Monday, July 30, 2007

Species of Parent

I recently stayed at a “family friendly” hotel in Fowey in Cornwall (UK), see here for a review of it. Whilst we were there it was interesting to do a bit of people watching and being a geek one of the little games I played was to try and categorise the parents I saw and their interactions with their children into groups, the groups I came up with were as follows.

Psychotic – Parents who seem determined to commit infanticide by pushing the perceived interests of their children above and beyond all reasonableness, you can especially easily identify them when sport is involved, they are the over animated ones jumping up and down on the touch line bellowing at their 3 year old to “crush the opposition” and “get in there, break his legs” and so on. Adrenal glands way too big, frontal lobes way to small…

Deer in the headlights – This group is clearly identified by the daft grin that seems permanently welded to their faces, soppy dopes who seem to walk around with their heads tilted at a 45 degree angle inanely smiling, then saying “ah”, as young Tommy projectile vomits semi-digested stringy cheese all over your new suit.

Pistol Whipped – It’s hard not to feel utter contempt for this group, sad bastards with dark rings around their eyes and nervous twitches; their little angel rules their very existence, every ridiculous fantasy, whim and desire of their spoilt brat of a child is fully catered for, every sweet, ice cream, toy or game is procured immediately or else an infeasibly loud screaming fit ensues. Strangely they all speak using an odd squeaky “baby” language, sometimes amusingly forgetting to flip back to normal when talking to adults, spooky.

Hippy – The hippy group are the ones that just don’t give a shit, to all intents and purposes they don’t actually have children, they merely have small unpleasant associates that they occasionally negotiate unsuccessfully with. These are the kids that take a dump in the middle of a crowded restaurant whilst the parents continue chatting and looking on over their cups of herbal tea; these are the group whose offspring seem never to sleep or wash and who seem oblivious to the rest of humanity until they are beaten to a pulp by the Psychotic kids, these parents do “indignant” best of all.

Paranoid – When placing myself in a group this would be it; these are the conflicted buffoons who follow their kids around eternally picking up their detritus and constantly warning or chastising them for nearly breaking their own neck (or some other kids’ neck). This group is just paranoid that their kids are going to do something anti-social or embarrassing, of course, that’s exactly what always happens. Clearly this pitiless existence is very stressful, secretly this group wants to be in the hippy group but just can’t bring themselves to be that inconsiderate.

Clearly hybrid configurations are possible, i.e. Paranoid mothers and Psychotic fathers; amusingly though this simple classification seemed to cover it.

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