Just like Andy, the wheelchair bound character in Little Britain, my boys know it all.
I’m so lucky to have two geniuses…es…. in the family. Clearly they don’t get it from me.
Since the age of 6 both have mastered everything there is to know about everything.
All I hear in answer to any question or demonstration is: “I know Dad. I know.”
“I just want to show you how this works…..”
“But I know dad”
“How can you know? You’ve never done it before.”
“Look. Just stop. Slow down. Watch what I am doing. Then you do it.”
“I know dad. I know how to do it”
And then it ends up in an argument and I say….
“Well if you know how to do it. Show me.”
And sometimes the little buggers do it perfectly.
“Seeeeeee….” they say with a smirk. Which I want to remove.
I was the same though. Thought I knew it all. I just wanted to try. Give it a go. Not watch my dad do it for me.
Which is exactly what I do now.
I often find myself finishing the task I asked them to do, while they stand watching on. Then I catch myself and let them finish off.
If I try to help them in a particular sport I can see they are not interested in hearing it from me.
“Are you going to let me do it dad? Or are you going to keep doing it? ”
As a parent I will always have that instinct to help them. To offer unsolicited advice. I guess they can choose to follow it or not.
But I do have to let them try things more. Let them experiment and explore. It is very hard to watch them make mistakes that could clearly be avoided. But this is their journey and time to learn. And you learn best from your mistakes.
At some point in the next few years they will resign themselves to the fact that I like giving them advice. Probably during their teenage years. They will learn to listen through gritted teeth. Realise that I am their boring dad who just gives lectures. They will raise their eyebrows together with their mum and there will be an unspoken acknowledgment that “dad is off on one again”.
Then hopefully, one day, they will become parents themselves and history will repeat itself.
But for now, my words of wisdom and gentle reminders will continue to fall on their little ears.
“Don’t forget your towel before you get into the shower”
“I know Dad. You keep telling me”.
Then 10 minutes later.
“Da-ad. Can you bring me my towel please!”
Towels litter their room like a swimming pool change area. 3 on the peg 2 on the floor.
I take one into the bathroom but they have already started to use mine. Again.
“You have 5 towels in your bedroom.” I say
“I know dad.