‘I don’t want to go to school. I hate school!’ came the voice from under the blanket.
My husband and I exchanged looks.
‘It’s booooring,’ came the voice.
‘You know what’s boring?’ I asked. ‘Having this conversation every day,’ I muttered.
Half way through four year old Kindy, and my daughter seems to think she is done. I don’t want to imagine her disappointment when she realises she has at least 13 and a half more years ahead of her, even without university.
A loud farting noise came from under the blanket, where she had secreted herself in front of the fireplace.
‘Was that your bottom?’ I asked.
‘My bottom HATES you,’ came the reply.
My husband, packing his bag and about to escape to work, stifled a giggle. I raised my eyebrows in a ‘see what I have to deal with’ look. He just gave me a big cheesy grin and walked out. ‘Bye!’ he smirked.
‘And my arms hate you. And my tummy hates you. And my head hates you. We all hate you,’ the little voice continued.
There was silence as she waited for a response.
‘I just want a ham and cheese toastie from canteen!’ she shrieked.
Ah, so that was what this was all about. Getting lunch from the canteen.
But I was silent.
‘I don’t want to listen to you!’ she yelled from under the rug.
It was a very one-sided conversation and I was beginning to wonder if she was hearing imaginary voices.
‘I WANT HAM AND CHEESE TOASTIE’ she shouted, finally sitting up, the blanket falling away, revealing her little face pink with anger and warmth from being under the rug.
I raised an eyebrow and put on my best ‘mature Mummy’ voice, though it was far from what I really wanted to do.
‘You know that when you speak to me like that, I don’t listen - so you won’t get what you want,’ I said calmly.
Her face dropped.
‘So I won’t get dinner?’ she wailed.
Hang on, where is this going.
‘No fishies. No cuggles? No painting?’
She made her eyes look big and sad and pouted her mouth, trying to imply I was an evil mother who wouldn’t feed or love her child. I wanted to grab the blanket off her so I could hide under it.
I just looked at her and held up her lunch bag which I had been packing with sandwiches and fruit and cheese and crackers and a piece of cake fresh from the bloody oven.
In defeat, she tossed her hair. ‘Well,’ she said. ‘I’m going to hide from you and you will never ever find me and I won’t go to school.’
‘Where are you going to hide?’ I asked.
‘Here.’ And she pulled the blanket back over her head.