My favorite memories of my parents are of Ma and Daddy lounging about, sipping drinks, reading newspapers, watching David Lean marathons, munching on snacks, laughing easily… generally having a good time and keeping an eye out for me, in case I was up to no good, which I frequently was.
Parenting seemed an okay sort of gig when I thought of them. I mean, I remember throwing up a fair bit for no reason at all and coming home with an infectious disease or two, which I suppose wasn’t too much fun for the two of them, but in the absence of pods from which human beings can spring fully grown, this rearing the fruit of your loins thing seemed pretty civilized. Didn’t appear to harm them any so I thought I might one day give it a shot myself.
I look at parents of my generation and most of them don’t really appear to enjoy it all that much. They’re all too busy being shamed in public and drowning in guilt for doing whatever it is that they do to their kids.
- Are you giving your kids special classes? How dare you! Don’t you know you’re depriving them of their precious childhood?
- Are you not giving your kids special classes? How dare you! Don’t you know they’re essential if you want them to grow up into exceptional people?
- Are your kids on medication? How dare you! Don’t you know that’s just warped and harmful to their tiny bodies?
- Are your kids not on medication? How dare you! Don’t you know your kid’s life could be so much better if you just gave him a couple of pills?
- Are you a young mother? How dare you! Don’t you know older mothers breed smarter children? Are you happy now your kids are morons?
- Are you an older mother? How dare you! Kids aren’t fashion accessories you save up to buy so you can then show off! If you wanted kids then you should’ve had them when God and your ovaries wanted you to have them, not when you chose!
- Do you have a nanny or a housekeeper? How dare you! If all you wanted to do was palm your kids off on other people, then why did you have them?
- Don’t you have a nanny or a housekeeper? How dare you! Your superwoman complex is so off-putting! And your house is a mess!
- Do you spank your kids? How dare you! Do you want to scar them for life?
- Don’t you ever spank your kids? How dare you! Do you want them to grow up into undisciplined hooligans? You owe society something too, you know!
- Are you sending your kids to private school? How dare you! Do you want them to grow up into overprivileged snots?
- Are you sending your kids to public school? How dare you! Your kids shouldn’t be sacrificed on the altar of your social beliefs!
Hey, I have a question for you parents: how on earth do you get out of bed every morning?