Wednesday, 21 June 2017

for all we know

Is there ever a right time to say 'I told you so'?

Guaranteed to plant a seed of teenage rage when spoken from the mouths of our parents, do we forget the weight of these four little words as we get older? 

Having long since passed the forty barrier, I am presented with regular opportunities to set up my stall and hold my ' I knew this would happen' banner aloft.

I'm not saying I'm perfect. I'm not saying I haven't made mistakes (Lord knows I've made enough mistakes to record a Blues album). And yet, whilst age doesn't always bring wisdom, it certainly brings experience.  So surely I'm allowed a little bit of #post-forty gloating? 

I, usually, attempt to disguise this as concern and commiseration.

Example 1: 
"Oh so your teacher did mean for you to explain how the character reacted rather than retell the whole story."

(subtext) Do you remember when I told you to do that but you ignored me because even though you've just started high school and I've been teaching for 20 years, clearly you know better?

Example 2:
"Oh no, really, she cried for hours whilst *insert partner's name* went out to get formula. I know, breastfeeding is hard but yes, you did give it a go and as long as she's fed eventually, right?"

(subtext) Remember that time I told you that breastfeeding can be great but isn't for everyone so, just in case, chuck a tin of formula in the back of your cupboard so it's there when your boobs and baby aren't co-operating? Having been through it three times I find that with ninety nine breastfeeding issues, using formula ain't one.

Example 3:
"Ok, so you know when I told you to make sure you start the bedtime routine an hour before lights out and leave the DVD for tomorrow, was to save you from the nightmare moment when the girls turn on you and then each other like gremlins after midnight"

(subtext) Read above

Gah, I sound so self-righteously smug, don't I? But look, surely after all this time schlepping around Planet My Life, I've learnt some stuff on the way and, occasionally, I want to save people the trouble of making the same mistakes I did.

Because I love hearing other people's advice and experiences; especially other parents and other women. What's better than sharing a being a mum / wife / woman  dilemma with a good friend? Why take the unknown high road when, sometimes, the path with the flashing signs and clearly marked dangers can make life that little bit easier? 

After listening to the trials, tribulations and triumphs of others, I usually end up with a bag of solutions and leave thinking that it's not just me who's bumbling precariously through my every day. We're all at it!

So surely, we can all crack an 'I told you so' every now and then?

Point of note - beware of overuse!

With the offspring - choose your moment carefully as the mistimed 'ITYS' may result in much sulking and grunts in place of speech.

With the newbie mother or sibling - dress it up like your child's first ever World Book Day at school because the naked 'ITYS' will be akin to sticking your tongue out and going nah nah nah nah naaaa. And no-one likes that person.

With the live-in significant other - treat it like foundation: cover all necessary areas then apply a little make-up.  Failing that - a well placed eyebrow lift can also effective

With the mother-in-law - leave it, it's just not worth it.

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