Thursday, 15 February 2007

PERNICIOUS PARENTING and the meaning of Furniture Moving

Ok, so it's been a week of little work, home education work that is. I figure since everyone else gets a week off for half term then we have a right to be rather lazy for a week too. And actually, more to the point, I really can't be a**ed this week.

I don't suppose most parents of school children will see this week as a week off. Some that I know of will visualise it as HELL ON EARTH.

The HELL ON EARTH reference is more likely to come from those with 5 year old boys - you know, the testosterone-fuelled hyperactive destructa-monsters with a 30-second concentration span, who, like something off of Dr Who are programmed to DISMANTLE , DESTROY and DISAPPEAR.

Parents with these children, well, they just have my sympathy.
Been there, done that, got the blood stains on the t-shirt.

This wont apply to those lucky parents with girls of course. Afterall, in my experience girls will quite willingly sit quietly for hours quietly doing 'creative things', while mummy drinks coffee, reads magazines, watches movies or goes to bed for a 2 hour afternoon nap.

Yes really! I know these parents! (and I hate them for it, in a nice generous way of course).

I suppose one advantage to the home educating parent of always being around their children and available to them 24/7 is that you can, quite rightfully, tell them to b****r off sometimes (in a politically-correct, child-friendly way of course). While this may lay on your conscience a short while, there is some justification for occasionally feeling the need to let rip. I personally feel that being 'on tap' to my children all day, gives me a reason - if not a right - to occasionally demand that I go for a wee without an entourage of 3 small beings trailing behind me and making bizarre requests through the bathroom door.

Call me a demanding mother, but it doesn't seem to be alot to ask for.

Of course being at home with 3 children IS 'work' and I dare anyone to do my 'job' for a month and not see it as 'work'. [Please, someone, take up the dare, I could do with a holiday]. I don't believe all those parenting books that talk of how rewarding parenting is (urggh). I just don't see it. Afterall, the job description basically states that you must be willing to work all hours, meeting all needs, with only 2 types of reward: minor satisfaction (usually at having kept your temper during the utmost provocation) and major despair (usually at having lost your temper over something really insignificant). It is of course worth mentioning the perks of the job: that rare benefit of parental gloating over some marvellous achievement of your offspring. However, this usually comes at the expense of someone else's parenting satisfaction and the self esteem of their offspring, so from a moral perspective it doesn't really count.

Still, it's work, it's a job. I sometimes think that monetary compensation for loss of sanity, sense of self and reduced libido due to the nature of the work would be nice, but hey, ho, don't I just lurve to do these wonderful rewarding things for free.


Anyway, on to less gloomy things. I have actually achieved something this week, something real and concrete. I've moved some furniture. No, don't dismiss it! It's an achievement and I like to record all my achievements, however small.

Usually triggered by a combination of boredom and visiting the house of another parent - a fantastic house which puts mine to shame - the ritual of furniture moving is a well-known phenomenon in our house. Usually it takes place in the lounge, as there are only two large pieces of furniture in this room and only 2 places they can go. It makes the moving somewhat easier and of course if we don't like it, we know that during the next furniture move (probably during the next 4-6 months) everything will be back where it started. If only parenting was that simple....

p.s. in case you were wondering about the title of this entry, the dictionary definition of 'Pernicious' is as follows:

1.causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful: pernicious teachings; a pernicious lie.
2.deadly; fatal: a pernicious disease.
3.Obsolete. evil; wicked.

—Related forms
per·ni·cious·ly, adverb
per·ni·cious·ness, noun
—Synonyms 1. harmful, detrimental, deleterious, destructive, damaging, baneful, noxious, malicious. 2. lethal.

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