It’s 3am and quiet, dark in the bedroom when his eyes open wide and a wry smile plays at his lips. Woken with a start from a delicious dream by such an insightful and breathtakingly intelligent notion, yet again. He pushes his hair off his forehead and eagerly scrambles for the notepad and pen that he keeps by the side of his bed for such occasions. This one is gold dust, he just knows it. What a clever idea, and so well thought out too. Even though it’s taken him years to get to where he is he knew it would happen eventually, after all he is what everyone needs isn’t he? He is the beacon of light and inspiration that keeps everyone going.
He reaches over to flick on the bedside light. His wife groans and buries herself further under the duvet. He rolls his eyes and smiles at his reflection caught in the mirror as he pulls himself to sit against the luxuriously padded headboard. Not bad he thinks, smoothing his hair back once again. Not bad at all.
He flicks through the notebook fervently hunting for a blank page. This little gem deserves a page of its own he thinks, as he smiles at late night doodles and half-finished games of noughts and crosses left over from yesterday’s lunch meeting.
Prising the lid of his biro with a satisfying pop he rubs the page before carefully writing a heading and underlining it with a sure hand.
He pauses, drawing a little smiley face next to the word, buying time while he allows such a wonderful idea to wash over him. Why has no one thought of this before? These links, these analogies, they could only spring from a mind as inspired as his.
His wife rolls over and sighs, pulling him out of his reverie. Back to work.
Cars. He draws a star to act as a bullet point. Computers. He draws another.
Tomorrow he will put this plan into action, he can hardly wait. If only he could slip out of his pyjamas now – his favourite cookie monster ones, achingly clever and with a wicked sense of humour too, what a man! – and into tomorrow’s clothes, neatly laid out on the chair by the window waiting for him. But no, the office can wait. He sinks back into his pillows, relaxed and smiling to himself. You’ve done it again he thinks. This one is a good ‘un.
At 6am the room reverberates with the shrill beeps of the alarm clock. He stretches and his feet find his slippers, left by the side of the bed last night. Slowly, quietly, he opens the bedroom door and heads down the hall, tapping his notebook tenderly as it swings by his hip in the pocket of his dressing gown. No sound coming from the kids rooms yet, thank Christ. That’s the last thing he needs, thank goodness for the nannies! His excitement does not need distracting by children needing things from him.
As his descends the stairs he fires off a quick text, eager to share his idea:
WAIT TILL U HEAR THIS 1 M8, IT’S A BLINDER. LOL X
He chuckles to himself as he imagines the phone beeping with his message before his closest colleague is once again made to feel inferior by his words– he never has any ideas.
That’s exactly how it happened, isn’t it Dave?
Mr Cameron, you are a bellend. Your out of touch and generally rubbish ideas leave an awful lot to be desired. You’re right though, as they go, this little one is a gem.
“It’s ludicrous that we should expect people to train for hours to drive a car or use a computer, but when it comes to looking after a baby we tell people to just get on with it.”
Ah, but David, the thing with computers and cars is that they react in exactly the same predictable manner no matter who is using them and which button they push. The problem with using that as an analogy for dealing with actual real life human children is that, well, they don’t. They are an individual, as are their parents/carers and their environment andandand. To put it really simply; what works for one may not for the other. Geddit?
Another thing to have a little think about is this – is parenting really a taught skill or is it leaned through practice and experience and knowing your child? My antenatal classes were fully booked, no one taught me how to breathe during labour, how to cradle a new born with its floppy head and teeny tiny fragileness. No one showed me how to change a nappy or bath her, all red and angry and wet and slippery and seemingly determined to dunk her smooshy new little face under the dangerous water. But I managed, I learned because I did it and we are all ok. In a few years from now she will be ready to start school; will a video I watch in a room full of other parents help me prepare her for this step? Will this advice be tailored to my child, her development and needs and personality? Didn’t think so.
Families, that’s parents and children, do need more support than they currently receive. Maybe, just maybe, it would be better to invest money into community centres or something – remember all of those Sure Start centres that had to be closed because of lack of funding? Like those.
Perhaps parents and their little darlings alike would learn more from a place that was open several times a week, free to attend and that provided fun for children and support for their frazzled parents. An informal and relaxed place where we can take our children, giving us the lifeline of contact with other parents and their offspring allowing us to discuss worries and hopes and fears and nappy contents (because we do) with other people who are going through exactly the same thing. If you’re feeling generous you could even staff these places with someone trained in child health or childcare or simply qualified to answer questions that may crop up.
Wouldn’t that be better?
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