Breaking through the fourth wall

Have you ever looked at another parent and thought “I know what your child is telling you, if you just do something-or-other then they’ll stop crying/whinging/hitting/shouting/etc”? I know I have. Pre-children I thought it was as easy as listening to your child, putting yourself in their shoes, then responding appropriately*. Now however, I know different. I know that every mum and dad are constantly swimming against the tide asking themselves what their child will want next. A minute-by-minute struggle to manage their little one’s hunger, tiredness, boredom, excitement and all the while trying to enjoy every second. (After all, that’s why we had kids, right?) Now I see that amidst the maelstrom of daily life there is little energy left over to put yourself in their shoes and give the best response to every situation. I’m sure there are some mothers and fathers out there who are perfect and always know exactly what their child wants and needs. They probably even find time to give their halos and good clean once a week too (none of that “I’ll just give it a quick once-over with a baby wipe” nonsense for them.) I am not one of those parents though.

Now as I take an unnecessary walk to the shops so that little Jim can have a sleep in the pram (we’re not very good at naps in the cot) I’ve started wondering if I could break through the fourth wall? I might be able rediscover the pre-children version of me who will be able to see me and James from a distance and then give me some advice about what I ought to be doing? A sort of conscious out-of-body experience. After all it’s a lot easier to give advice when you’re on the outside and I do feel like I could use some advice from time to time! Darn it I’m going to give it a go. Heck maybe I’ll start talking to myself as well…

*This is my particular parenting style, others are available.


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