An A-Z of Parenting (the primary school years)


A is for Answers. Those you are asked for multiple times per minute, and those you get back instead of the “yes, of course Mummy” you were hoping for.

is for Bedtime. The hour of the day which is apparently light years earlier in your house than in every other home in the land.

is for Cuddles. Especially the stolen ones, and those ones when you realise with a pang quite how much they’ve grown.

is for Drama. Also Storm/Teacup; Mountain/Molehill. (Generally an object lesson in the difference in perspective, courtesy of door slamming, head tossing and a wail to the effect that you don’t understand).

E is for Examples. As in, trying to set a good one, and realising too late that the muttered remark at the idiot in the car in front was anything but.

F is for Food. Which is either a cruel and unusual punishment (anything with an air of vitamins about it) or What Everyone Else In The World Has For Tea (anything else)

is for Giggling. Quite possibly the best sound in the world, even when it’s accompanying a conversation about farts.

H is for Homework. During which time loses all meaning and half an hour becomes endless aeons of pain (see also D)

I is for Image. Also known as the sudden mechanism whereby 75% of the wardrobe becomes unwearable overnight.

is for Judgement. As in “trusting your own”. Easier said than done.

is for Knowledge. A commodity whose value varies. Priceless to you; approximately worthless to those you’re trying to share it with.

is for Love. Nuff said.

is for Minecraft. Lego THAT YOU CAN’T STAND ON. Genius.

is for Noise. A sort of aural collage of handstand thumps, FaceTime pings and the “pyow-pyow” of an imaginary battle with Stormtroopers.

O is for Optional Hearing. A strange condition which renders the sound of a sweet being unwrapped three rooms away pin-sharp, while the instruction to wash ones face is a muffled blur.

P is for Pyjamas. Items of clothing which are welded to bodies, especially ten minutes before it’s time for school.

is for Quiet. A largely forgotten relic of an earlier life which makes an occasional reappearance when Minecraft is engaged.

is for Radio. Capital in the car and on every other set within reach to ensure a wall-to-wall surround of the kind of music that sounds like someone’s hopping over hot coals.

is for Siblings. The components either of unbreakable alliances against you or implacable feuds you must resolve.

T is for Toys. Also known as random articles of tat which are of no interest whatsoever until it is time to leave the house or set the table.

U is for Untidy. Not so much a state as an apparent independent Being which wreaks untold havoc in the blink of an eye.

is for Values.There is nothing like passing them on to make you question your own.

is for Why? A question asked less and less, but which gets harder and harder to answer.

X is for X-Box. Like a youth club in your telly.

Y is for Young. They are, you’re not.

Z is for Zhurely that’s enough by now, I’m off for a glass of wine (see A-Y)



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