Magical sister whisperer
Today is ANZAC Day which is a big deal in our little town. The only road through is closed off for an hour while old soldiers march, the scouts and the school children march and the whole population turns out to watch.
Last year and the year before that Bright Eyes refused to go, with a whole lot of yelling about how bad it was and how he wasn't going and we were all morons. This morning it was looking like the same thing.
"ANZAC Day is for peasants. I'm staying here under my blanket. I hate marches. It's not my thing. I'm Not Going," he tried. It was a definite contrast to his younger brother who was so excited that he bounded all the way up the street to the local hall where the parade began.
I was disappointed. I wanted to go because I've never actually been to an ANZAC ceremony before. I wanted to hear his brother sing with the school group, to see my husband give one of the prayers and to be social. My older daughter also wanted me to go with her. (She's in high school and considers herself too old to march now.)
"I can't leave him here on his own," I said. "And I can't get him down. Do you want to try?"
She blew on her fingernails. "Leave it to me," she said.
I could hear their conversation from downstairs. She started off in a roundabout way, never actually talking about the parade. Of course, he knew and she knew what she was doing, but because she is so artful at speaking his language, in five minutes he was downstairs with shoes and jacket on and we were all going to the parade!
"You're amazing!" I said to her.
"Just call me the boy-whisperer," she said.
So we went. And he lasted for ten or fifteen minutes, which wasn't too bad, considering the wind and the cold and the boredom factor. It wasn't perfect but it's a step towards competence and towards considering marches and processions not too horrible.
My daughter went off with her friends after the ceremony was over (Yes, it's a really small town. Yes, they can do that sort of thing.) and when she came home she was carrying a certificate. Apparently Bright Eyes won a highly commended award for his ANZAC day poster or essay or whatever it was they all did this year.
"Hey, look at this," I said. "You won an award."
"I Don't Want That Award," he said. And he was really angry. "They gave it to me on purpose. You should throw it away. I'm going to throw it in the bin. I don't want it. They're all peasants. ANZAC Day is a peasant thing. Next year you'll have to tell them not to give me an award. Do you know what 35 plus 35 plus 3 is?*"
Yup, okay, whatever.
*And the addition at the end of the sentence is a new anxiety marker. When he's upset about something he'll come out with a sum. Intriguing.