Why is it that giving something a name makes it instantly more attractive? After months of bad behaviour and battles at the breakfast table, I allowed my daughter to eat her breakfast in the lounge in an attempt to keep the peace.
Her chosen spot was the part of the settee closest to the television (not that she has it on when she’s eating her breakfast). Apparently, this is the warmest spot in the whole lounge. So she christened it the Warm Space.
And suddenly everyone wanted to sit there. So much for keeping the peace.
With his Weetabix drowned in milk, there is no way my eldest will ever be eating his breakfast in the lounge. But that doesn’t stop him invading the Warm Space. Every morning he will get up and sit there before his breakfast is ready. And she will shout at him. And he will shout back. Maybe they will kick each other.
He eats his first bowl of Weetabix, then goes back to the Warm Space – or as near as he can get – before the second bowl is ready.
My younger son came up with a more peaceful solution to the Warm Space problem. He created his own. His Warm Space is my favourite armchair. I sit there to watch TV in the evenings, but seeing as I never sit down at any other time, that’s not a problem. He is welcome to it.
He was supposed to eat his breakfast in the dining room with his brother, because they don’t tend to argue. But somehow he drifted into eating it in his own special Warm Space. So he and my daughter giggle instead of eat and my eldest yells and stomps ‘Why are THEY allowed to eat their breakfast in the Warm Space?’
But the Warm Space doesn’t just exist at breakfast time. It is there 24/7 and can cause arguments at any time.
After school my daughter likes to sit there with her Teddy and drink (Lactofree) milk. If she can do that whilst watching telly, she is even happier. So my son likes to get there first. Then he likes to yell about it. ‘But I was there first. Why does SHE always have to sit in the Warm Space? I like the Warm Space’ etc etc. You get the picture.
When XFactor is on, the whole family sits down to watch television. Suddenly Daddy, and even Mummy, are vying for the Warm Space. People sit on top of each other. Kids argue and shout and no-one hears anything.
There is a whole settee which doesn’t get used. The kids tell me quite categorically that it ‘Isn’t warm’. And I have to say, I agree with them.