Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

Now that the mantle of night falls on us ever earlier each day, and the bitter chill of winter invades the air, I thought I would advance some suggestions for interesting things to do with the kids.  It is only natural that they will bristle  against the restrictions the next few months will impose and thus test the limits of our patience.

First and foremost, there is selling them on eBay.  All children are, of course, priceless.  So coming up with a value for eBay sales is tricky.  My suggestion is just to let the market make that decision for you.  Avoid a “Buy It Now” option.  Eventually a critical mass of miscreants will have been put up for sale and we will be able to determine more accurately what the marketplace can bear using tried and tested economic models (i.e. charging what everyone else is charging and hoping nobody else notices). It is important, however, that we don’t flood the market with kids as this will inevitably force down prices yet further.

However, eBay can be complicated and who has the patience to keep an eye on sales – after all, if you had patience you wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place?  But I read with great interest – in fact, with cartoon dollar signs popping out of my eyes on stalks – that there has been huge increase in demand for chimney sweeps. This important profession was once the preserve of minors, at least until pesky do-gooders got involved.  But with sufficient lobbying, we can get these interfering nanny-state types to back off and a whole new world of employment opportunities will open up. Plus, it will keep the kids occupied for hours.

If you have misgivings about this route (and I can’t say I blame you, the soot  would be a pain to get out of your soft furnishings), you could always rat yourself out to social services. Click here for some pointers on how to bring this about.  I hear lovely things about foster families.  In fact, my own not-so-secret ambition is to be taken into care myself.

As attractive as all of this sounds, the process is quite protracted and the results are uncertain.  You never know – social services might investigate and find you were a perfectly satisfactory parent (unlikely, but stranger things have happened).  Your best bet is to go for the quick and easy option of taking the child back to the maternity hospital and asking for your money back.  I  threaten my kids with this all the time and, so far as I can tell, it’s not the scary prospect that you’d think it was.  Their little eyes light up with glee at the thought of it.  When you get there, work into the conversation that this child was not quite what you were looking for and ask if they have something timid that would go nicely with your new taupe wallpaper.  A small puppy or maybe a terrapin.  Goldfish, I hear, are a bigger commitment than you’d think.  If you really are a lazy reprobate, go for a bonsai.

So there you have it.  Some practical solutions to the inevitable parent-child tussles that will ensue over the coming months.  And if eBay does not prove sufficiently lucrative, the chimney sweep thing proves messy, the social services option backfires and the maternity hospital just refuse (or re-direct you to the psychiatric ward – always a risk, I find), just put on a DVD and go and write in your blog.


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