Wednesday 30th March
I cannot really remember being four years old. But I can remember a few years later when I was maybe six or seven and although we didn’t realise it at the time our parents were in charge, so much so that we didn’t dream of disobeying, at least not openly. Although guilty of many misdemeanors as a child I never answered my parents back. For a start I wouldn’t have dared to, I knew a smack would be my reward. But it wasn’t just the fear of a reprimand that stopped me; and all of us back then. It was the knowledge that we were children, and children were to be “seen but not heard”. We were definitely second class citizens with hardly any rights.
But oh how things have changed. I think I brought up my own children with much the same values as my parents tried to instill in me. Though I did probably spoil my own children a bit more than I was spoiled, though there was no doubting who was the boss, and the smack, though rarely used was always a possible sanction.
I now have several grandchildren under the age of five, and I can now reveal that they, tiny creatures that they may be, do indeed rule the world. They demand the TV on at all times, CeeBeeBees or some other cartoon rubbish is played at full volume whether they are watching it or not. Incidentally the parents defence is that it keeps them quiet (hahaha…it ‘ain’t working). We were not even allowed to switch on the TV, let alone decide what channel to watch. They even insist on the clothes they should wear and as to eating…they will only eat what they want, refusing to sit at table with the adults and amazingly their mothers run around after them trying to induce them to eat something else.
Of course times have changed, but now the poor parents are the servants of these tiny despots. There is no doubt who is ruling their lives, and I wonder just why? Where do they get this independence from? And incredibly why do their parents roll over and let them rule the world?
Or am I just getting old and curmudgeonly…