The constant barrage of questions is one of the things I find hardest about being a mum. Questions that I’ve already answered 35 times so far that day, questions that I don’t know the answer to, and questions that it has never even occurred to me to ponder. I feel guilty that I sometimes zone out and give ‘no’ as an answer without having properly listened to the question. I feel guilty that I don’t always sit down to give my children detailed answers to everything they want to know. But sometimes you have to cook the tea. Sometimes you have to get out the front door. And sometimes your head just needs 10 seconds of peace.
One tea-time last week, my 5 and 3 year olds gave me a grilling on Mozart.
That’s right – Mozart. Or MozBart, as the 3 year olds used to call him.
In case you’re imagining us calmly going about our daily business with a Mozart soundtrack playing in the background, let me reassure you that this is definitely not the case. Here is a bit of background….. A few months ago the 5 year old was learning about famous people at school, one of whom was Mozart. He came home one day talking about Mozart – it happened to be a day on which all boys were particularly excitable and in desperate need of some pre-bed calm down time. So I had a bright idea – if they all got into their pyjamas nicely, I told them, they could listen to some Mozart before bed. Because Mozart would, of course, calm them down wouldn’t it. I could picture the scene, and I liked it.
In actual fact, Mozart inspired a pre-bedtime acrobatics routine. Apparently Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is the best music in the world to somersault off the bed to. They wanted it again and again and I knew immediately that I had started something. I would recommend never suggesting winding down to Mozart.
Mozart no longer means calm down in our house, but is associated with somersaulting, joy and hilarity; and so is frequently asked for – Eine Kleine being the piece of choice.
So there we were one tea time last week getting our fix of Mozart, and I was presented with the following quickfire questions:
Q.1: Is that Mozart playing the music now?
A: No, that’s not Mozart sweetheart. Mozart died a long time ago.
Q.2: How did he die?
A: I’m not actually sure.
Q.3: Do you have a picture of him dead?
A: No, I don’t.
Q.4: Did he fall, like this (mimes a dramatic fall from his chair)?
A: No, I don’t think he fell.
Q.5: Was he in an aeroplane?
A: He definitely wasn’t in an aeroplane. Aeroplanes hadn’t been invented.
Q.6: Was he poorly?
A: Yes, I think he was.
Q.7: Do you have a picture of him poorly?
A: No, I definitely don’t.
Q.8: When did Mozart start singing?
A: Well I don’t know if he did sing, particularly.
Q.9: Did he play the piano?
A: Yes, he played the piano.
A: I don’t know if he played the violin.
Q.11: Did he play the piano and then die?
A: I don’t think he died straight after playing the piano.
Q.12: Who is this person playing the music that’s on now?
A: I’m not sure who this is.
Q.13: Is he dead?
A: I hope not.
A: I really don’t know.
Q.15: And what about Taylor Swift?
A: Taylor Swift has nothing to do with Mozart. As far as I know.
Can I go for a lie-down now please?