Author's note: Some people may believe that I think I'm God, judging people in this way. But there are lots of silly parents around and I simply have to tell you about them. Don't shoot the messenger.
So talking of silly parents, my brother and I went to London on the weekend. We do this annually not because we don't have any friends, but because we like to spend time together. (At least, I hope that's what it is. Come to think of it, my brother was wearing a rather odd anorak.) The reason for this sibling affection is that we grew up in the Seventies in a small backwater called Midsomer Norton (I wasn't really born in Stratford-upon-Avon next to Shakespeare's cottage, as I claimed on my author's bio). We were kept in the dark in the spare room, whilst my mum decorated the house. She liked to keep everything nice. We didn't see anyone but each other for twenty-two years, at which point my brother realised that his legs had grown too long for the box room, so he moved out.
During our confinement, my brother and I developed a unique mini culture with our own language, a fictitious cast of friends, and an elaborate system of banging on pipes to each other when we had been separated into different rooms. One bang meant shut the hell up it's your fault that I pushed you through the window into the blizzard and Dad had to board the glass up with the snow driving into his beard. And two bangs meant get lost you fat head, because of you I'm missing Hong Kong Phooey. Or in our private language: skammy fout flah pooff.
So how does this relate to our modern playground? It doesn't. On the first day of school, parents and children exchanged frenzied hugs and kisses, raving about all the amazing play dates their children had enjoyed over the holidays, whilst my son stood there alone (in his anorak) wondering why no one was talking to him.
The shock of the matter is that I didn't arrange a single play date with his school friends over the summer. Not one. If my son had asked me, I would have obliged. But he didn't mention it. He wanted to just hang out with his younger brother. And because it's now the noughties and not the seventies, I let them out of the spare room on Saturdays.
|Christ, you let them out of the box room for how long? What were you thinking?|
Does this mean that my son is going to be a serial killer because he isn't networking his way through junior school? Is he going to be a weirdo because I'm not engineering his friendships for him and sticking my oar in? Is he going to be an anorak-wearing loner that goes to London once a year with his brother for the rest of his life?
See you soon!
Cath has written a great book called The Mood Ring.
Check it out Amazon and then you can read it and ignore your kids.