Janet Christie: I resist the urge to burn his Bob Marley posters

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THERE’S only one skill you need as a parent – adaptability. To be able to turn on a sixpence (remember those?

Weighty enough to take out a sibling’s eye, before they morphed into 5ps my kids won’t even pick up. I do, and stash them in a jar. One day I’ll be rich I tell you, rich, ha, ha, ha) and not get rattled.

This week’s volte-faces start with missing a bar’s birthday party (sigh) to catch an open evening at Eldest Child’s potential university after finding the form.

“Yeah, it’s tomorrow, didn’t look interesting … for parents, stuff about fees and loans, doesn’t affect me really …”

Instead of bitch slapping him I calmly phone and beg a place, leave work early and catch the train.


Among other things I learn at the event (it’s going to cost me how much?) I discover there’s an open day for students next week. Didn’t he tell me? No he bloody didn’t. Back at the homestead I resist the urge to burn his Bob Marley posters and dance round the pyre, howling and naked. I calmly phone them again and beg a place.


Next up is Youngest Child, singing, “To-mor-row it’s the holi-days!” Then “Have you booked my skiing course?”


“Remember? At Christmas I said I’d like to go at Easter?”


“I hate you.”

No tick.

Ok, there are only two skills you need as a parent: adaptability, and planning.