Thursday, 16 October 2014
Sunday, 28 September 2014
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
This Valentine's Day she and her boyfriend exchanged gifts. She to him, a soft toy bear carrying a heart, her own homemade Valentines biscuits, a card 'to my boyfriend' in which she expressed her never ending heartfelt love and devotion; undelivered (she couldn't find a box big enough to send them with and he lives a long way away: shame). He to her, several heart shaped biscuits; undelivered (he sent her a photograph of them, and then ate them). One can see that the commitment levels here may not be perfectly in balance.
Yes, dear reader, the two of them had been caught in flagrante. Words were said. Measures were taken. Displeasure was felt. The two of them had been 'snuggling', La Child later explained. Slowly falling asleep, entwined in each other's arms. "And what," asked the 8 year old child, "is wrong with that?" Let me count the ways, Child dearest, whilst installing a perimeter of barbed wire around your bed and installing trenches, wire entanglements and other fortifications.
Oh, I know there was nothing remotely sexual about all this. For years now La Child has been jealous of the fact that Lady Branza and I get to keep each other company in bed every night while she is forced to share her bed with cuddly toys and a library. This is about companionship, comfort, feeling warm and loved, I get that. But it is just one more stepping stone on the increasingly swift passage to Grown Up Land. La Child is on a ballistic trajectory to adulthood and it scares me a little. What with an increasing devotion to boy bands, a seeming need to preface everything with the word 'like' and a wardrobe that out of nowhere suddenly includes crop tops and figure hugging leggings ("I'm sorry, in what parallel universe did you think I was going to let you wear that?") I can physically see her childhood floating away on a passing air current.
Regret and sadness I feel, and yes they're mixed with hope and expectation... and a little pride. Pride that she's so confident and content a person, pride that the result of our angst and confusion as parents is a young lady who is independent, and determined, and capable. But it's mostly regret and sadness. My little girl's growing up, and I'm not sure I like it.
Friday, 21 February 2014
Saturday, 21 December 2013
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Dear Wall to Wall Productions
Fuck. Right. Off.
I appreciate that this may be a slightly disappointing response, almost Lyssan in its directness, so allow me, on her behalf, to explain. Being gifted - a genius, as you would have it; intellectual; clever; of high ability; whatever label you feel might be appropriate to burden her with - is not a character trait to be laughed at, or an ailment to be pitied. Children who are gifted are not freaks to be gathered together in a tent for the amusement of the paying public. Pointing and laughing, as a sport, died out a couple of monarchs ago, along with workhouses and cholera.
I say this in the full knowledge that of course Channel 4's general output might lead you to an altogether different conclusion. Made in Chelsea, Extreme Celebrity Detox, Big Brother, not exactly shows renowned for their in depth view of anything, other than the general nastiness of one's fellow man. As @giftedphoenix put it at the time:
This child genius thing on ITV is mind boggling awkward. Precocious socially inept kids and their pushy patents. A psychologist's wet dream— Graeme Swann (@Swannyg66) July 2, 2013
Anyone watching child genius? What are these parents thinking? #childgenius— Tim Lóvejøy (@timlovejoy) June 11, 2013
Local 'Gifted & Talented' workshops are stroke of marketing genius. 'My child attends a gifted & talented workshop'. Bragging mum currency
Local 'Gifted & Talented' workshops are stroke of marketing genius. 'My child attends a gifted & talented workshop'. Bragging mum currency— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) June 17, 2013