As we are now in the zone of teenagers, I have instigated a new set of rules for the males of the household. This is hereafter referred to as our ‘Scratch and Sniff’ policy.
Each Monday to Friday, you get up, clean your teeth, put deodorant and ‘smelly’ (aftershave) on and get dressed. You are also required to wear a fresh pair of pants every day. Once this is achieved, you have to present yourself to Dad for checking over before he leaves for work. On a Saturday and Sunday you present yourself to The Mothership.
This was implemented last Saturday afternoon at a Weston Family Meeting after there was a spectacular tantrum over leaving the house dressed AND clean. And it’s not even like it was for dog walking. No, this was to go to a socially distanced birthday hang out.
Sunday. All goes well.
Monday. All goes well.
Tuesday. All goes well.
It’s now Wednesday. The first day of school holidays. William came and shoved his armpit in my face for scratch and sniff. I wondered why he’d come to me but thought better of starting a conversation. I looked at the window and it wasn’t properly light yet.
What time do you think it was? I couldn’t work it out so I asked Alexa.
After Alexa spoke William actually froze. He knew trouble was imminent. I lifted the duvet. He laid in bed next to me, fully dressed and waiting for his usual 6.30am start. I think he laid there awake, counting the seconds until it was around 6.30am. Inn fact, I am confident that this was the case because at 6.32am he asked Alexa the time. Once he knew he was past the sanctioned 6.30am start time, he scuttled off to leave me dazed and confused in bed, wondering how this could have backfired so spectacularly in such a short space of time.
I was also confused as to how I’d put a pair of glasses on to listen to Alexa tell me it as 5.19am. Richard took them off my face at 7am when he got up. And woke me to tell me this in case I tried to hit him in my dazed state. It’s not like I have form for that kind of thing whilst asleep, is it?
What stage are your children’s armpits at? If you’ve come out of the other side unscathed, please let me know in the comments. I need inspiration.
Being practical, I know you’ll have questions so I’ll start with them here and add the answers as they come in.
Why are you doing this?
If you are asking this you’ve not yet hit the point where your youth smell but haven’t yet discovered the joys of ‘Lynx layering’. It’s a thing. It’s not kicked in for us yet so we’re still at the stage of chasing them around the house with a wet flannel threatening to pin them down outside and use the cold hose pipe in an effort to bring freshness to the group.
Why do you make them wear aftershave?
It’s simple. Aftershave is sprayed on the neck / chest. Deodorant goes under the armpits and we’ve not entirely mastered the art of getting it under the afore referenced pittage. The aftershave is my ‘insurance policy’ ask it covers a multitude of sins when you’re getting to the end of the day and realise that someone, somewhere is a bit whiffy.
Why Dad Monday to Friday?
Because I’ve been parenting day and night as a result of home learning and Dad been on house projects after work since March. I cannot push any more water up the hill. Dad has to do some of it. I am doing the rest of it whilst I’m not working. When I am, we will divide this up 50/50.
How did you get them to agree to this?
Agree? What is this word? Are you suggesting there’s an element of choice here? There isn’t. I am not running a democracy. I allow contributions, but it’s definitely me running the show. Here’s a sample from the family meeting. “I mean, it’s reasonable Mum for you to make us do this. But it’s just not fun. And I don’t think I’m going to have fun doing it, so I don’t think I’ll be doing it”. I shall let your imaginations run wild with my response to that contribution.