D- in Parenting: Must Do Better
The fundamental problem with ‘parent blogging’ is the slippery-slope of only writing the good stuff; you risk looking like a deluded Mary Poppins fantasist, when in reality most days you wonder how anyone manages without a large wine by lunchtime. Especially when it’s nearly noon and your first coffee of the morning still sits where you left it with a cold skanky fug on top. Kids are hard and most of us are muddling at best, no matter how much we love them.
So in the interests of balanced and honest blogging, here’s my School Report and lessons learned from some of my best Parenting Fails so far. I say ‘some’ because frankly I have more to list than the data allowance on WordPress will support. There’s only so much I can think about at a time without feeling the need to start saving now for my children’s therapy, and I need the money for wine. Bless you little darlings, should you ever read this (and I hope you do), rest assured it all stressed me out a lot more than it did you…
Lesson One: RTFS: Read the email from the nursery school PROPERLY
‘Oh lovely – you’re doing a sponsored walk round the garden? Dressed up in yellow you say? Sure, no problem!’
Except it’s ‘dressed IN yellow’ not ‘dressed UP in yellow’, so all the other little kids look like perfect angels from the sunshine section of the flaming Boden catalogue, while mine are stood there dressed up as Little Miss Sunshine complete with sandwich board style costumes. Hooray for Crap Mum! Thank God I checked the ‘no photos’ box on the registration form. (Still, better as babies than aged 11 I suppose).
Grade: D- for Reading.
Lesson Two: Act Your Age
Remember that advert where the sassy mother prevents a full-blown tantrum in the shop by beating her kid to it and shocking them into silence?
Yeah. It doesn’t work. She screamed even more. And now I look like the local basket-case and have to shop elsewhere.
Grade: D- for copying another’s idea, badly.
Lesson Three: You Can’t Catch a Fishy (Sick)
As the defendant in this case I will use the ‘crying wolf’ defence, as she has said it so many times and been fine, but when your small child tells you repeatedly they have a funny tummy… probably best not feed them salmon for tea. This particular fillet was determined to return upstream and did so with ferocious velocity across the lounge and all over the sofa (fabric naturally). Of course her baby sisters were quick off the mark and we all had a lovely old time playing ‘slap the sicky sofa’. *weeps at the memory*
Grade: D- for lateral thinking.
Lesson Four: Preschool Cannonball
Determined to be all proactive and not to be stuck indoors ‘just because of a little rain’, I took my then 3-year-old to the park. I thought that the great big 30ft adventure playground slide would be brilliant in a puddle suit…. turns out a wet slide turns a plastic wrapped kid into a bloomin’ rocket, and she flew down it at great speed, shot off the end and landed several feet away face down in the mud. (Admittedly kinda funny, once the screaming stopped. About three hours later. Scared but unharmed – sorry sweetheart!).
Grade: D- for Common Sense.
Lesson Five: Know your Children
I have twins. They are not identical. They are not even nearly identical. Yet as babies I used to accidentally bath the same one twice, feed the same one twice, and once even gave the same one twice to the health visitor for weighing. It was only when they remarked that she had dramatically dropped in weight that I twigged. I blame the lack of sleep.
Grade: D- for observation skills.
Lesson Six: Ipod shuffle is for YOU, not THEM
During a lovely dance-off with my darlings, I shot upstairs to the loo, only to hear the ipod self-select a very, VERY inappropriate song. It’s by Tenacious D and is about doing something ‘gently’. It didn’t get far in before I ran/fell down the stairs shrieking like an injured cockatoo to drown out the sound, only to traumatise them further by falling flat on my arse at the bottom of the stairs. Beautiful.
Grade: D- for Music.
Lesson Seven: Keep your sarcastic remarks to yourself
First day in a new playgroup, in a church. When the Vicar comes to introduce himself and your children show off their new skill called ‘spitting’ and gob all over his neat blue shirt. Do you
a) apologise profusely
b) apologise and offer to clean it off, or
c) apologise through thinly veiled laughter and try to make light of it saying “and they’re too young to even know I’m an atheist!!”
Yeah. I am actually blushing while writing. Not my finest moment. Thankfully the vicar saw the funny side, I think. Hey-ho, I assume he’s forgiven me. I wouldn’t know – nice as the group was the kids couldn’t go back. Grade: U (ungraded) – straight to detention.
Thank you for letting me share. I feel a bit better for that. Time for that large wine.
Anyone with me in the naughty corner?
Follow me on Twitter at
and thanks to
for starting a funny conversation about this subject. Follow her too.