The worst kind of parent. *Eyeroll*

Urgh! Urgh, urgh, urgh. Everything about this article – urgh.

So if you hadn’t heard about this ridiculous story here it is in a nutshell.

Slightly famous and well off fashion designer is mother to an Instagram star 3 year old. Mother decides daughter should go on a playdate, and obviously provides her with “show shoes” that cost over 300 pounds (in excess of $500 Australian dollars). She packs into her little fashionista daughter’s backpack a less expensive pair of play shoes. Because why wouldn’t you. Three year old doesn’t understand the concept of getting out of her “show shoes” (oh let’s face it, “Show OFF Shoes”) and into her play shoes immediately once she is at her friend’s house. Mother of play date friend child fails to realise the requirement for swapping shoes (seriously, how does she not know this? Doesn’t EVERYONE send their children to a friend’s house with fancy shoes for prancing around prettily in, then change into everyday ruin-able shoes? Duh). Really expensive shoes inevitable get RUINED! Ie. Slightly scuffed on the toes. Slightly famous and well off fashion designer mother is SHOCKED AND MORTIFIED that her daughter has come home in such as state. Reacts in the only reasonable way, and sends insistent letter to now ex-friend demanding the full cost for replacement of shoes. Mother of clearly DESTRUCTIVE AND BAD INFLUENCE child seems perplexed and amused, and immediately does the only reasonable thing in return: posts the letter online, which immediately goes viral.

Enter infamous wanker, Piers Morgan.

Piers Morgan has a talk show and therefore has a platform he is allowed to sprout any opinion he likes from. Naturally. Piers Morgan insists Slightly famous and well off fashion designer mother is WORST KIND OF PARENT EVER! (actual quote)

Ok, let’s take a moment here, because I have a lot of opinions. Where to begin…

Firstly, one of the arguments Fashion Mother (I really can’t be bothered posting her name. If you want to know it, please read the attached article) claimed for sending the letter was something along the lines of “If you sent your child somewhere and expected them to be safe and they came back injured you would expect the person who was responsible for them to pay for damages”. Ok, I completely agree with that. If you expect your child to be safe somewhere, but the adult in charge decided “Let’s go for a drive and you kids can sit loose in the back of my ute tray”, and then they got hurt, yes I would totally expect you to be held accountable and responsible, and pay for any associated medical bills. This is a little different. Your child’s shoes were scuffed.

Additionally, I would also expect that if my child went somewhere and their possessions they had on them were damaged, I would expect maybe depending on the situation that you as the responsible adult in charge would kindly offer to pay, fix, or replace them. Within reason, of course.

But these were $500 shoes. Let’s use a little bit of common sense here. Maybe, if you’re worried about a ridiculously priced pair of shoes (that incidentally your daughter will probably not be able to wear in the next 6 months anyway) are going to get damaged, here’s a thought, MAYBE DON’T LET HER WEAR THEM OUT! And if you are going to let a 3 YEAR OLD wear such ridiculously expensive shoes, you’re going to need to not care when they inevitably get damaged. Because she’s 3. I guarantee they’re going to get damaged.

Secondly, if you child is only bringing a pair of shoes for “show” and not to wear, then that’s not a playdate, that’s a fashion contest. And that’s the bullshit “my child is better than your child” parental competing that I hate and slammed in one of my previous blogs. Don’t do it. You’re being a dick.

With that out the way, let’s get back to *spews slightly* Piers Morgan. Ok, I agree this woman is being an entitled dick. Her reaction can probably be described as, well, stupid. But DO NOT call her “the worst kind of parent”. Let’s get things into perspective. The worst kind of parent will probably do the following:

          Hate their child

          Not provide their child with adequate food or water

          Verbally, physically and/or sexually abuse their child

          Deliberately starve their child to death

          Deliberately murder their child

          Provide their child as an object for horrible abuse to others

Working for the Courts, I have seen cases of the above examples pass my desk on more occasions than I would care to remember. I will not go into further detail as they are horrific, and not worth mentioning here. But I assure you Mr Morgan the parents involved in these types of cases ARE the worst kind of parent.

Fashion Mother may be instilling in her daughter a sense of entitlement and materialistic happiness. That’s probably a bit of a dick thing to do. But do you say the same of Kim Kardashian? Because let’s face it, both of her kids are probably in the same boat. But because Fashion Mother is nowhere near as wealthy as the Kardashians, that makes her somehow less entitled to provide her daughter with ridiculously expensive possessions? She did say it herself, her daughter is fed and clothed (albeit extravagantly), there is a roof over her head, and she is clearly loved. Isn’t that everything a parent is supposed to do. Ok, the attitude is a little terrible, but is that really anyone’s business?

So sorry Piers, once again, you’re very wrong on this one. Try again maybe? Actually, don’t.    

Dinner. Again. WHY!?

Remember a while ago I posted a blog entitled “Dinner is a Battlefield”? (If you’re curious you can find it here). I made that cute reference to Pat Benatar. We had a bit of a laugh at how frustrating life was. And then miraculously just after I posted that article Stormaggedon decided that dinner was actually a really great thing, and eventually devoured everything we put in front of him, like the future destroyer of worlds that he is. I walked away from that episode admonishing myself for being so anxious over the situation, dusted my hands off and thought well deservedly “I’m so glad that’s all behind us now!” Ha ha, ha haha, hahahaha HA HAHA HA HAAAA!… yeah. Guess what. It’s SO not over.

I’m not quite sure, but since when did I have to start hiding food inside other less insidious looking food? And by insidious I of course mean any vegetable every grown. It started out innocuously enough. A carrot every now and then. Then broccoli. Well that’s not surprising now is it. Just mush it together, or put it in a pie. Or yoghurt. Seriously. Then other foods had to start being hidden. Surprising ones. Potatoes for instance. Since when did we have to hide potatoes? And WHAT do you hide it in!? Potatoes is usually the stuff you hide OTHER vegetables in, not the other way around! Capsicum was soon off the list too. “But you love capsicum!” I would cry. It was so cute, handing him a raw strip that he would much down whilst saying “yum, capicum” (So adorable, not be able to say the S). Now all of a sudden it was poison. Poison I say! Or rather he says. Ok, not so much say, but you get the idea. Look, that’s fine, let try to some old favourites that we haven’t re-visited for a while. Avocado? Nope. Sweet potato? Nope. Celery? Nope. Ok, let’s leave off the vegetables for a while. Why don’t we try something different. Tuna bake, pasta, four bean mix, scrambled eggs, bakes beans, toast. No, no, no, no, NO, NO!!!

Deep breath. Alright let’s have a conversation. Yes, communication with your child is key. It makes them feel like they have a say. Some power over the situation. Don’t give them too many choices, just engage them in the conversation. That way they’ll think they’ll be exuding more power than they actually are. This is bound to work. But of course, the not-quite-three-year-old logic kicks in.

Me: “Stormy, dinner is ready.”

Mr S: “I don’t like that food”

Me: “Try it first.”

Mr S: “Can I have some food please?”

Me: “That’s food there. On your plate. Try it.”

Mr S: “Can I have something else?”

Me: “No, that’s dinner there. Please eat it.”

Mr S: “I would like some food on my plate”

Me: “That IS food. Please eat”

Mr S: “I don’t like this food”

Me: “Well that’s all the food you’re getting”

Mr S: “I would like something else”

Me:  (Siiiiiiiiigh) “Well what WOULD you like then”

Mr S: “Mmmm, something else”

Me: “I understand that, but you have to tell me specifically what you want”

Mr S: “Some food”

Me: “Stormy, that IS food”

Mr S: “Mmmm, no thanks” (pushes bowl away)

Me: (trying not to get even more frustrated than I am) “Stormy, you have to eat that because there’s nothing else”

Mr S: “No thanks” (wanders away from table).

Well, at least he’s polite about it. This cyclical conversation goes on for a while. Every night. I am now a mixed bag of emotions including rage, frustration, and holding in my laughter. He never once raises his voice or loses his cool, which makes it even more frustrating. His outright politeness fills me at the same time with a sense of swelling pride and Hulk like rage. Even more frustratingly, in one moment he’ll be refusing to eat the sumptuous meal placed in front of him, and then is quite content to eat crumbs off the floor that I haven’t swept up since lunch time. Floor food. FLOOR FOOD! Perhaps I should just dump his dinner on the floor to make it more appetizing! Is that what you want!? Ok, kind of lost my cool there, time for a new plan…

Some have said that perhaps I’m bending too much to his will, giving him too many choices. Faced with a hungry child before bedtime, I know I’m making it worse by giving in and providing him with a different meal, but at the same time I value sleep more than whether I’m spoiling him for choices. And as I said before, I believe that providing him with a place in the decision making helps him to feel more engaged and in control. So I try another tactic and put it onto him. Next time, before the dinner making starts I ask him what he would like for dinner. One particular evening he excitedly yells back “Cous cous, cous cous! I want cous cous!” Alright then, cous cous it is. “Yaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!” He marches through the house chanting cous cous over and over again. Not quite sure where he got this sudden enthusiasm for cous cous from, but whatever I’ll go with it.

I lovingly make the cous cous, and over a half hour period he excitedly keeps up his marching and chanting. The moment comes, and I reverentially place this dish down in front of him declaring “Cous cous!”, with the expectation that he will immediately jump in and devour every bite. He pauses as he takes the dish in, then looks up at me with a blank face. “No thanks”, as he politely pushes the bowl away and walks away from the table……HULK. SMASH!

This has now kept up for the last month and half. Even the other tactics that used to work have now failed. Smothering the food with tomato sauce, apple sauce or mayonnaise. Dumping a bucket load of cheese on top. Even cheese is now off the menu! I used to be able to distract him by piling his toys onto his tray while shovelling the food in his mouth before he noticed. And yes, I’m aware that one of my tips for parenting was to keep toys away from the table because children should know and understand the difference between play time and dinner time. Blah blah blah, yeah, I want to murder Past Me too. She was an idiot. I know that I should just take this with a grain of salt, it’s yet another phase that he will soon grow out of. If anything, I should look back over my previous posts and remember that this too shall pass, just like my worries of everything else.

But like all those other times, this is the moment where it is happening, and the future seems so very far away. I have no advice or thoughts on how this will get better, excepting just to “Give it time” (mumble mumble grrr).

Now excuse me while I go and make a spectacular, healthy, and delicious feast which will almost certainly be refused in the politest of ways.