Last week, as I cowered on the floor, A tried to rip my nose off while R repeatedly slapped my chest with a saliva-sodden hand. They meant no harm, of course, but I was in serious danger of being reduced to the same state as the now destroyed teddies that they insist on carrying around in their mouths.
So having removed A’s fingers from my nostrils and positioned him on the floor with a book, I decided to teach R that it is not nice to slap people. I said “no”. He grinned and slapped me. I said “no” in a firmer voice. He looked puzzled, let out a squeak, grinned and slapped me. I said, in an exasperated tone, “Look, if you want to hit something then hit your own hand,” and I clapped. He looked puzzled, grinned and clapped. Success, I thought. And then he slapped me.
It’s a work in progress, I have decided, but a worthwhile one. Quite aside from protecting the painful red area on my chest, I consider it a ‘good thing’ to teach the boys to celebrate rather than attack. After all, that was the attitude I tried to adopt yesterday as I walked through Westminster and saw that the anti-gay marriage protesters had adopted a new tactic: staring disconsolately at the Houses of Parliament as if the very stones themselves might suddenly feel sorry for them and halt the soon-to-be-enacted equal marriage bill.
When I read the attacks reported in the media from people who believe that I and my partner are incapable or unfit to be a family, a small part of me wants to slap them. But what I want to do even more than that is clap. I want to applaud the fact that the equal marriage bill is set to become law, and plan the wedding that my partner and I have been discussing for months. Really, I see no value in slapping the losers. Although, maybe, if any of those protesters came close enough, I would let R slap them. Just so they can experience first-hand how appallingly behaved the children of gay parents can be.
As I say, it’s a work in progress.