Sunday, July 31, 2005

Impractical parenting

If you met me in the street, or the pub, you might be forgiven for assuming that I might not be in the running for Mother of the Year. Although my appearance is a little more conservative than in previous years (I sort of miss my dreadlocks, although I don't miss the constant aroma reminiscent of cider, wet dog and, strangely, the inside of wellingtons kept in the garage), I still sport a number of facial piercings and have some very big, very black tattoos (although not on my face, I hasten to add...). When out on my own, or with the Other Half or friends this merely means vague sneering or slight fear from passing middle-englanders. However, if in the company of Small Person this attitude can change slightly. When Madam was very tiny, and I had very pink hair and favoured rings rather than studs in my nose and lip, the kindness of strangers manifested itself in one of two ways. Either malevolent waves of how-dare-she-that-poor-child (accompanied no doubt by images of needle-littered squats and rummaging through dustbins for food), or abject pity. Both of which were equally infuriating. These days, it's more toned down, but nonetheless often apparent. Maybe it's as a reaction to this, and also perhaps due to the fact that despite their indifference, my parents wanted someone who could confidently hand round the olives at the sort of seventies houseparty that invariably ended in gin and recriminations, I'm actually a very Victorian parent. This evening, Small Person, the Other Half and I were tucking into roast chicken, and I found myself channelling Anne Widdecombe. Poor Small Person - there she was trying to eat enough to guarantee pudding, and all she could hear was me barking "elbows off the table!!", "sit up straight!!", "mouth closed please!!!". To be fair, the Other Half ate very nicely indeed and therefore was allowed his chocolate mousse, and was excused the washing up. Small Person, to her eternal credit, does very well indeed, which makes me wonder whether I'm doing more harm than good. The poor child - it must be like growing up in the Hitler Youth. Will she thank me for it in later life, or will she end upon an ITV2 documentary, chaining Rothmans, with her kids eating Super Noodles with their fingers in front of Trisha? Only time will tell - I expect she's already counting the days until her sixteenth birthday.

In other news, I met the Other Half's parents yesterday, and they were lovely. To their credit, they managed not to berate me for wrecking his marriage, and instead plied me with tea, biscuits and an update on everything their neighbours have been up to lately. And I was shown a picture of the Other Half in knee socks, which cheered me up no end.

14 Comments:

Anonymous sue chimed in with...

can i see the photo please

01 August, 2005 07:32  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

as soon as i can smuggle it out of his parents' house, yes. i feel it's a little early in our relationship to start stealing from them yet tho.....

01 August, 2005 09:02  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

I would like to point out that the photo in question was taken at the age of 7. The last thing I need is the World Wide Web thinking I wander round at the weekends in knee-high socks at 38 !!!

01 August, 2005 09:37  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

and, presumably, invite your parents to photgraph you.

i'm sure there are websites catering to that kind of thing....

01 August, 2005 09:40  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

I'm scared to invite you to dinner! I've never ever got the 'elbows' thing - WTF is wrong with putting your elbows on the table??

01 August, 2005 13:56  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

dunno. but we used to get sent out of school dinners for it. mind you, we used to get sent out for talking. and mrs thing who hated kids (good job she was a reception class teacher then) once dragged andrew hill out by his hair for coughing without his hand over his mouth....

ah, private education. it's character-building, doncherknow?

01 August, 2005 14:00  
Anonymous Paul King chimed in with...

For a full list of British Manners try:

http://www.learnenglish.de/culture/eatingculture.htm

Elbows on the table is in there.

01 August, 2005 14:23  
Blogger Who is this Dave? chimed in with...

I'm sure I have commented on this blog before, but as you complained on Phil's blog that none of his readers ever comment on yours, I thought I better had.

Now I could put something like 'I've just read all that. Twice. And I didn't understand a word.' Like someone wrote on mine today.

But that would only mean that you would have to write a full and detailed explanation, like the one that I will be giving tomorrow.

And now I have written a comment on yours, so duty done I can press 'enter' and go...

01 August, 2005 16:48  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

1) it was a non-specific self-centred moan. honest.

2) it was CRICKET!! i rest my case

3) oh dear

4) thank you and goodnight

01 August, 2005 16:51  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

mrs randall. that was her name.

what if you got alzheimers but couldn't remember what it was called? wouldn't that be annoying?

01 August, 2005 16:53  
Blogger Raul Riviera chimed in with...

http://mslspg-experiment.blogspot.com/

01 August, 2005 17:23  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

It doesn't count if all the comments on your blog are your own ...

02 August, 2005 15:37  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

you're a fine one to talk, madam.

02 August, 2005 15:41  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

Yeh I kno

03 August, 2005 10:24  

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