Just ask the New Zealand father who got up in the early hours of the morning last week to take his crying baby for a drive in the car.
Except...... he managed to stuff it up bigtime. He decided that since the baby had finally fallen asleep, it was 3am and he was already out, he would have a bit of well deserved fun.
He ducked into Mermaids the local Wellington strip club leaving the baby all alone in the car.
The man was clearly exhausted and no doubt had a flabby, hormonal wife at home but.......being a parent comes with some serious, long term responsibilities. Right?
I for one, never, ever, left you alone in the car .......well on purpose anyway. There was that one time I locked you and the keys in the car by mistake......but
I guess though I've done plenty of other stuff you could reel off without even drawing breath ....if I ever gave you half the chance that is.
A crying baby is one thing but I've got to tell you, balancing the parent/child relationship in the teenage and early adult years is much harder work. Maybe it remains that way forever.
I find that keeping my mouth firmly shut when I am dying to say what I really think can often seem like walking a tightrope over shark infested waters (and I am sure its the same for you with me too given once you become a parent you also develop selective amnesia about your own childhood and teenage years and the angst you caused your own parents. Who me? I was a perfect angel. I would never have done anything like that).
Take this week though. I stuffed it up. You mentioned in the one conversation and almost the one sentence that you went out with a Frenchman, an Englishman and an Aussie.
I think I was only half listening and thought it was one of those jokes, there was an Aussie, a Frenchman and an Englishman standing at a bar and one said to the other.....
OK, so I might have been laughing out loud already trying to guess the punchline when really what you were saying to me was you have recently 'gone out' with these people (just to clarify for my readers, no she did not date them all at the one time, one at a time).
I admit it. Finally. It seems I don't do 'appropriate' that well when it comes to you.
I might not have left you alone in the car as a baby but I concede I do say inappropriate things that I would never dream of saying to anyone else of your age.
I have to thank you for being understanding about that.
Because as many stories as I have about you, I realise you have twice as many about me.
But to be fair to me (seeing it is my blog), there are many occasions when you ask and even beg me for my opinion in what turns out to be a somewhat tricky no-win situation.
For me, that is.
And it's at these times that I find it hard to form the right words. In fact, as it happens, any words.
Example A. Do you remember this picture?
"What do you think of him, isn't he gorgeous?" you asked expectantly, waiting for my approval.
" Well come on, what do you think? you asked again.
I just knew, as soon as I clapped eyes on that picture that whatever was going to come out of my mouth was going to be all shades of wrong. Unfortunately, it didn't stop me. As it never does.
I could have said, Whatever makes you happy or Yes, of course or Are you at a fancy dress party? or He's got lovely blue eyes or Is he an actor? or even at a stretch, Lovely bra he's wearing.
I could have said any of those things. Instead, I chose to say, "What the hell is wrong with you? Is he a badly dressed transvestite or something? What have you got against dating normal people?"
But you know the truth is, it's hard being a parent.
Of a baby. Of a child. Of a teenager.
And now I'm learning that it's difficult being a parent of a grown up.
In fact, parenting adult children is a lot like feeding alligators.
If you stay too far away, the alligators will starve. If you get too close, you might lose your head.
See? A fine line that I need to work on.
They say practice makes perfect. I guess I will just have to keep at it..
Your Mother xx