Once upon a time we were a lovely family of three, Me, Gwyneth and our little girl, but every birthday and Christmas our girl would write her gift wish-list and at the top of the list would always be:
1. A brother or sister
Apart from one year when she asked for a cat so we immediately got her a cat because we didn’t need to conceive a cat; that was up to somebody else’s pussy…
Conceiving a baby was proving tricky for us. No matter how hard, ahem, we tried, we just could not get a baby to grow. Until one magical night, under a Spanish sky (well, under a roof under a Spanish sky – we were MARRIED after all and therefore not remotely interested in alternative locations for sex which may cause humiliation and/or back injuries) we somehow, miraculously conceived a much longed-for baby.
The longed-for baby boy was perfect in every way apart from his hair which grew only in a band of ginger around the sides of his head, just like his Grandad’s, so that I had to cut off the offending strands in order to prevent the icky feeling that I was constantly breastfeeding my own father.
The longed-for baby boy was adored and worshipped by Gwyneth and I although not so much by his sister whose new first item on her gift-list became:
1. For my brother to stop being such a dick
For it was true, the longed-for baby had become a bit of a dick. This was not his fault. The longed-for aspect of his existence meant that he was so grotesquely pampered that by the time he was seven, we knew that if we didn’t do something soon, he would grow from being a cute, mildly dickish child into a revolting, massive dickhead of a man.
We resolved to teach the longed-for boy some real life-lessons. I began last night by instructing him to clear away his own dirty dishes…
Him: WHY ARE YOU SAYING THAT TO ME?
Mummy: Because it’s your plate. Pick it up and take it into the kitchen please.
Him: WHHHHYYYY??? I CAN’T.
Me: Don’t be ridiculous.
Him: I CAN’T! IT’S TOO HEAVY! LOOK!
Me: If you don’t take it into the kitchen I will take away your xbox and your life will become instantly meaningless…
Me: Stop it.
Him: But all I want is to LIVE MY LIFE.
Me: Same. Take the plate. And the glass.
Him: Fine. If you want me to drop them and break them.
Me: I don’t think that will happen.
Him: (mimicking) I don’t think that will happen…. well let’s SEE, SHALL WE?
Him: OOOOWWWW! IT HURTS ME!
Me: It’s a miracle. You are not dead. Into the kitchen please.
Him: OW, OW, OW! I CAN’T DO IT I’M GOING TO DROP THEM!
Me: Did you know that I am photographing this pathetic display and plan to share your behaviour with the world?
Him: You are SO MEAN.
Me: I am not mean. I am PARENTING.
Him: ‘Parenting’? What IS THAT?
Me: It’s me telling you what to do so that you grow up to be a considerate and self-sufficient human. One who people want to spend time with. One who will earn enough money so that Daddy and I can stay in our house when we’re old and not be faced with losing everything we’ve worked for so that we can pay for someone to look after us with a modicum of decency. Or if you don’t earn the big money, perhaps you will instead become a politically-engaged, socially-aware citizen who may even get into politics in order to sort out the storm of shit our generation has caused to society. Unlike the political leaders of our two main parties you will actually turn up to public debates about policy instead of treating our democracy as if it were a squabble between a brother and sister over who should say sorry first, “I will if she will.”
Him: She should say sorry first.
Me: Theresa May?
Him: No. My sister.
Me: She hasn’t done anything wrong. She’s not even HERE.
Him: But when she is here, it’s always her fault.
Me: Kitchen. NOW.
Him: Well I hope you know that you’re even more horribler than Theresa May and she is even more horribler than Donald Trump so you are the horriblest IN THE WORLD and there are 6.5 billion people in the world.
And the scores at the end of this first round:
Dickish 7yr old: 0 because he took the plate. Pampering Parent: 1 because he took the plate.
Although he gets a bonus point for knowing who Theresa May is.
Him: 1 Me: 1
Which is also a bonus point for me for teaching him who Theresa May is.
Him: 1: Me 2
And another bonus point to me for instilling the idea that she is horrible.
Him: 1 Me: 3
Ditto Trump. Extra points for us both.
Him: 2 Me: 4
One point deducted from me though, for engaging in partisan parenting, raising him to be a filthy socialist.
Him: 2 Me: 3
Another point deducted from me for using the word ‘shit’ in my pop-up lecture.
Him: 2 Me: 2
And another deduction for me for allowing him to speak to me as if I were a deluded Lib Dem voter.
Him: 2 Me: 1
Plus an extra point for him for knowing the population of the world.
Him: 3 Me: 1.
And a point deducted from me for not knowing the population of the world and having to Google it.
Him: 3 Me: 0
And a final point deducted from me for chasing after him when he fell half-way down the hall, breaking the plate and bursting into tears as I scooped up the broken pieces of both the plate and my parenting and threw them in the bin.
Him: 3 Me: -1
Tonight’s second round will focus on the issue of him actually sleeping in his own bed. This round will easily be won by me as I have learned the mistakes of yesterday and will this time be just the right side of a glass of wine and therefore much more able to provide a strong and stable leadership.
At least I’m turning up to the debate!