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Scott Dunlop

When I was a kid I wanted to be a palaeoanthropologist when I grew up. That was a pretty big word for an eight-year-old boy, but I liked words and the way they described everything. In fossil hunting the Latin or Greek names told stories of their own. In archaeology, a quick glance at dinosaur names proves this. A Maiasaurus is a “Good Mother Lizard”, probably because of nesting abilities rather than helping with homework. I couldn't find a “Good Father Lizard” in a dinosaur Google search, but you needn't read anything into that.

As parents we all go through the process of choosing baby names. Usually that’s a fun experience, and some parents do go to the trouble of looking up the meaning of potential names, too. Baby naming would be much more fun if you could add “Saurus” onto the end of every name. Try it.

I digress. I had wanted to be a student of the bones, but I ended up being an editor. And I am very happy that my story took that twist. Only I'm not just an editor. I'm like you: A chef, handyman, story-reader, nurse, inventor, comedian, magician, sportsman, juggler, psychologist and more.

I’d never have guessed that being a parent can take so many skills, none of which I possessed before I became one. For most jobs you get hired on the basis of your training and work experience. Being a parent isn't a job, then. For some, it’s not even the result of a choice made.

There’s no salary and the rewards range from glorious happiness to numb frustration. There are some perks like getting to hang out at toy shops again and eating Flings at kid’s parties, and also being able to play with your child’s toy dinosaurs.

It’s almost impossible to define parenting. The experience is different for every person attempting it. You can’t give it a description as if it’s a dinosaur (or a job). You can’t take all of the tiny tasks of raising a child, glue them together and hope you have a parent. 

If a parent was a dinosaur, it would have a very, very long name.

What would you say most defines your parenting style? Tell us about it, and you could be the winner of a R250 voucher.

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