I’ve been a parent for almost 15 years now – and in this world that’s truly gone to the dogs, that somehow gives me the God-given right to hand down a lecture on raising children to the good people of Lancaster once a week.
Now here’s the thing. I don’t really like kids, apart from my own who are marvellous. Most children are noisy, random and a downright pain in the backside. Especially yours.
Behaviour exhibited by your floppy-haired, thunder-faced hellions that you mistakenly believe is cute and loveable has, in point of fact, all the charm of an ambulance switching on its ear-splitting siren the second you wind down your car window on a hot summer day.
I don’t know who said it but it’s definitely true: kids are like farts, you can stand your own but other people’s are disgusting.
However, despite a lifelong loathing of children (I even did a year’s teacher training in the 1980s as some kind of Clockwork Orange-style aversion therapy) there is one question to which I simply cannot find an answer. And here it is...
Why do parents feel the need to drag their kids all the way to the supermarket to shout at them? I’ve seen children bawled at, hissed at, shrieked at and cuffed. If I didn’t have such an inherent dislike of the little fiends I’d almost feel sorry for them.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re a married man, why doesn’t your wife do all the shopping? And the answer to that is because she tells me to and I know better than to answer her back.
No matter the class of supermarket, be it the one which looks like the entrance to heaven or the one that appears to be the delivery area of it, at any given time at least one kid will be inside getting a very public rollicking off their mum.
Put yourself in their shoes for a second. If there weren’t so many goodies at kids’ eye-level on the shelves (or even next to the checkouts) then maybe children wouldn’t kick off with such monotonous regularity.
It’s like you sauntering down the booze aisle and salivating while reading the labels on the lovely, lovely wine and beautiful, crisp beer, only for your elderly mother to screech ‘PUT IT DOWN, NOW!’
See, not nice, is it?