I’ve been a dad for eight years now. In that time, I’ve noticed some very mysterious phenomena.
I’m not talking about bizarre beasts in Scottish lakes that look remarkably like rotten old tree branches floating in the water. I mean behaviour, whether intended or otherwise, that cannot be explained. Here are a few parenting mysteries that I find incredibly puzzling.
The mysteriously fussy eater
My youngest daughter, Izzy, will eat anything so long as it’s given to her at pre-school. I’m sure the staff could serve her a phall curry and she’d have a go at it.
Try this at home: oh no, the food will just about touch her lips and that’s your lot. It is a strange phenomenon and I know as a family we’re not alone in experiencing it.
Alas, she is the fussiest eater of the family. I know we’re extraordinarily lucky, even though she’s fussy, she’s not that bad.
Why is it, though, that kids will eat anything when dining with their peers but not when they’re at home? Someone please explain this to me.
The Women of the White Converse Trainers
Mums I’m looking at you. I don’t know how anyone with children can even consider wearing white shoes. If I wore them, they’d be filthy in seconds.
To me, it stands out when someone casually strolls into a playground, pushing a buggy wearing white shoes. Blue, black, brown, purple: doesn’t even register but white, are you mad?
Thing is, I see women with young children wearing White Converse trainers all the time. Never men, it’s only ever women.
Even stranger, their shoes are always clean and often pristine. How do they do it?
The post school holiday teacher training day
I’m sure many mums and dads will get this. Why do teacher training days mysteriously seem to occur at the end of a lengthy school holiday?
You know what it’s like, you’ve had the children at home for weeks. The house is a tip. There are home maintenance jobs that need doing, possibly even a little kin-keeping too.
You’re at the last day of the holidays, you look at the family calendar and boom, there it is, the next day is marked as a teacher training day. Any domestic activities must be delayed.
For this family, it can get even more complicated if Izzy’s pre-school days fall into synch with the training day. There have been occasions when the school holidays have ended, we’ve run straight into a teacher training day meaning our eldest, Helen, is at home.
By chance, the following day just happens to be a day when little Izzy doesn’t go to pre-school. That’s an additional two days when the children are at home and it can be mid-week before I even attempt to get on top of things.
I thought the Government had adopted a policy to force schools to make teacher training days happen in the holidays? Mysteriously, I’ve seen little sign of this.
The booking of the GP appointment
There was a time when I could phone up my GP’s surgery, explain I had concerns about my young child and they’d find me an appointment the same day. Oh sure, it may have been bang in the middle of nap time or right at the very end of the day when we should have been preparing for bed, but an appointment would be unearthed nonetheless.
This would only ever work if I was booking an appointment for my little ones. If booking an appointment for myself, I would automatically go to the back of the queue. I understand this: the NHS is time poor and cash poor, it must prioritise and kids come first.
Mysteriously I can no longer do this. My appeals to the receptionist fall on deaf ears. Thankfully such occasions are rare, but when they happen I either have to take the kids to the closest A&E or book an appointment days in advance.
What happened? How did this come about? Is it simply down to Government cuts and GP’s offloading the responsibility to hospitals so the financial cost of treatment appears on someone else’s balance sheet? That’s what I suspect anyway.
The mystery of children’s TV commercials
Okay advertising industry, listen to me: the television commercials you make for children are horrible and counterproductive. As a family, we have shifted to paid-for streaming media and a large part of our reasoning was to avoid those shockingly bad TV commercials aimed at youngsters.
If our children are going to watch TV, we’d rather it was something of decent quality. Naturally we limit screen time and keep our kids very active, but they do watch television nonetheless.
Those hyper-active, multi-coloured, loud, toy commercials, are just horrible. The number of them that can appear in an ad break is stupefying. The result: we’ve simply removed them form our lives.
Can anyone explain why kids’ TV commercials are so bad? Does anyone know why so many of them are crammed into one ad break? I doubt we’re the only family that’s taken steps to avoid them.
Can you think of others?
Those are just five mysterious parenting mysteries that bother me. Can you think of any others? Can you relate to these? If so, please leave a comment below as I’ love to know what mysterious behavior you have to tolerate.