Tuesday, April 17, 2012

India Knight is brilliant

First off, I know...I haven't taken any pictures. I've kind of lost my photo mojo so I'm resigning from Photo A Day for this year - I'm proud as hell that I managed to do it last year every day, but I can't sustain it. And a few people mentioned (well, my Mother did) that they missed my writing, and nice as my photos were, it's nice to hear from me in prose....

I haven't been inspired until today. And I'm kind of cheating cos I'm sharing someone else's writing....but I just started reading Comfort And Joy by India Knight and I love it. One passage resonated utterly with me:

 "I know for a fact that the following are demonstrably true, unless of course a child is born with disabilities:

a. It doesn't matter if you're breast or bottle fed, or born naturally or by Caesarian

b. everybody learns to walk

c. everybody learns to talk

d. everybody learns to pee and poo in a lavatory e. and wipe their own bottom

 f. everybody learns to read and write

g. nobody gives a crap about when any of this happens. Nobody goes around as an adult saying 'I learned to walk when I was barely one' or 'I was potty trained exceptionally early'. (Some people do say 'I was reading fluently by the age of three', admittedly, which pinnacle of achievement kind of tells you everything you need to know about them.)

 h. it's okay to have sweets or bad additives every now and then

i. giving your son a toy sword isn't going to turn him into a serial killer; giving your daughter a dolly doesn't mean she'll never read Proust

j. it's okay to ignore your children on occasion, if you're busy and they're safe but merely a bit bored

k. in fact, occasional boredom is good for children: it makes them self reliant

l. children usually turn out fine, unless of course their parents become demented with all of the above

m. its impossible to say any of this to people whose children are younger than yours without sounding unattractively like Old Mother Time, so there's no point in even trying

n. which is fine by me because it's boring 

 ...it's such a waste of time, all this lunacy about what they play with, or how they play, or how well they do or don't do at 'homework' when they are five, or how many activities they do after school, or how early they learned to ride their bike without stabilisers, or how they have dried fruit for treats because it had been decreed that chocolate shall never pass their lips...these children...will always be fine. They are lucky, loved, wanted, privileged children. The end. Everything else is bourgeois hysteria. "

Slightly edited (to remove some plot stuff that isn't pertinent to this post) but taken from this wonderful book.

Just got me thinking. I don't know anyone that hysterical about child rearing in real life. (certainly none of my friends) But I have encountered slightly similar parenting practice or competitive parenting and it tends to make me wobble and doubt what I'm doing. So I'm blogging this to remind myself not to.

Thank you India. And thank you for replying to me when I tweeted you! ( sad fan I know)


Tequilamonky said...

Nice post, and India is right (although unfortunately point F isn't necessarily true as many an illiterate adult can attest.... Maybe she means for the middle classes?) comparison is pointless as we're all different, and so are children :)

Clare said...

Nice one and totally agree, despite my tendency to panic on occasion.

Don't stop taking and sharing your pics, you have a great eye for a picture, as well as being a good writer.

IGNOU MBA Assignments said...

nice blog

By Vinay
IGNOU MBA Assignments Dec 2012