Friday, December 14

Malone tries to keep up with the Joneses

- July 25, 2011

“You’ve only got CBeebies to watch? Why haven’t you got Sky?” asked my daughter’s friend. I replied like a teenager: “Cos it’s better than Sky!” Really I meant: cos it’s free! Then this five year old (not mine) said, “Are these broken clothes all you got for Barbie?!” Yes, sorry we are not millionaires!

Being judged by a five year old is way worse than being judged by an adult. Adults would never say all this even if they thought it. Part of growing up is learning to bite one’s tongue. Unfortunately I didn’t learn that lesson so well myself, I’ve never really been one to hold much in… but this particular day I managed to hold in how very judged I felt…

I mean, what an awful parent I am, not supplying my child with Sky television and buckets of brand new Barbie clothes. Luckily all I said was, “Yes, you’ll have to make do”. Nothing has made me feel more like my grandparents than saying “you’ll have to make do.”

The word upstart comes to mind when describing this child’s manners. But was she being rude on purpose? Or just asking questions? I wondered if perhaps she was just a five year old not hiding her disappointment over the fact that there wasn’t more dressing up clothes and more TV choice. Maybe it’s nice that children don’t hide their emotions. It’s what makes them kids, isn’t it?

“Being judged by a five year old is way worse than being judged by an adult”

Recently one child said about my daughter: “She hasn’t got a daddy”. I stuck up for my daughter and exclaimed, “She has!”. And the little girl replied quickly, “Oh yeah, he’s in Bong Kong!”. I corrected her with Hong Kong and told her she wasn’t being very nice.

I felt so sorry for my little girl, it’s not her fault her dad is never seen by her friends as he lives abroad. No wonder she talks about him a lot, it’s like she’s trying to remember him herself. It’s like she’s creating this character, adding on these things he does and the way he looks and stories, trying to build a strong image of him.

Often she gets things about him muddled, says things I have given her were given by him. Today she said that a teddy he gave her was his when he was little, which can’t be true as it’s brand new. Today she asked if Daddy could collect us from school one day in his car. She then went into huge detail about where we would all sit. She pointed into cars.

“See, you would sit there at the front and I would sit there in the back.” I guess she wants to be like her peers. So, I went onto eBay, ordered a bundle of Barbie clothes and I even rang Sky for a quote. Oh dear, I am not ‘making do’ am I? I’m trying to keep up with the Joneses…


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