In recent weeks I have noticed a frightening development in my mothering skills. Suddenly I find myself saying things that I always promised myself I would never say to my offspring - "Do you think I'm made of money?", "I don't care what anyone else does - YOU'RE NOT DOING IT!" and "because I said so" (to name just a few). The one that makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck more than any other is "we all have to do things we don't want to do!"
But it's true!
Today I find myself doing absolutely anything other than what I really need to be doing - which is studying for an imminent exam in Mathematics. Now, bearing in mind that I failed 'O' Grade Maths twice at school is it any wonder that every time I open the textbook and see the array of graphs and formulas, equations and rules that I come out in a cold sweat? Not only am I convinced I have discalculalia (the numerical equivalent of dyslexia) my heart is SO NOT IN THIS! What I really want to be doing is working on my next novel (or watching "Loose Woman" with a cuppa..) so it pains me to have to sit and try to make sense of something which feels like an uphill struggle for my brain.
But -it has to be done in order for me to pursue my ambition to become a teacher. So yes, "sometimes we all have to do things we don't want to do" - it's a tough lesson but one that will prepare my wee boy for a lifetime of having to tackle horrible tasks (albeit reluctantly). In the words of one of my favourite authors, Mark Twain - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain - "Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain"
There is a Yiddish Proverb which goes like this:
"If you don't want to do something, one excuse is as good as another".
I guess what this means is why bother conjuring up loads of different excuses for not doing something when we have already made the decision not to do it? During the last few weeks I have never had a tidier cutlery drawer or a more organised bathroom cabinet. Nor has my CD collection ever been so alphabeticalised! I have been quite inventive in my excuses not to have to sit down and learn about transposition of formula! I have created something to do (anything to do) other than the one thing I know needs to be done with urgent priority. What I really should do at times like these is just write some of my novel. At least then I would be doing the one thing I actually want to do. My knives and forks really don't need to be put in order of ascending size - this is just a delaying tactic. So the next time I speak those dreaded words to my son, words which used to induce a week long sulk from me as a teenager, I really should listen to my own advice and just get on with it!
Right I'm off to tackle quadratic functions and trigonometric identities (or maybe my windows could do with a clean?.... )