We say I love you, and if we’re still together on Boxing Day, Easter Wednesday, the day after the kid goes back to school we may survive as a couple by detaching from your teen’s nightmare behaviour
Your son looks like Elvis but he sings like a drunk footballer
I adore you but your brother’s second wife’s extended family will poison me slowly with their frozen coleslaw
I’d really like to grow old with you but your son’s new girlfriend has a voice that curdles milk and I can’t bring myself to help you raise her kids
Your touch is tough to resist but the complaints from your mother and her coven of neighbours about my cooking have reduced my brain capacity
You soothe my jangled nerves but your child’s penchant for snakes is a reptile too far
I really like your daughter but another netball match will kill my will to live
I love you but I can’t add another mother in law to my collection
Shakespeare described step parenting best:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom
Selfless community service alert! My Pollard Parenting Method (patent pending) is now available to my adoring public. Why buy a how to raise rugrats book when Pollarding can help you with awkward mothering moments?
Public Transport + small untamed child = major public embarrassment for mother. If you are sitting on the bus with your child and he starts singing,
When you’re climbing up a ladder and you hear something splatter,
When you’re rushing to the potty and you hear something grotty
Say out loud at regular intervals,
“I wish his mother would come and get him.”
Or simply move to another seat on the bus and pretend the offending child does not belong to you. He may well pull down his pants, tug at his penis, and sing another filthy ditty you taught him, but eventually a kind old lady will give him lollies to shut him up. She will glare at you when she gets off the bus. Pretend not to notice.
As I am on the hunt for a brand new Mike Brady style husband, I wonder how I’ll adjust to living with Mr Stepfather and his children when they find me. I’ve been thinking about different parenting styles:
Apparently parenting in the 50s was: Wait ’til your father gets home. Then parenting in the 60s was: Go to bed or I’ll whack you on the bum. A popular 70s child rearing plan was: Go to a party, drink a lot, chuck the kids a bag of chips and a can of Fanta every few hours, end up at 3am kicking the dog into the neighbour’s pool. Wake up on the front lawn underneath the frangipani tree. Throw six sleepy kids you found on the front verandah in the back of the station wagon and give the car keys to the adult who appears most sober.
The popular parenting style in the 80s was, “Julie’s dad is not too pissed to drive, I’ll get him to pick up you and Vicky from the Blue Light Disco.” No wonder we learnt to get hammered at every opportunity.
According to social researchers parents began to spend a lot more time with their kids after 1995, so parenting in the 90s became, “Sit down and watch the Simpsons with me while I have a drink.” In the 21st century parenting has become: I share custody with her and her, so I’d better find a new childless girlfriend to help me when my kids come back from their mothers’ houses.