Sunday, 18 September 2011

Pantomime Parenting

Good Evening! And what an evening it is. I am full of the joys of spring, actually Autumn, after a good weekend. It included all the vital elements - extra sleep, extra help with the children, three park visits, takeaway, X Factor and the completion of some much needed housework. I have even totally prepared for my second WW meeting tomorrow. Text book weekend really.

Actually, the weekend wasn't totally perfect - I had to spend Friday night at an extremely long area meeting to discuss VITAL Weight Watchers business (sarcasm) in a hot and stuffy conference room in a flipping Marriott hotel in Bexleyheath. No one would ever wish they were in a conference room in a Marriott in Bexleyheath on a Friday night. Although there was a wedding going on at the same time so maybe someone does. I always have an overwhelming urge to run up to brides and yell 'It's all down hill from here so enjoy it while you can!'. I don't know why. Moving on.....

Friday day didn't turn out to be totally perfect either but it was a dramatic improvement on Thursday. We most definitely made the morning school run without any screaming from anyone which I rated as a huge success and I didn't even have to do any mad mum-running in the playground which was a relief. But the big news of the day was that Bea emerged from her classroom in a jubilant mood as she had been presented with a Star Pupil award in that morning's 'Assemmm-ber-llyyy' (you have to pronounce it like that). This prestigious award was bestowed upon my first born for her great breadth of knowledge and the way she utilises it to answer a lot of questions in class. I was immensely proud - and immediately decided to take all the credit for her great general knowledge. It's a shame they don't make awards for mothers too. Not only would I like one for great knowledge bestowment but I would like one each time I complete a scream-free school run or I manage to remember everything needed for that day. I didn't remember to buy a Euro Lottery ticket in all the excitement though, but I have bought two normal ones for last night - I haven't checked yet as I thought I'd do it after I posted this just in case I had actually won. I wouldn't want to spend my first few fabulous hours as a millionaire writing to you impoverished losers now would I? I would instead spend the time browsing through one of K's glossy brochures and choosing my new luxury Dulwich pad. So if you don't hear from me in the next few weeks you can start to send me begging emails. I'll get a member of the staff to reply.

As we also find ourselves impoverished losers at the moment, the weekend needed free entertainment, hence the three park visit. I am a huge fan of our local parks. I don't want to brag but there are an awful lot of great ones around here, each offering something slightly different and more importantly, each one offers a different clientele of parents for me to sit and watch.  I have now been able to identify a very important type of parent which you will find in every single park - and I have named them the Pantomime Parent. I am a particular fan of these as they are so much fun to watch. The Pantomime Parent typically has a child called Zac or Finlay or something not too ridiculous but not boring and they are the parent you can hear above all others as they posses an unusual ability to throw their voice so that everyone can hear them above the background noise, as if they were on a stage somewhere. They are also immensely keen to show the rest of the park population that they are an AMAZING parent. At any moment I expect them to break in to song and dance, Glee-style, about how much they love being a parent and how much they love their children - Jazz hands! They are always ridiculously happy which annoys me. I like a tired looking parent - preferably yawning - or ones that are happy that the children are finally amusing themselves and are taking the chance to sit down and fiddle on their phone or read the newspaper or something. Don't get me wrong, I don't want total disinterest or anything distasteful but over-the-top and dramatic 'playing' from a parent is just plain irritating. The Pantomime Parent can't just push a child on a swing - they have to come up with ever more elaborate ways to make the act of pushing slightly more entertaining. I am all for a bit of tickling and play punching to pass the time and make them smile but some people act as if they are auditioning for an episode of Total Wipeout. Not only is it noisy and annoying but it makes your child feel as if they are missing out as their parent is simply pushing.  There are also the pantomime parents who do it with food - today I had one who was trying to dissuade her son from grabbing at Ted's lollipop by explaining that he should remember he had already had his 'fruit bar' that morning. She said 'fruit bar' particularly loudly so that all those around us could hear that she was really an AMAZING parent. Once I had a mother who said that maybe 'it was their Birthday' to her child who was pointing out that my children had crisps. I find myself apologising that my children are taunting them in such a blatant fashion. It's ridiculous. There are also the Supernanny Pantomime Parents who shout so loudly with their positive praise it is painful. Zac, they shout, you waited SOOOOOOOO well!!!! you did SUCH amazing WAITING!!!!!! I am SOOOOO VERY PROUD of you ZAC!!! High Five me Zac for your Extremely Amazing and Extraordinarily Brilliant WAITING!!!!! Yipppeeeee for Zac who can WAIT!!!!

I hope I don't sound bitter. Honestly, they really are as bad as they sound.

Anyway, let's hope you are all as good at waiting as good old Zac as I am now going to bed and you will have to wait a little while for the next thrilling installment. Actually if I have won the lottery you will have to wait for an extraordinarily long time or at least until I have run out of money and need free entertainment in the evening again. Actually knowing me I could quite easily get through a million in under a year. Maybe six months. Actually if I buy a house it could be a matter of weeks. I'll be back in those parks before I know it. Seeya there.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  1. Oh god, it wasn't us was it?!
    We were in Peckham Rye Park on Sunday trying to 'teach' Zachy how to ride his new scooter... EEK ;-)

  2. Nooooo!! We were not in peckham rye park and teaching scootering is mitigating circumstances so you would be allowed to teach him to wait - i would not judge. Apologies for maligning your son's name. I hope you have enjoyed the new deli already - it's amazing! X