25 April 2012

The one thing worse than Other People's Kids (OPK)

And that's Other People's Parenting (OPP).

Now OPK's are bad enough - especially if you don't have any of your own. Imagine 2 feet tall demonic sugar filled snot nosed morons charging around screaming - that's what I mean. But kids are just the product of the environment they're brought up in, so it's really OPP we should be attacking.

With that in mind I have compiled a list of do's and don'ts' (OK, mostly don'ts) that will help escape the traps a lot of idiots seem to fall into.

1. Names: If you name your kids something that means something to you but is just, well NOT a name, you ain't doing that kid any favours. Celebrities get away with this because anyone that wants papparazi to follow them proves they're batshit anyway, so the poor kid has no chance from the get go and everyone understands. But if you live in normality having a name like 'Starburst' or 'Moxie Crimefighter' isn't cute or endearing - it's just a one way ticket to some pretty mean bullying in the playground. I echo this on 'unusual spellings'; calling your kid 'Maci' instead of 'Macy' or 'Jaxon' instead of 'Jackson' is putting the poor bastard on a life long path of having to say 'That's J-A-X-O-N' or '..with an 'i'' for the rest of their lives. It's a selfish thing to do that makes everyone think - "what crappy parents".

2. Food. If your kid is massively obese, you are a bad parent. There are no excuses here beyond very rare diseases. If you don't know precisely what's in it then don't feed it to your offspring. And if you know it's full of fat, sugar and additives and you feed it to your kids, shame on you. I watched in horror the other day as people I know fed their 2 year old a kit-kat and crisps for lunch - "because she loves them".  There's enough education in newspapers, tv, online that means even the most cerebral-challenged mouth-breather of a pro-creator has just no excuse whatsoever to stuff cheap burgers and chips down the gob of their kids. No further comment - there's no excuse and that's it. An occasional treat, alright I will give in. But crap instead of a meal. No.

OK one further comment - people often say, (on TV anyway, where fleeting fame seems to be enough to lure people on so they can share their appalling practices with grateful morons everywhere), 'I can't get them to eat anything else' - now unless they have the aforementioned diseases, getting them to eat is part of this thing called 'parenting' - you know, like not letting them play with loaded weapons - if they only ate what they wanted then you'd have a quiet life and a heavy biscuit bill. I even start looking like Jamie Oliver when I say this stuff.

3. Puking your fashion sense all over a defenseless child is wrong - always. Where I work we have a large mall with some pretty outrageous designer outfits in the thousands of dollars range for 3 year olds. And people buy this stuff - you see a 3 year old in brogues, khaki's, a button up short sleeve shirt and a cashmere v-neck sweater slung over his shoulders and gel in his hair - he looks like a miniature accountant on casual Friday in the office. And the posters for this stuff are, well, wrong. Having kiddy models staring moodily into the lens is just upsetting - not Jonbenet Ramsey wrong, but still adult-ising kids and that's unsettling. Frankly the test should be 'Could my kid climb a tree in this' - if yes, that's a good outfit for a 3 year old. If you think 'Will this increase his chances of getting into University in 15 years'?, you may be on the wrong track.

Babies with earings - no. Perhaps it's my delicate sense of aesthetics but it makes my knees buckle when I see it.

And finally - giving your kid a mohawk. Don't do that because it's no demonstrating how 'induhvijal' your kid is, it makes him look like a baby thug from Mad Max and makes everyone else around you think you'd let your kid shat on the floor and wipe it all over the other kids just to 'express himself'.

4. In cars, it is proven beyond doubt that restraining seats of one form or another save lives. When I see some kid climbing over the front seat while the father is overtaking me at 100kmh on the highway the fear I feel is akin to watching a baby play with a razor blade. Strapping them in won't stop a crash, but it will probably stop them flying through the windscreen on their way to a nasty,painful and pointless death. In the EU it is mandatory (I think) that kids under 12 are restrained in special seats and then they can use seat belts. It also won't stop you wanting to kill them yourself when they spend half an hour screaming blue murder and kicking the back of your seat, but at least they'll be strapped in!

5. And going on and on about your kids is more boring than other people's holiday photos. Most people, especially men or single people or people without kids or most people with kids do not give a flying fig about Tabatha's acceptance into 'Preschool for genius kids', or little Johnny's cute way of shivving his classmates.

UNLESS they have asked, in which case whip out the iphone and let them have both barrels - full colour photos including the difficult pregnancy, varicose veins and birth and then a 45 minute polemic on the intricacies of the HK schooling system.

Of course, my two, Gerromee Cartman Spludgepuddle and Daff-knee Laxative Trumbone, are a bit on the heavy side at 40kgs at 2 years old (it's just baby fat), but at least they dress well in the latest Burberry and Dior kids collection and it goes great with their green hair and nose-rings. And they are so advanced;- their living room toilet 'art' always increase in frequency and randomness after a trip to McDonalds - I let them drive me there on my lap, the little monkeys!

Rant over.

Until I think of something else.


  1. At some point during the last 20 years parents stopped being responsible for their childresn's behaviour. Just the other day I had to stop a rug rat from pressing all the buttons in the lift at our apartment building. "Oh, he wouldn't do that", said his hands-off American mother after he had pressed a quarter of them.

    1. I think it's more likely there's less community's looking out for kids - tell a marauding 8 year old he's a hooligan and likely you'll be branded a "paedo" by him, his mates and their parents. I saw a cartoon recently (which sadly I can't find) on the difference between the 70's and now - first cartoon shows boy with bad grades being told off by his mum and dad. Second cartoon, being today, showed same bad grades with mum and dad reserving their telling off for the teacher - 'cos obviously it's their fault.

  2. I'm with you on all of that, although I must add that I loath with a passion & have to resist punching any parent describing their offspring's progress using the word "percentile". When I hear that little Jacinta is in the top 5 percentile for under 4s in Greek Literature I usually comment "let's hope she hasn't peaked eh"

    1. Ha great comeback I shall have to remember that. And that reminded me of one - flash cards and baby genius/baby mozart. Bag. Of. Arse.


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