Friday, 23 July 2010

Week 2: Aspirations

Hopes & Dreams
It’s interesting what people want for their children. In our strange era of Jordan inspired, celebrity microscope TV, it seems that many people want fame and fortune for their progeny. I’d rather that little CK grew up to be a punk nihilist with a ring in her nose (like her mother), than a celebrity. Although, I guess if she grew up to be a vegan, then maybe I’d start to worry.

In the paper this weekend there was an article about the growing UK industry of child beauty pageants in which children dress in a variety of Barbie-esque guises and parade around trying to cure cancer or seeking a solution to world peace. Not an easy task, I would imagine, in a spangly lurex number and size 13 high heels. The parents of course claim that the kids wanted to do it, but how did said kids (girls and boys by the way – oh yes, none of them are safe) hear of these contests? Surely not when they were out in ‘Bucks with their Gal Pals, sipping a babycino…

So I started to think; how do you allow your child to grow up with their own dreams, without steering them in the direction of what you wish you had? How will I stop myself from steering her towards Oxbridge, towards a happy marriage to a successful man, towards annual holidays in the Maldives.

When I look at her sleeping quietly (finally), her nose unsullied by any rings, her whole life ahead of her I realise that what I want doesn’t really matter. Whatever she does, she will do her own thing and it’s up to me to support her. I’m pretty sure though, that if she does want to enter a beauty pageant I’ll be teaching her the dance from Little Miss Sunshine and helping her move towards the punk nihilist future she never wished for.
The Mummatron

When I had my children, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, (sorry daughter but we are talking the 1970's here!) I thought my sole aspiration was to get them through Life in One Piece. I simply assumed my children would grow up happy, healthy and perfect in every way - never gave it much thought to be honest. In those days the important thing was to forbid your son to play with guns (some hope!) and to give your daughter a tonka truck and dress her in dungarees. After three years of my son making guns out of lego, sticks, and even toast, I gave in. I was relieved to find he did not turn into a tiny version of Arnie or Rambo but was still a sensitive little chap with a loving heart. My daughter scorned her trucks but loved to stand on a chair next to me at the sink washing up (which is something we used to do in days of yore when a dishwasher was something we only saw in American films.) It was a relief to realise that it was not the domestic chore which appealed to her but the time to chat to her mum or dad.

And yes, I spent the first 16 years of my daughters' life watching Oprah and Neighbours with her so that I could make my feelings known about all the issues they raised. "If you get pregnant at 13 because you want a baby to play with, don't expect me to look after it!" "If you ever go out in a truck with interrogation lights on the top shooting kangaroos do not expect me to cook the steaks!" However, it was around this time that it finally dawned on me that saying, "when you go to university ....." all the time was perhaps a little too much like brain washing. After all, what I wanted was a happy healthy daughter who would be in a happy and stable relationship and maybe be a great teacher, and guess what I got - just that!
Although I have to tell you, reader, I hate the nose piercing with a vengeance, but I guess she had to have something to rebel over, some day I'll tell you about the annoying way she listens to Frank Sinatra and will NOT listen to Led Zepplin or Hendrix the way they should be listened to, at full volume!

Now my daughter has given us CK, another clean slate of a little soul to hold gently in our hands until she is ready to fly on her own, and my aspirations have not changed one iota!
Granny Bloggings


  1. Sorry I seem to have posted a baby at 90 degrees on your blog!

  2. That's fine - this is Mummysquared - we are more than happy with babies who meet any parameters x


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