I feel I’m raising middle-class kids inadvertently. I didn’t mean to do it. I thought my children would eat bread with every meal, regardless of what it was, drink from a plastic ‘juice’ carton upside-down by biting a hole in the corner and sucking through it, and live off 10p ice-pops in the summer, just like I did. But that hasn’t happened. The closest they get to bread with meals is a toasted ciabatta when we have pasta, their liquids are exclusively water or unsweetened almond milk (although I will allow watered-down fresh juice if it’s a special occasion), and the closest they’ve come to ice-pops is the raspberry sorbet from Pizza Express.
It’s so difficult to discuss this issue without reverting to stereotypes or becoming hung up in a socio-political debate. So to address that, let me state from the off – I’m amidst what the Marxists term as ‘contradictory class location’ – I grew up as one class, but my adult experiences and circumstances place me in another. May I also state that I think society is generally a bit classless now; there have been many attempts at classification and reclassification, yet the general perception of class seems to relate to money and commodities, rather than attitudes and beliefs – what we have rather than who we are. I don’t want to enrage, offend, offer soapboxes or chisel at shoulder chips with this post – it’s a light-hearted, unashamedly stereotyping, poke at my contradictions and misconceptions when raising my family.
So, I’m hoping to build a collection of times when I’ve heard myself (or my toddler) and needed to go and give my head a wobble because I don’t know who the fuck I am anymore. And, equally, times when you’ve wanted to shout “Get a fucking grip, you moron!” at a child/parent/yourself.
- “Can you just sit down and eat your avocado and pomegranate seeds!?” – Monster Mummy
- “Are you going to have some red wine now Mummy?” – Monster Major, 5pm
- “Humous isn’t shampoo, darling” – anotherbun1, Twitter
- “Tarquin, if you don’t behave you won’t get your pain au chocolat!” – overheard at a festival, Daniel Pearson, Facebook
- “Daddy, I want this bunny rabbit” Dad responds, ” Elizabeth dear you already have two ponies, two cats and a puppy, you can’t have another pet.” “But Daddy, this one is a prettier colour,” “OK, well we can go and ask Mummy.” – overheard at the Romsey Show, Louise Lam, Facebook
- “See son, study hard or you may end up as a … performer” – overheard at the Kew Gardens Christmas performance, Daniel Pearson, Facebook
- “Stop crying just because I won’t let you hold the pomegranate seeds” – Husband Dearest (pomegranate is the zeitgeist of Monster household 2016)
- “Lucius, keep your socks on, this isn’t like at David Lloyds” – overheard at soft play, Rebecca Messenger-Clark, Facebook
- “Amaryllis, darling please walk ever so slightly quicker” – overheard on the school run, Jenny Collins, Facebook
- “Mummy, I only eat green olives!” – Elodie, aged 5, crying when faced with black olives
- “Mummy, why do we have to go to Starbucks? I really don’t like their hot chocolate!” – Elodie, aged 5, crying
- “Eating outdoors is called al fresco” – threesypeasy, Twitter
I’m sure this is only the icing of our middle-class children’s first world problems, so if you have any to add, please leave a comment or shout me on twitter, @areluctantmummy, or facebook, facebook.com/areluctantmummy, and I’ll add them to the list.