Villainous Parents

I just read an article in the Sunday New York Times about the new villain in books for young people — the busy parent.

That does it, there’s no hope for me.

If feeling particularly sorry for myself, I can still bemoan the fact that my mom, a mother of 8 children, rarely had time to read with me or to play games, which is really hard to understand given that she was feeding all of us three home-cooked meals a day, doing countless loads of laundry, keeping our home spotless and helping manage the family farm while pursuing an associate’s degree in accounting. How terribly selfish of her.

Meanwhile, I hold firmly to the belief that a sleeping child is a good child, and that we’d all be better off if everyone under the age of 18 and/or unable to behave properly at the dinner table disappeared from view from 8:30 p.m. on so that I can enjoy an apertif and a good movie or scintillating conversation with my husband without having to cope with such trivialities as nosebleeds or achy legs.

One of the, unfortunately somewhat typical, incidents that in my opinion qualified me for a mother-of-the-year nomination went something like this:  Son #1, (probably 7 or 8 at the time) has come home from school with the information that adults should let children win at games. I point out that I want my children to have the benefit of learning from my superior game-playing skills, and to know that when they DO win (as if), they will have the satisfaction of knowing that they really and truly won. Son responds that I am damaging his self esteem. I reply that this is good, as it will give him something to talk about with his therapist when he’s older.

Now the article in question does not comment on parenting via sarcasm, but in retrospect, I can see that I was wrong.

I should have recommended a book deal.

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