Hello again amazing parents,
Some scientists take decades to develop their theories into
something useful, and I can relate. You see, I have been attempting to cut my
son’s hair for fifteen years and only now do I feel that I’m getting anywhere.
I don’t condone lab experiments on animals, and, to my shame, nor do I condone
some of the awful hairstyles he’s had to endure.
I have snipped his ear with scissors and left him looking as
though he’s been savaged by rabid badgers. Attempted to sort out a plague of
nits by cutting the stubborn things out. I have cut his hair in the wind
leading to chronic sneezing on his part (have you ever tried to cut someone’s
hair when they’re sneezing at random intervals? Can you say “holes”?). But,
finally, I am getting there. Just in time for him to start going to a real
That’s parenting, hey? The fruits of our labours seem to
ripen just as we’re no longer needed.
There’s a sense that we’re preparing them for a life beyond
us. Giving them the skills to survive as if their parents had been sucked up
into alien spacecraft and they have to know how to make a fire using two ice
lolly sticks and a piece of Lego. Sure, the only food they will be able to make
is a pancake with syrup, but that’s more or less survival.
It’s not too late with my younger children. I can still get
them mastering haute cuisine and even making that elusive perfect cup of
coffee. Or, at the very least, migrating their clothes to the dirty laundry
basket. Baby steps.
You may think I seem a bit callous in referring to my
children as “experiments”. The thing is, I know what outcome I’d like to see,
but the formula for getting there isn’t always clear. I know the funding for
the experiments dried up some time ago, but I press on, boldly, intrepidly. Mad
scientists, all of us.
To their credit, my little experiments don’t complain too
much. They’re a little unhappy with me if I say “oops” when cutting their hair,
but otherwise they’re quite encouraging. They’ll proclaim that some extremely
dodgy culinary invention was “delicious”, when I all I can see is an imaginary
Gordon Ramsay screaming at me “YE CALL THAT FOOOOOD?”. They’ll enjoy the
tiniest things we do with an enthusiasm that’s entirely out of perspective.
Kids. Slow to highlight our mistakes, quick to appreciate our successes.
Compared to when I started, I only have a few years left in
the parenting lab, so now’s the time to put on the lab coat and practice my
evil villain laugh.
Have a great time experimenting with your kids!
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