The disappointing parent

From hungry cats to techno-crazy kids, it seems parents never quite meet everyone’s needs.


As a parent there’s a constant feeling that you are never quite satisfying everyone’s needs. Take cats. They are never happy. You give them chicken in jelly. They love it for a couple of weeks max then they turn their nose up at it. Now they are down to licking the jelly or gravy off and not eating any of the actual meat. Which means they are constantly starving. They don’t like the dry food either. They just want something better. Don’t we all? I made the big mistake of giving them some of my partner’s cod supply the other day. He was not best pleased.

As I was defrosting the cod, only son came up to me. Similar to the cats, he is rarely satisfied with life as it is and is already planning for his birthday in June. He said something about Macbook something or other. The good thing is that my kids have learnt that any proposal they have has to have a sound business case to it. He went on at length about the Macbook something being old, second hand and a reasonable price on eBay. He also listed a whole load of iphones I’d never heard of and made yet another plea for a simcard so he can call me from the upstairs every five minutes.

The boy is obsessed with technology. On Sunday morning he was doing a vlog tour of the house. I hid under the covers, but I could hear the commentary. “This is my parents’ room and all their stuff [camera pans to huge pile of my clothes on the chair. My partner has taken over the entire wardrobe]…” He ended with: “This is xx [he didn’t give his surname] signing off. I’m not going to give you my address because I don’t want you to know where I live.” The idea is that he shows all of us and all our stuff up close on video, but if he doesn’t give our address our privacy is not violated. Fortunately, he was using a very old camera which is not able to connect to anything at all.

I suggested he write a blog about his life or something. I showed him daughter three’s sleepover tips blog, started when she was about his age. “If I’m going to do a blog, it will be all about technology,” he said. Sigh. I guess this is the world today. Viewing the world through screens. He still shows not the slightest bit of interest in David Attenborough despite all my best efforts.

Still, at least he is on a mission and maybe he could help me out with work-related techie stuff once Chief Technology Officer daughter one leaves for university in September. I had a bit of an issue the other day with a document sent to me in pdf format. Once copied and pasted, it put an exclamation mark after every word. There were 972 words in the article. I mentioned it to daughter one. She cast a cursory eye over the document, hit a button and hey presto, no exclamation marks.

Meanwhile, daughters two and three veer from fleeting moments of happiness to bitter confrontation, mainly over make-up or clothes. The other day daughter three stamped furiously into her room, screaming blue murder, and slammed the door. The only trouble was that, due to a previous incident where we had to axe the middle section of the door due to the door jamming and daughter two having to be evacuated via a ladder, the door now only consists of a door frame. Not quite as satisfying to slam…

However, in slamming the door frame, daughter three jammed it again. I had visions of her and only son waking up in the night, forgetting the door frame was there, tripping over it and garroting themselves on the frame. I always plan for the worst case scenario. So I was up late sawing the bit at the bottom of the door frame. On the positive side, daughter three was so concerned about the whole unlikely scenario that she forgot all about her beef with daughter two.

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