The Parent List

Today’s post is short and listy.

I’ve been thinking about parenting in general, and there are two things that struck me over the last week.

The first is that parenting teens and nearly teens is much more nervy b. inducing than parenting toddlers. I may be saying this because toddlerhood is now a thing of distant memory, so you know, do feel free to chip in. What made me think it was the fact that at least when they’re toddlers you can do things like; sit them on the naughty step and keep your beady eye on them. When they start getting freedom, you have to leave many things to them to decide, and frankly that becomes more horrifying with every day that passes.

The second is how many things you are supposed to know as a parent. It’s not that you need to know about things like Calpol dosages, school uniforms, wiping bottoms, what to do with septic ear piercings etc. It’s all the other stuff. It’s like you become some walking version of Wikipedia and University Challenge, only Jeremy Paxman  doesn’t expect you to cook the tea whilst also knowing that Cordoba was considered to be the most densely populated city in the world in the tenth century.

Here is a brief list of some, not all, of the things I have been required to be knowledgeable about over the last seven days:

  1. Act Five of Othello
  2. Safe Sex (this was clear when child said: ‘I just thought it meant keeping your pants on’. Not oldest child I hasten to add, but still worthy of full ‘facepalm.’)
  3. The actions of the lower gut.
  4. Why boys like to kick things a lot.
  5. Dante’s circles of hell and their specific functions
  6. The habits of the alpaca
  7. Masturbation (Luckily I was cooking tea when this topic came up. Plenty of time for me to stare rigidly at the splash back whilst trying not to laugh/cry/flush to the roots of my hair)
  8. What exactly constitutes a ‘swear’ (this several times a day. ‘Mama, can I say this? NO! Why not? etc)
  9. Whether this stain will come out (unlikely)
  10. Irregular French verbs and their use in discussions about the French government’s drink and drug policies for the youth of today.
  11. Roman amphorae and the glazing techniques used thereon.
  12. Whether Mr. X is completely weird (yes.)
  13. Algebra (weeps into coffee cup)
  14. Why it is not acceptable to have a very expensive phone but only use it to text pictures of pug dogs in amusing situations to your friends and not to tell your mother where you are.
  15. Why Converse are superior to Vans.
  16. The entire plot of Dr. Faustus
  17. What we are having for tea tonight (seventy times seven times a day)

5 responses to “The Parent List

  1. On the plus side, at least we can helpfully direct them to The Google for some of those questions, no? How our poor parents coped I’ve no idea…

    As someone very much still in the toddler/early school years, I can believe that the challenges are Different, Not Easier, but I am obliged by law to remind you that at least you get to deal with those challenges while a bit better slept. And don’t have to fear being woken up at 2.30am on Christmas morning like last year because the little darlings are Just. TOO. EXCITED.

    I really think the sleep issue, and the difference it makes to one’s capacity to cope, cannot be overstated.

  2. And they reckon that ‘Mother’/’Parent’ is not a valid job! !!!!!

    Just cos full-time mothers don’t pay income tax. I reckon day jobs are, mostly, easier than parenting. Particularly parenting well – and you only know that you’ve achieved that when they’re adults.

  3. Algebra? *Shudder* My plan is to make Jan deal with all maths related questions!

  4. Don’t give me a spoiler alert for #5…still on my ‘to read’ list…..and I hate to tell you this but once they are adult and leave home and you can’t see them the anxiety doesn’t go away…it gets worse……..x

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