It’s 20 years – yep, 20 – since this young man arrived in my life. That’s more or less a generation, and probably a reason to celebrate. I am a fantastic mother – I’ve been keeping children alive for two decades.
Admittedly, when this chap first fixed me with his fierce gaze, I had such lofty ambitions for my motherhood. You know, raising bilingual, hummus eating, prodigies who would be both creative and polite. And sure, all three kids have been each of these things at one point or another, but never for long and rarely concurrently. I’ve revised my parenting goals (downward, obviously) and now success is:
- The children/child is alive.
- He/she is largely continent.
- He/she is able to look after him/her self.
- He/she is not an arsehole.
And that’s why I consider myself to be a tip-top parent. I’m not sure the kids agree, so it’s probably best no one asks them.
Anyhow, I’m very proud of Boy One. He has overcome many obstacles and found his own way. He’s funny, kind and good company. I’m looking forward to what he does with the next decade.
Meanwhile, back at the Palace of Bundance, his brother, Boy Two declared that the Panther and I are just “boring” and “why can’t we be interesting like other people’s parents?”. Good question, chum. I might run away to join a circus to see how you like that. Or swim with sharks. Or sail the oceans. Or something – just be careful what you wish for.
It turns out, though, that there’s a waiting list at the circus and the oceans are a bit cold and wet for this time of year so I’d better stay at home and pimp my boring existence.
I’m planning to do that in very many ways, the first of which is to find my Blog Mojo. I lost it under various piles of domestic detritus a few months ago, but I miss it. I think I can coax it out by writing stuff here and pressing that big blue ‘publish’ button. Hopefully, it’ll smell desperate stream of consciousness and trot back into action to put us both out of our misery.
Until that happens, I’d like to reflect on the things I’ve learned in 20 years of parenthood (hopefully still a slightly longer list than the list of things I’ve forgotten).
- There’s almost no point in making a plan because someone or something will cause you to change it.
- Nothing will ever be fair. However, hard you try some variant of ‘but, mum, he’s got more than me’ will greet your ears.
- The children will never really believe you existed before they did.
- Believe ketchup is a vegetable and you’ll feel a whole lot better about your children’s diet.
- You will never solve some mysteries – such as who put his bogies on the wall.
- They will eat stuff and do things for other people that they’d never do for you, get over it.
- Willies and farts are funny.
- Everyone else’s parents are less mean; more generous; cooler; allow later bed times; etc.
- The more intense the campaign for a new toy/gadget/hobby, the shorter the infatuation will be. But they will never believe you when you say that this will be the case.
- Children probably like each other, but they will never, ever admit that to you.
- Nothing you say will make them switch off lights or pick up towels until they are ready – approximately age 19.
- It really does all pass – and quite quickly at that.