b is for boring

bookandbed is going to stick her chubby neck out here and risk a flaming from the alphamoms out there, but up there in my top 5 Most Loathed Parenting Jobs isn’t nappy changing (for the most part, I find that quite satisfying. What can I say? I’m an oddball), but teaching the alphabet. There I’ve said it and, what’s more, I bloody mean it.

Is there anything more thankless than teaching a toddler the alphabet? It just feels like a never-ending boring slog with little return. This is where a load of parents with a sensitivity chip missing pipe up “oh, no MY blahblahblah knows the entire alphabet backwards? It was quite easy.” I’m delighted for you. And yes, I’m being sarcastic. I absobloodylutely hate it because we just dont seem to be getting anywhere with it and it’s dull. Maybe Monkeyface special talents don’t lie in linguistics or numeracy. So what if she can’t already count to 50 in 5 languages and still thinks a “d” is an “a”? Maybe she’ll be a drummer, or maybe getting her into her pjs tonight hinted at a future with Cirque du Soleil?

It transpires I AM one of those parents who would rather just hand this off to someone else with more patience (thank sweet baby Jesus for Alphablocks) than I and – with this buried in my subconcious – I succombed with little expectation to buying the Leapfrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet . That it’s £30 and it speaks (mercifully with volume control) tells you all you need to know about how much I hate teaching the sodding alphabet.

It arrived ages ago and I’ve not had a chance, what with sick kid and all of the wee and poo and other teething-related fluids to go pick it up. I realised that today was the last day to get it before the Royal Mail returned it to sender and my dutiful husband saved the day again and picked it up. Having got in tonight with an over-tired, defiant kid, I have never been so pleased to see that parcel, any parcel, in all my life. Opened contents of box. Plonked in front of potty-planted child. Child enthralled. “Look mummy, “ffffffffffffff” whilst also doing a wee. What’s not to love?

This is my absolute new favourite thing. I may want to throw it from our second floor window in two days’ time when my daughter is done alphabet-scratching “i-i-i-iiiiiiiiiii-i-iiiiiii” as if Grandmaster Flash retrained as an infant school teacher. But right now, “look mummy, issa ffffffffffffff” is music to my ears. I’m not proud. Oh, no. I’m not a tiger mother. I’m bloody RELIEVED there might be a way of delegating this task that has sucked the life out of me. Now for the ironing and washing up…


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