Family Life

I’m A Nonentity, Get Me Out Of This Parenting Jungle …

Going to my first Parenting Plus meeting and scared to admit I'm a bit lost in the parenting jungle

Okay, I do have a topic, and it’s very much parenting-related … but I’m just in the door and I’m fuming about something else entirely.

What, you ask? Well, you encounter something in human behaviour you hadn’t noticed before and you think, hmm, that’s a bit off; it happens again and you wonder, was it always like this and I just wasn’t paying attention?; you see it yet again and now and it’s obvious: the gates of civilisation are down and the barbarians are inside. Trump is only the worst of it …

I had popped in to my local Eurospar to pick up a roll and a newspaper. I noticed two guys near the newspaper stand talking … well-to-do looking, middle-aged guys … smooth casually conservative clothes, overcoat collars turned up. Talking golf, I reckoned. Judgmental, me?

I got my items and there was a woman at the counter in front of me … a smiling old dear, taking her time, one item at a time, chatting away to the friendly girl behind the counter, reaching down, down into the darkest recesses of the nether regions of her large, old dear handbag for her purse. Behind her was a young mom with a buggy, a second kid, aged about three, and a woman friend. Then me.

It was fine and lovely to see the old dear at the counter being so charming and being engaged with … but she was taking an age, and the queue behind her was building up.

The three-year-old was getting bored and stroppy. A few more people had gathered behind me. One of the two golfer types joined the end of the queue.

As they do in this Eurospar when the queues at the main check outs build up, a third check-out was opened across the way and the woman there called out “Next!”:

The woman with the buggy, next in line to be served, made to go across to the opened check-out. Well if she did, Mr Golf Club had shot in front of her, with his armload of stuff, and plonked them down on the conveyor belt. A plonker in every way. She turned back to our queue, and focused on soothing her three-year-old.

It didn’t seem to have even crossed Mr Golf Etiquette’s mind he had jumped the queue, or maybe he cared less. He just had this smug air about him, as if he was delighted with his excellent piece of human driving, like he had pulled off some cool passing-out manoeuvre in his Volvo on the M50 slip-road, squeezing out at the last minute on to the motorway in front of some well-mannered loser in a Nissan Micra.

Of course I said nothing to Mr Golf Dude, he was too far away, so I just simmered. I have seen this type of thing too often recently, so and sos cutting in front of people, skipping queues, beeping at traffic lights a nano-second after the light turns green. They have probably done this all their lives, in one way or another. Entitled.

Nothing whatsoever to do with the first session I attended the other day of the short Parenting Plus course I am doing at the kids’ secondary school … but I’m there now!

I just felt this Parenting Plus thing might be good to do, hopefully I might meet other parents who, like myself, could do with a pointer or twenty, in a practical way. Maybe share some thoughts, ideas and, yes, war stories.

I was nervous … thinking maybe it also represented some kind of public admission of failure. That and a plea for help. Like some kind of Ant and Dec thing … I’m a Nonentity, Get Me Out Of This Parenting Jungle …

“Okay, Enda,” says cheeky Dec, “we have our bushtucker trials … which will you do … suck these rancid snake eggs up through a rusty pipe filled with crusted armadillo snot” … smirking Ant cuts in, “… Or tell your daughter K she’s not having that sleepover after all …”

“Fine, show me those eggs …”

There was supposed to be 11 of us … I see five empty seats and the only other bloke hasn’t shown up …

The Moms look all smiley, welcoming … and competent. How can I tell them some of the things that have been going on between us and our kids … the hardcore shouting matches and arguments over Smartphone curfews that leave me feeling a lot less smart than those phones and reaching for the wine bottle when I stagger downstairs to the sitting-room.

“Hello ladies, I’m Psycho Dad, and you are? …”

Well, once we got rolling, talked a little about ourselves and our aspirations with the two women teachers leading this first session, it was really cool.

No stories can be shared here, as it is naturally a bit of a Fight Club thing … what’s revealed and spoken about in Parenting Plus, stays in Parenting Plus.

I can just tell you it was good to know I am not alone … we are all struggling with parenting things. Knowing this in an abstract, intellectual way is all well and fine, but actually sharing stories and difficulties, and swopping tips and confidences with real people, the parents of real kids, in an open, supportive and above all, unthreatening situation… well the two hours I spent there were the quickest two hours I have ever spent.

Roll on the next session.

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27 comments on “I’m A Nonentity, Get Me Out Of This Parenting Jungle …

  1. viewfromthebeachchair

    I find there are good days and bad days. We need to roll with what the day leads! #mondaystumble

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On this shaving off a nanosecond thing: we all used to drive in a hurry. If the limit was 30 we’d do 40. If it was 50 then 60. If the light was on amber you’d rush through. Accelerate round the bend. Undertake on the motorway. Overtake on the roundabout. Standard 1960s-1990s driving habits. But things are changing. There are speed and junction traps everywhere. A close relative got caught and was lucky to be let off with an awareness course. Now we’re all trying to re-educate ourselves to stop rushing. If the limit is 30 you stick to 30 and sod Mr Golf Etiquette behind brandishing his driving iron. It’s difficult but I’m getting there. And you do still get there, and it’s more pleasant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tasker … it’s funny some things are improving on the road, others maybe not. There is an accident every second day on the main motorway near us and it’s nearly always down to careless, impatient driving. I was talking about those feckers that beep people i front of them the instant the traffic light turns green — don’t give them a second to notice and drive off. I’m assuming Mr Golf Prat does this!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to run the crèche at the children’s centre for parents who were attending a similar course to the one you mentioned #dreamteam@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

    • A great idea: it is so good to link up with other parents one can relate to and vice versa, and to get some useful pointers, Thanks for reading

      Like

  4. aliduke79hotmailcom

    I can imagine it is so good to be able to talk about all these things in a relaxed manor.
    #TriumphantTales

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mmmm. The queue jumpers. I’d like to line them up against the olive oil section and pelt them with slightly overripe tomatoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I attended a confidence & assertiveness workshop last weekend (maybe I should think of doing a parenting one too!) and you are so right – it makes all the difference to share war stories knowing it’ll all stay between the attendees and the facilitator. Fantastic read!
    #globalblogging

    Like

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Yes I found it really good to share in a safe place. It’s good to know you’re not alone in these things and it does seem to get better. I hope anyway!!!☺

      Like

  7. nope, i challenge every single time and I’ll just walk in front of those who pushed in and tell the cashier that I was next (i’ll just look directly in the eye of the queue jumper as i do) #triumphanttales

    Like

  8. I’ve not heard of a course like this, but it does sound really good and supportive. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say. The que jumping makes me cross too. It happens all the time and the worst bit for me is when it’s done viscously on purpose and the jumper stands there grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Thanks for joining us for the #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think it’s great that there is a platform for open discussion like this! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know its a cliche, but parenting really is the hardest job around. To be able to share the highs and lows with others that arent your partner makes it easier to cope with as you realise everyone is in the same boat!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah it is cool to be able to share these things – and maybe let others see there’s always someone doing a worse job than you!☺

      Like

  11. Wow that sounds like an amazing session. I dread those things thinking they will be a waste of time. Good thing it wasn’t. Shame about the twit in the Spar… Chances are he drives a Mercedes not a Volvo 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I would actually love to go to a group like this! Somewhere to vent about all those difficult times but also they some useful advice, where can I sign up?! Fab post, I too keep noticing really rude people lately and it’s making me quite miserable, why can’t eberuone just be nice?x #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is really useful – if only.to allow you to vent with people going through the same issues. I can’t imagine this type of course is unique to Ireland. It shouldn’t be! Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  13. Really enjoyed this post. Glad to hear it’s not just me who quietly simmers in queues.

    Like

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