Today I heard about something that tickled my fancy. The Complaints Choir. In fact, there is not one but many Complaints Choirs all over the world. It seems the idea began when a couple of wacky Fins decided to gather people's everyday moans and groans about the State of Things. They then put them to music and corralled a choir to sing the complaints out, loud and proud. Young people these days.
This has been taken up enthusiastically by many countries around the world, however the original Helsinki version is very entertaining.
Ever since Tiny was about six weeks old, I have talked to him about the art of complaining as well as the virtue of keeping a stiff upper lip. Indeed, in those early days, during our long chats into the night, I would try and teach him (for his own good you see) that complaints will only be received on Tuesdays, between 2pm and 4pm. Tuesdays. 2 to 4.
Despite his obvious genius IQ, this has been a rather hard concept for him to grasp. It could be due to the completely absurd nature of my "lesson" or it could just be that he is only small and still learning about stuff. Whatever, it seems that at some time in every day, an opportunity to remind him of my rule comes our way. Now don't get me wrong, sometimes there are legitimate reasons for immediate, unreserved complaint. For example: "I've just fallen down some stairs!" or "I've got a dirty great big molar coming through my gum and it's making me miserable." However, sometimes he tests the rule for wriggle room and here I've got to be on the ball. For example: "I just fell all four inches to the ground and landed on my soft bottom!" or "The drone of the car engine is lulling me to sleep against my will!" or even "Why won't you pick me up immediately and hold me until I'm ready to be put down?!" Like all good parents, though, unless the situation is grave (see legitimate reasons above) my rule has stayed firm. Tuesdays. 2 to 4.
Now, in case you're wondering why I haven't written a parenting book yet, it's because this doesn't work. In fact, that I've had to remind him every day for a year should tell me something about its efficacy. Perhaps I should just take my cue from the Complaints Choir and turn complaining into a virtue. Stop resisting and, like a wacky Fin, gather all his daily, mundane complaints and sing them, loud and proud, out into the world. (Just picture me on the front porch, in full voice, each evening.)
This may start the neighbours complaining but, pah, they can write their own song.