I took the boys to Sunday School this morning. Bad move. In retrospect I should have spent the morning in bed with the Sunday papers bemoaning the collapse of the financial world and sipping on a lukewarm cappuccino. Dumpie was a disaster. He refused to join in with the singing and lay face down on the floor screaming unintelligible insults at me, occasionally interspersed with the demand for "NANNIE!!!!" (candy). I don't know exactly how it has happened, but Dumps now expects that his inherent right as a two year old is that he should be showered with sweets every day. He's got hardcore "Nannie-on-the-brain" and if none are forthcoming he's not afraid to spur you on to action with whatever means necessary.
Thankfully, this week I was spared the 'Exorcist' voice (which as you can imagine does not go down terribly well in a place of worship, the exception being perhaps a satanist gathering...). Instead I got the full fury of a 2 foot despot leveled at me, and from his formidable, legs-apart stance and steely eyes I knew I was in for it.
"Nannie Mama" he started matter-of-factly. "No Dumpie, after Sunday School I will take you to the store and buy you a treat ok?" I countered desperately, glancing apologetically to the other parents and teachers watching this scene unfold. "No...Nannie!" Dumps repeated stubbornly, standing his ground and wrinkling his little brows in anger.
"Please Dumpie, let's sit down and you can sing some songs and ------" "NAAAAAAANIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!" he screamed, throwing himself dramatically face down onto the floor and kicking his legs, causing some concerned glances from onlookers. I grabbed all 18 kilos of pure brute will off the floor and managed to bundle him outside into the corridor, all the while stepping delicately over the bodies of all the nice little children who were sat down quietly to hear Bible stories.
Once outside, I did the one thing you're never supposed to do to a two year old tyrant, and I turned my handbag inside out and produced a chocolate biscuit. He grabbed it out of my hands accusingly, as if I had been depriving him on purpose, carefully unwrapped it, and then proceeded to nibble on it contentedly whilst enquiring with a mouth full of chocolate and crumbs, "More Nannie?" as if it was the most logical question in the world. I temporarily forgot that I was a good thirty years older than him and thus glared silently at him, checking my watch. "Be-Bop?" (lollipop) he suggested helpfully a moment later, bearing absolutely no resemblance to the ill-mannered brute who had just screamed an entire church down and put my parenting skills into question.
"No, after Sunday School", I lied, grabbing him by the wrist and leading him stubbornly back into the hall. I then made an impulsive getaway and raced downstairs to join the service before he could follow me. I imagine he was alright after I left as there were no ear piercing screams, nor was a frenzied assistant dispatched to find me because all hell had broken loose upstairs. No, when I went to collect him an hour later, he was standing near the window, attempting to shove aside a sweet little blond girl who was obstructing him from collecting an armload of big coloured blocks. We made eye contact, and without missing a beat he ran right up to me and said, "Nannie?"