Lessons In How To Be A Bad Parent

In McDonalds

In McDonalds

I just spent a wonderful evening catching up with a good friend (who, thankfully, sees parenting as challenging as I do and isn’t afraid to admit it) while our kids played beautifully together upstairs. If only all evenings could be spent thus.

I was telling her of my new low this week, when I bribed my child to eat some fish finger in McDonalds (he refuses to eat anything but chips and beans, certainly no meat or fish) and it made me think of all the things I never thought I’d find myself saying as a parent (and that have probably secured a special ring of parenting hell just for me).

These are a few I can remember:

  • To my child in McDonalds: “Just eat one piece of fish finger and then you can have your chips”
  • Too frequently, and in the hearing of other parents: “Please just finish your chips and beans, and then you can have your cookie”
  • “Please, can you just watch TV, I’m too tired to take you outside”
  • “Yes you can watch another programme, but it’ll mean no bedtime stories”
  • “Can we watch Ben & Holly? I’m bored of Octonauts”
  • In response to a scream: “Unless you’re bleeding I’m not interested”
  • After daughter practised counting to 100, out loud, ALL DAY: “Can you stop counting now and play Candy Crush instead?”
  • To a chatterbox child: “Would you like your mimi?” (Dummy/Pacifier)
  • To an overly affectionate child: “I don’t want a cuddle right now but I’m sure Kara (the dog) does”
  • “I don’t think a third satsuma/yoghurt/fruit pot is a good idea, would you like a cookie?”
  • “I’m too tired to go to the park and it’s cold, would you like to go shopping?”
  • “Why don’t you watch TV on the iPad; we’ll do your homework tomorrow”

I’m sure there are hundreds of others, and that doesn’t include all the things I swore I’d never ever say, no matter how tired and cranky I got (shut up / go away / serves you right / FFS / don’t you dare / you’re doing my head in and so on.)

Sigh. At least I can make other people feel better about their parenting! Don’t you just love being a mum?