Some days one or both of my children will wake up and complain about having to go to school. And it breaks my heart just a little bit because they have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how sweet their lives are right now.
And I don’t want to scare them, I really don’t but maybe i’m doing them a disservice by not being honest about how shite being a grown-up can really be. Maybe one of these days i’m going to have to hit them up with some hard truths about life. Maybe one of these days our conversation needs to go a little bit like this…
Small child: I don’t want to go to school, it’s not fun – you just do boring stuff!
Me: Say what?! You get to play with dinosaurs, sing songs and paint sunshines all day… what’s not to love?! You see I’m not quite sure you realise what you are saying here kid because your life right now is about as good as it’s ever going to get! Do you know what happens after school?
Small child: You get to do whatever you like!
Me: WRONG! You get to get a job. There will be bills, responsibility, performance reviews, tax returns, the constant threat of redundancy and people cloning your credit card to buy themselves expensive TVs and holidays with YOUR money!
…so do you want to go to school or do you want to spend an afternoon convincing Natwest that you didn’t buy 7 Xbox Ones?! Huh?
Small child: Ummm…
Me: OK moving on… After a barrage of awful Tinder dates and getting dumped by someone you thought cared about you by WhatsApp your self-esteem will probably be in tatters by your mid-twenties. But one day you might be lucky enough to meet the love of your life and things will be pretty sweet for a while – you can spend your dual income on city breaks and going out for brunch! Yay :)
…and then you will go and stamp up and down on it all by getting married and having kids because that’s what normal people do right? The circle of life and all that? That’s what Elton John said in the Lion King!
FUCKING ELTON JOHN.
You will never sleep properly again and you will turn up late for work with sick on your shoulder and hands that smell of poo. You will worry continuously that you are being a good enough parent and you will keep trying to do the best possible job you can whilst your child is lying on the floor screaming ‘I HATE YOU!’ because you want to brush their teeth.
Your soulmate has now become someone you argue about bin duty with and when on the rare occasion you do go out for a date, instead of whispering sweet nothings into each others ears you can just try not to fall asleep in your food!
Your kids will age you at an astonishing rate and suddenly you will realise that you are getting old. Hello bad back, hello heartburn, hello piss poor metabolism, hello sagging body parts!
You will pick up a copy of Heat Magazine and realise you know NO ONE in it. You will join the National Trust. You will go into Marks and Spencer and start thinking their clothes are fashionable. You will start taking your slippers everywhere you go. The biggest excitement you will have in your life is when people cancel plans on you and you get to stay in your pyjama bottoms working out ingenious ways to cheat the system with your Tesco Clubcard vouchers. How does this sound, does this all sound fun to you?
Small child: I’m getting scared.
Me: …and then you just keep plodding on, with the vague hope that if the government doesn’t completely fuck you over you may actually get to retire at some point. That is if you’ve managed to dodge an increasing array of incurable diseases and getting knocked over by a bus whilst you had your nose in your iPhone. Oh… also there is always the likelihood that that we have ALL in fact already died from a nuclear apocalypse because the world is so fucking fucked up.
Small child: What’s a nuclear apocalypse?
Me: Well essentially it’s…
So what do you think, do you want to go to school and make space rockets out of cornflakes boxes and yogurt pots or do you want to be an adult?
Small child: I want to go to school please.
It’s actually pretty motivating stuff – try it!
**************P.S. My new book The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks is out on the 3rd March 2022! It's aimed at 9-12 year olds and you can buy it here :)