I give my guidelines freely, says wanna-be PP Karin Schimke.
Being a Perfect Parent is not easy, but these are the guidelines I have worked out and I distribute them freely. That sort of generosity is a typical of a PP.
PPs put their children above everything else. This seems obvious since we all love our kids unconditionally. But a PP loves their child more than most, and will therefore miss work deadlines to be at swimming galas. They will bring a healthy snack before the gala begins, and their child will eat the carrot before the starch without being prompted.
PPs have homes that run like clockwork. If they are particularly efficient they will have a large whiteboard on the kitchen wall to track every family member’s important dates and movements. Not that PPs have children who do too much, because they value free play. Their children’s karate practise and science marks are closely monitored. If these appear to be slipping, the children are gently counselled, a situation in which they feel confident and safe enough to verbalise exactly what is bothering them. What is bothering them is seldom plain old laziness.
PPs can be called upon at any time to know where the other sock, the goggles and the scissors are, because they have children who respect the rule about “a place for everything and everything in its place”. Therefore they seldom have stressful mornings before school, because they can step in at any moment of crisis and magic up lost items on anyone’s list. They can do this, because lunch boxes were prepared the night before, minutes before the breakfast table was laid. There is always a wholesome, non-sugary breakfast on the menu, and perfect parents would rather be late for morning meetings than have a child eat cold toast in the car.
For PPs dinner is never, ever under any circumstances, crappy take-away fried chicken, because PPs make time to plan the entire week’s menu on Sunday nights, and stock up on all the necessary items for healthy breakfasts, low-GI lunchboxes and super dinners. The low-GI lunchboxes are never returned at the end of the day with soggy strawberries and an apple with one bite taken out of it.
PPs speak quietly at all times. They never argue with one another, except when their children are in REM sleep, and then only quietly and in reasonable voices. PPs never send their partners dirty text messages, just in case a child comes across it by accident. In fact, they don’t have sex, unless another child is required, because sex – like alcohol, cigarettes, swearing and parties – are the childish pursuits of the young and carefree. PPs take the vow of perfection the moment they start having The Sex That Might Bring Forth Life.
Not that PPs don’t have fun. We love fun. We build it into our daily routine.
Perfect parents have no television, X-box or Playstation. Our Friday evenings are spent playing Ludo and Twister. That’s because perfect parents are never tired, even after a long week of keeping the wheels of domesticity turning smoothly. PPs manage to fit in me-time and
exercise time daily, and they can do this without the children being left in the care of anyone except the other perfect partner.
PPs are always on the look-out for parents who slip up and always have time to advise them on how to do things better. PPs rather like lousy parents actually, because it gives them a chance to practise the guidance and empathy skills they have found so vital in their own parenting.
Perfect parenting is a doddle really. The biggest challenge is remain humble at all times, even when – clearly – you are the only gifted parent on the face of the earth. Do you know any perfect parents?