AS A father for nine years now, the parenting fails recorded in that time have been significant.
That’s normal, isn’t it?
You can read all the parenting books and blogs in the world in the lead-up to that first child, but as sure as that baby will fill a nappy, you will stuff up.
The mistakes will vary in magnitude too.
Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.
In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.
From time to time the #parentfail will be significant.
The most recent parent failure was of epic proportions.
You see, the good wife was brought up under the strict belief that Christmas decorations are not to go up in the house until December 1. Apparently it’s bad luck.
The only problem with that is what to do with a nine-year-old who starts nagging in August to break out the lights and the tinsel.
Bright idea time.
How about using a bit of literary license?
"Darling, for every person who puts their Christmas decorations up early, somewhere in the world an elf dies," was the genius comment to the nine-year-old who immediately took notice and stopped nagging.
Sometime ideas need a bit more processing before they are introduced to the world, right?
So imagine what happens when you are caught out later than normal at night with your daughter in the car in your suburb – which appears to be the Christmas capital of the world – and all your neighbours have decided to simultaneously erect Christmas light displays on the same November weekend.
We’re talking displays that would suck China’s power grid dry.
The scream that came from the back seat was followed by a howling cry: "Daddy, all the elves in the world will be dead ......."
Sigh. Maybe not such a bright idea after all.
Having shared the said experience on Facebook, a relative replied: “See, this is the stuff they don’t put in books, but they should. Lesson learned.”
All well and good, but it doesn’t solve the household dilemma of how we rectify the damage we’ve done, but I think the nine-year-old understands we weren’t really serious. Possibly.