I have self-diagnosed a severe case of bad parenting. I have one 'ailing' baby at the boundaries of the weight chart, one explosive three year old in reference to whom the phrase, 'pushing the boundaries' can only be used as a polite euphemism, and an angelic eldest child who wouldn't know how to push a boundary if it bit her.
Gilby's behaviour is deteriorating exponentially, if that is possible. Added to the tantrums (now indescribable) is the refusal to sleep alone, or, in fact, go to bed at all. This then impinges on 'grown-up' time in the evenings, which is an absolute requirement for maintaining sanity. If you see me on the front pages of the County Times on a murder charge, you'll know instantly that I am guilty. I could cheerfully throttle him fifty times a day. (Rhymes with a book I'm reading...)
At the other end of the spectrum is Gertie. We went shopping in the village the other day and she wanted to bring her bike (stabilisers on, of course). She was very good at sticking to the designated areas whilst I went into each shop. My careful boundaries, "So - you can cycle round between here and here but not go up to the road, Ok?" were met with an obedient, "Yes, Mummy."
Peering over the counter at the post office to check that she was in the right place, I noticed that she had confined herself to a thin sliver of pavement and was riding up and down on that, even though I'd offered the whole of the pedestrian end of the precinct.
"What was wrong with over there?" I joked, as I came out. She pointed to the blue plastic National Lottery pointy-finger by the window.
"But Mummy, the sign said, 'play here', so I did."