One of my favourite words used to be ‘filibustering’. This is simply because of the sound of the word – I don’t like what it stands for, of course. Far from it. I was witness to a fair few Tory councillors doing something similar earlier this week.
They spoke at great length without actually saying anything, limiting the opportunities of those speaking out against library closures as the clock ticked down.
It was behaviour worthy of young children, which takes me nicely to the main point of this post. You see, my kids are becoming experts at wasting time.
Here are their top tactics.
Waiting for the toddler to nod off so I can escape downstairs to eat. After a prolonged silence, she has just started singing Chas n Dave songs. FFS!
— Tom Briggs (@DiaryOfTheDad) March 2, 2018
A little night music
I love that my children love music so much. This can only be a good thing, right? Well, mostly. It’s not a good thing at bedtime, for example.
As you can see from the embedded tweet above, I was treated to a medley of tunes by an iconic Cockney duo the other night. By the time she had finished belting out Rabbit and bits of Ossie’s Dream, my dinner was cold.
The boys are particularly good at this. Toys and games that have otherwise been used to keep portions of shelves free of dust suddenly become the Holy Grail of entertainment.
The other morning, I sent them upstairs to clean their teeth and caught them reading the instructions of a solar-powered robot toy they had previously shown no interest in.
I want that one
This is another of youngest’s go-to filibustering tactics. Much like Andy in Little Britain, she’ll appear decisive in her choices, only to change her mind immediately afterwards.
This is a particular problem at breakfast time. As a result, I’ve come to think of yoghurts as little pots of evil that have been sent to test me.
And so it was that after two rejected meals, one refused hairwash, one meltdown over pyjamas, nine bedtime stories, one frantic search for a clean dummy, three sibling arguments, seven requests for glasses of water, six restarts of the musical nightlight, two failed attempts to creep downstairs, a hastily consumed cold dinner each and one act of feigning sleep to get the toddler to do likewise (resulting in impromptu naps), Mummy and Daddy settled down to have an evening.
The slow food movement
Oldest is the unchallenged master of this particular dark art. He can make meals last for around 45 minutes. I’ve been witness to this for over seven years and still don’t know how he does it.
His food can’t taste nearly as good, but he still eats most of it. And then asks us what’s on offer for pudding.
Technological time wasting
Having so much technology in our house truly is a mixed blessing. Our Google Home devices provide the answers to any questions we have as well as music and games.
But there are only so many times you can hear a turtle noise – which sounds suspicously like a fart – when you’re trying to get everyone out the front door.
Which filibustering tactics do your kids use?