Pat Fitzpatrick writes a letter to his kids about his parenting.
I can hear ye downstairs fighting over the Kidizoom Watch again. I don’t blame ye — if there was a watch with a camera that allowed me to chase virtual monsters around the house back in the day, I’d have hogged it from my sisters around the clock.
(For those who haven’t experienced Kidizoom devices, they’re a basic form of handheld games consoles for parents who don’t want to admit they’re giving handheld games console to their kids. We’ve totally managed to fool ourselves on that front.)
In fairness, kids, we brought this on ourselves, by buying only one watch as a birthday present for our darling daughter and expecting ye to figure out a way to share it without screaming.
The only memory I have of being your age involves being in a room with my sister and my mother shouting, “Right, neither of ye will have it.”
So, look, none of this is new.
Your mother and I have different views on how we should handle this sharing issue.
I think we should buy a second watch. Whenever I mention this out loud, your grandmother, my mother appears genie-like in front of me and says, “You’d swear you were made of money.”
(She does the same when I try to bin out-of-date chicken.)
Well, I just priced a Kidizoom there and they’re about 45 quid.
A bottle of gin that could help me cope with your sharing-war screams is 20 quid, and I’d need two a month.
Relationship counselling comes in at about 80 quid an hour. So, I think a second watch is an absolute steal.
I know it would be lazy-parenting to just throw money at the situation for a quiet life. But lazy parenting is really under-rated.
It’s not like either of ye became obese or developed diabetes because of this, although the sugar low at 11am was a bit scary in fairness.
Still, remember the doughnuts we had on holidays at 11.15am every morning?
Remember the way we’d say yes to everything, particularly if we had wine with our lunch?
I suppose that’s why they’re called holidays.
But I’m beginning to wonder — are Mom and I killing ourselves by trying to avoid the lazy parent label all the time?
I know a guy who ate nothing but potato waffles for the first 15 years of his life and it didn’t do him any harm.
I’ve seen other parents allow their kids loads of screen time every day and I’m not convinced it isn’t working out really well for all of them.
I know it might look like all us parents are on the same side, but to be honest we’re judging the arse off each other half the time.
Don’t get all fake-hurt I said arse, by the way, you heard much worse in this house when Man United lost to Cardiff back in May.
Anyway, look, this is just a long of way of saying I think we should stop the sharing thing and buy ye a second watch.
It’s not going to happen.
Your mother is taking a stand here and the term ‘adult in the room’ has been used more than once — whenever this term gets an outing, you can be sure it doesn’t refer to me.
She reckons that sharing is a social skill that will stand to ye in later life and I suppose she’s got a point. So, for now, could ye just keep it down a bit when you’re screaming at each other?
If you play your cards right Santa might bring you a cheap Nintendo console for Christmas. If I get my way he’ll probably bring two.
Love ye loads,