We got Dylan’s first end of year school report this week. It was very good – enough, in fact, for this to have been a nauseatingly smug post. (It isn’t, I promise.) Yet aside from the positive commentary about my first born, one other thing particularly caught my eye…

Rather than a classic excellent, good, needs improvement type classification, Dylan’s school takes a far more positive stance. So: excellent is exceeding; good/satisfactory is expected; and anything less is emerging, a word so full of layers that it could be a cross-section of the planet Earth.  After all, my cricketing skills are emerging but that doesn’t mean I’m likely to throw mud at someone if they have the temerity to pick up my bat.

It got me thinking about some of the other euphemisms and platitudes we’re surrounded by (and guilty of) as mums, dads, grandparents et al. It’s a kind of parenting code, so below is my attempt at cracking it. Some of the examples may ring a bell, others may just be me…

Ooo, she’s very interested in the world, isn’t she? I’ve run out of positive things to say about your frankly pretty uninteresting newborn but I’ve noticed she does occasionally open her eyes and/or move her head.

He knows what he wants. Your son is an obstinate prick.

He REALLY knows what he wants. Your son is an off-the-scale obstinate prick.

You can tell she’s going to be bright. Why won’t she stop asking me ‘why’?

He finds sharing challenging.  He hits kids who touch his stuff.

That’s a nice big age gap. Which one of them was an accident?

She’s really thinking about something, isn’t she? (about a baby) He’s staring gormlessly into space and/or doing a poo.

No, that little girl is playing with that. (to your own child, loudly) Tell your daughter to give my son a turn before I unleash him. (to parent of other child)

Being an older sister has really brought out her caring side. She once asked her baby brother if he was OK after she threw a ball at him.

Having 2 kids definitely isn’t twice as hard as having 1. (to expectant 2nd time parent) Having 2 kids is at least 3 times as hard as having 1, just as soon as the second little bugger is on the move as well.

He’s very strong. (about baby) I’ve run out of things to say again but he did vaguely close his fist when I jammed my  finger into his palm.

He’s very strong. (about older child) He keeps hurting me and is worryingly close to doing irreparable damage to my testicles; please call him off.

Give the doggie a wave, sweetheart. Don’t touch that flea-ridden beast in case it rips your throat out; just flap your hand at it  from afar so it looks to the owner like we give a shit about their pet.

At least he’s not shy. Your son keeps touching my daughter, get him away from her this instant.

She enjoys her food, doesn’t she? Greedy little bastard.

OK, that’s enough time with the iPad. Bugger. That was peaceful. I should’ve picked a table where other people couldn’t see how bad a parent I am.

I’m sure there are loads more. In fact, I’ll probably discover another one tomorrow. In the meantime, though, I’d love to hear yours. Who knows, maybe we could turn them into one of those handy pocket foreign language guides people take on holiday…



3 thoughts on “Cracking the Parenting Code

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