Thursday, 14 October 2010

Other People's Children. Or in which I lose all my friends.

I have a confession to make. I don’t think it’s going to make me enormously popular but then I don’t think it’s going to come as much of a shock either.

I categorically and unequivocally, cannot abide Other People’s Children.

There. I said it. Wow. I feel like a mule that’s shed it’s load. I’m out of the child-hating closet and I can shout it from the roof tops. “I don’t like Other People’s Children! I only smile and nod because I believe it’s the socially acceptable thing to do! To be honest, I only put up with my own kids because someone’s going to have to help me do the shopping when I’m old and decrepit, why would I like yours?”

Phew. I feel like a new woman. Before you all stalk off to strike me from your Christmas card list (this might be a good moment to say I don’t enjoy smug round-robin Christmas newsletters either. I don’t want to know that little William has just been accepted as the youngest ever lead violin in the National Youth Orchestra – presented with a fiddle my child would simply try to eat it) let me explain a bit.

1. That noise that she has been making repeatedly and loudly for the last half an hour. Not cute. And I seriously doubt that it’s proof that she’s gifted. No, really. I don’t think Mensa are going to be calling anytime soon.
2. Please take that spoon off little Jimmy. If he bashes my antique chest with it one more time I am going to use it to stab him with.
3. It’s Twinkle Twinkle Little bloody Star. Teach her O Mio Babinno Caro and I might be impressed.
4. You appear to be no longer interested in drinking copious amounts of wine. I’m holding your brat entirely responsible for this alarming development in your personality. No, I’m not making more coffee. It’s 2pm and it’s wine time.
5. There. Is. Something. Coming. Out. Of. It’s. Nose. Make. It. Stop.
6. I don’t like wiping other children’s backsides. I don’t liking wiping my own children’s backsides. Truth be told, I find wiping my own something of a chore. Just because I’ve had children does not mean that I, like you, seem to have become immune to the horrors of other people’s excrement. Please ensure you are on hand AT ALL TIMES in case bottom-wiping duties are required. I can’t cope.
7. If your child or children happen to be more intelligent than mine, please keep it to yourself. Otherwise you will rapidly find that I no longer answer my phone and that emails go unanswered.
8. They know I don’t like them. That’s why they scream every time you walk out of the room. They’re like cats. They always recognise the non-cat person. It is not because ‘they don’t know me yet’ and it has nothing to do with ‘not having seen me for a while’. It is because inside their highly tuned, psychic little toddler-skulls they are being alerted to the fact that I not only loathe them but that I will have absolutely no idea what to do should there be a crisis whilst you go to the loo. Take it with you. It’ll be safer.
9. I am utterly and sociapathically unmoved by crying. I can’t help it. There has to be copious amounts of blood for me to switch from mildly irritated to somewhat sympathetic. I wasn’t hugged much as a child.
10. There. Is. Still. Something. Coming. Out. Of. It’s. Nose. And. It’s. Running. Down. His. Lip. Ergh. Ergh. Ergh. ERGH.

It’s nothing personal. If our relationship can tiptoe through the child raising era, I have no doubt that when your child is say, thirty, we’ll get on great; but for the time being please understand, I’m terrified of children and they are terrified of me.

I should probably mention that as a fair woman, I realise that my own children are probably anathema to you. They often are for me. For instance this morning when my son sneezed porridge all over my new… anyway, I digress. You might not like my children. Though I can’t possibly imagine why not. Apart from the bodily function problems they’re pretty much perfect.

Let’s just agree to get a babysitter and go out on the town eh?


  1. OK, don't hate me but I, erm, quite like children BUT I'm not keen on all my friends going tea total - what is THAT all about??

  2. Oh I don't hate people who like children. I just deeply distrust them.

    Just kidding - and yes, the teetotal thing is horrifying. Especially as it forces me to make tea, which involves getting milk out and remembering if people take sugar, and dealing with the teabag disposal problem, not to mention whether to offer biscuits. Wine is much, much easier. Pop and pour. Lovely.

  3. Point 8 is complete genius. I never realised that was why every child other than my own (or in fact sometimes them too) runs from the room when left with me. They sense I am not a child-liker clearly.

  4. Generally I get a look that suggests they are thinking 'You cannot be f****ng serious. This numpty? I'll be choking on a marble before you can say Bob the Builder. I'm coming with you, Mum.'

  5. omg Charlotte. You have just taken such a weight off my shoulders ... that is, assuming I can use those rules on my own children (occasionally) as well.

  6. I sympathise greatly, as a father, grandfather and great-grandfather, I probably need sympathy too. Why do you think I moved to Spain? Now I see them only on a yearly basis, including my nephews. I get long period of peace and quiet in between, Another way of course is to move and don't give a forwarding address.


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  8. Kids are like farts, you can stand your own but nobody else's!

  9. But ... but ... but ... my children ARE perfect!!!! WHAT DO YOU MEAN!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Seriously, Amen to that, sister!!! Other people's kids are a gossip-interrupting chore! ;)