Parents: Things your folks do that you’ll probably end up doing too

Falling in slow motion by Tom NashI’ve reached an age where a lot of people I know are settling down and starting families or trying desperately to fend off their girlfriends’ maternal instincts by getting a puppy…

While I’m not quite ready to unleash my spawn on society just yet, knowing an increasing number of parents- and having a set of my own- has shown me that some interesting things happen to people when they have a miniature human to keep alive.

This seems like a good excuse to reproduce Philip Larkin’s famous poem; This Be The Verse (yes, a poem (Don’t worry it’s not very long or particularly ‘gay’- it even features swears!):

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.


Anyway… We all pick up quirks and personality traits from our folks that are reflected in all facets of our daily life from how tidy we keep our homes, what meals we cook, how we interact with friends, colleagues and strangers to the way we drink too much to keep the bad thoughts at bay and passive aggressively pass on our insecurities to the next generation…

Things like:

Give someone’s father a computer and they will play Solitaire
It’s like catnip for dads. Why do they find it so irresistible?

Whether he’s searching eBay for some piece of tat, sending some important emails or just having a sneaky look at some smut, there will always be a game of Solitaire running in the background. Always.

Did he say he was just going to turn off the desktop in the other room before coming to bed and now he’s been gone for half an hour? He’s playing Solitaire… Well, for the last twenty minutes he has been anyway.

Mums fall over in slow motion or in stages
Think back to a time that your mum fell over- it’s like recalling a slow-mo scene from an action movie, a sport replay or a series of images in a comic, right? Only it’s not slowed down- that was the exact speed at which she fell. If there were a few people around, they probably laughed when it happened too, right? Maybe you did as well because you thought she was taking a comedy tumble- no matter how out of character it was…

And even though she went to ground slower than a feather falls, she still managed to injure herself, didn’t she? Surprisingly badly as well.

Don’t believe me? Trip your mum up next time you see her and watch…*

 *Please don’t actually do this. Mums are great and should be treated as such.

Getting out of the back seat of a car can be a challenge for mums
Unless they’re getting out of their own car, exiting a vehicle takes time and requires vocal assistance.

If you have a two-door car, chances are she’ll give it a couple of goes before deciding she needs someone to just grab her arms and yank her out.

Rescue Remedy is the middle-class mum’s cure for everything
My mum swears by the stuff and I know she’s not the only one.

The propaganda obviously works as you see so many bottles of the stuff on students’ desks during exam season at universities that you could be forgiven for thinking Bach was an official sponsor.

Got a stroppy teenager that’s picking a fight over every little thing? A couple of drops of Rescue Remedy in a cup of tea will sort that. Feeling a bit stressed? A drop or two under your tongue will do. Money troubles? Rescue Remedy won’t make them go away, but for half hour or so you won’t give a shit.

I’m surprised nobody’s suggested it to Israel and Palestine… What? It’s not the most outlandish suggestion- what about Edward de Bono’s idea about sending them Marmite?

All mums have one batshit friend that you grow to hate as you age
You don’t realise they’re a dick at first. It’s only when you’ve encountered a series of bell-ends throughout school, college and the working world that you realise just how unlikable they are. And they are unlikable.

Older mums who may not realise which friend it is- it’s the one whose kids fucked off at the first opportunity.

Young mums probably know which of their friends that’ll be already. Am I right?

Dads will stretch a poo out for as long as humanly possible
They spend forever in the toilet. If they are genuinely ‘going about their business’ the whole time they are in there, I’ve never known more reason to book an appointment with a doctor.

For some reason though, when the football’s on they can miraculously get their business done in less than a minute… It must have something to do with John Motson, I guess.

There are dads that don’t spend half their life in the loo. They own dogs

One thought on “Parents: Things your folks do that you’ll probably end up doing too

  1. Anonymous

    Right on, son, especially about the solitaire. Must just finish the game I put on hold to write this.

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