would either unfriend (is that even a real word?), report or bust out some serious kung-fu moves on them.

A few examples;

When riding on your shoulders, gleefully announcing “ I’m not going to fall because I’m holding on to your chins…”

Projectile vomiting in your mouth, pooing in your shoes and weeing in your eye.

Trashing your whole entire house, leaving a trail of unidentifiable substances and breaking the door handle with a hearty laugh and then refusing to tidy up, accept responsibility or pass you the gin.

Delving into your top and only being satisfied when both boobs are properly out, with nothing to do and nowhere to go and then walking away pointing and chanting “Boobs, Boobs, Boobs !”.

Rolling around on the floor screaming that the noodles should have been on the left of the plate, not the right and demanding something else.

Waking you up at 2.36am with an urgent order of water, warm milk, cold milk, water again and a ham sandwich cut into squares NOT circles.

Proclaiming loudly that you are not in fact their mum, but their horrible wicked stepmother who gives them poisonous apples for breakfast.

Snuggling up to you on the sofa and wiping their snot away on your face.

Suggesting that instead of going away for one night, you go away forever and ask a doctor for a new boy.

Asking you why you`re still wearing  pyjamas, when you thought you looked quite hip in your new starry jumpsuit.

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Oo, it’s ´orrible being in love when you’re four and a half

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You know those holidays you inadvertently ruined when you were young by being lovesick and pining after said object of over the top affection and weeping when somebody said a word that began with the same initial as your obsession’s name?

Well, I thought that we were set to have a summer like that, all 13 weeks ( yes 13 weeks) of the school holidays. Only my son isn’t 14 years old, he’s 4 and a half.

A few months ago, O mentioned that him and Zara played Wendy and Peter Pan at breaktime. He said it was his favourite time of the day. A few days later we were in the car and O chirps up from the back,

“Mummy, I kissed Zara”

“Lovely! On the cheek?” I ask

“No Mummy , On the lips, for a long time. I LOVE her. I wish we get married one day”

“Me too!” pipes up F.

And so it began. The wedding planning, everybody would eat jelly and carrots, but not F. Everybody could kiss Zara, but not F. O would wear a bow tie, F could wear his princess outfit if he had to, but not to the party, only to the kissing and singing bit.

Just as we were leaving to go to Zara’s birthday party, O emerged from his bedroom covered from head to toe in pen.

“Zara LOVES boys with tattoos , Mummy.” he announces proudly. It reminded me of my nine year old self , when I learnt my first love’s phone number off by heart and upside down and then asked him to ask me my favourite number and went all whimsical while I recited his phone number .

At the party, Zara greets O with a kiss, he turns to me and beams a huge “ You see it’s real” kind of grin. Bless.

Then there were complaints. Zara´s baby brother was born and she didn’t want to play Wendy and Peter Pan anymore. “She is sooo grumpy, “ says O over dinner, breakfast and lunch.

One day he gave her flowers that he had picked on the way to school. On receiving them, she gave them straight to her Grandpa and said “Put these in the kitchen when you get home” Note to self; This shall not be my future daughter in law. FAR TOO PRACTICAL. Where’s the romance?. Second note to self; They are four years old, get a grip.

Then the summer holidays began and O swirled his Weetabix sadly around the bowl. “I miss Zara , can we go to school so I can see her?” A few weeks later we end up at Zara’s house. F waltzes in and plants a huge kiss on her lips, O goes all coy and pretends to be mysterious. They play Wendy and Peter Pan, only there are two Peter Pans and one of them is a bit overzealous (not O). We go home and nothing more is said, until a few bedtimes later when we are talking about sleepovers. “I want everyone to come “ O says and then there’s a pause.. “But not Zara”

“Why not?” I ask

“She’s got whiskers on her legs, Mummy, only boys have whiskers” he says sadly.

I shuffle nervously. “Oh yeah, I forgot” he adds “only boys and Mummys.”

I looked in two books to see if anybody says anything about the love thing, and unsurprisingly nobody really does, although they talk about masturbation being commonplace and a healthy and natural part of your young child’s life. Another thing, I thought didn’t happen until they were at least 14 ( 23) and in their bedrooms listening to Nirvana.

We bumped into Zara yesterday, O blushed and F zoomed excitedly up to her. O showed off, F danced with her. She went to kiss O goodbye. O did a forward roll , which went disastrously wrong and he kicked F really hard in the head. Zara kissed F, O refused but as soon as she was out of sight, started rambling off wedding instructions again with a few amendments. (There will be sausage rolls instead of carrots).

Last night I was tucking O in, “Goodnight O, Love you”

“Time to find your own friends Mummy!” instructs O

Um?!

“It’s from Shrek ” he says sighing at my ignorance “I’m Shrek and you’re the donkey”

Of course. I go into F’s room.

“Goodnight F, Love you”

“That’s nice”, says F who doesn’t use the L word as a rule, and just as I turn to leave he says “ I really really love Zara”

Lucky for him, Shrek is snoring, blissfully unaware of the competition that awaits.