I was playing tea party with Abbie, my three year old. She went over to the kitchen and proclaimed “And now we need this Spanish thing.” She picked up a toy Iron.
Why are Irons Spanish? I had to know.
“What do you think that is?” I asked her.
“It’s a hoover. For hooving.” She then proceeded to hoov the table with her hoover making sound effects that could have been mistaken for a light sabre.
And a part of me died. She doesn’t know what an iron is because she’s never seen me ironing anything. I’m a terrible woman. I’m neglecting her because I’m focused on work and both kids will grow up to be disheveled mad women whose love will only be reciprocated by a one eyed cat.
I vowed in that moment to do more ironing infront of Abbie.
Later that day I unvowed my vow. Why do I want Abbie to spend her life stuck behind an ironing board? What kind of example is that. I want her to be a feminist and feminists don’t spend their time ironing. Or shaving. Do I want her to shave – I think I do. She’s ginger. If she doesn’t shave her legs she could be mistaken for a Tiger and shot by Donald Trump’s son. But will she still be a feminist?
MY GOD WHY DID I BRING KIDS INTO THIS RIDICULOUS WORLD.
Later still that day I drank some wine and chilled the heck out. Does it matter if she sees me ironing or not? She doesn’t see her Dad doing it either! On that front our house is a den of equality amongst the sexes!
But it did get me to thinking that, as much time and effort as we take choosing nurseries and schools and tutors and ballet classes and playmates for our kids, they will learn more about life from their parents than any other source. Abbie may not value ironing when she’s older but there are lots of things she will value because my husband and I value them too.
So this weekend I’m going to let Abbie see me reading, and enjoying it. During that perfect 5 mins period, when my children play together nicely, I’m going to sit in the corner and read a book. I may not get very far before I have to remove hair from fists, but then again I wouldn’t have got very far with the chores either.
Then I’ll put them to bed 5 mins early and drink wine whilst shouting at the people on the tele. I don’t want them to learn how to do that just yet!!