I read Samantha Brick’s article in the Daily Mail about women resenting her for her beauty. I know just how she feels. While my ready smile and pleasing appearance have both been remarked upon, I’m primarily the object of envy because of my perfect children. As the mother of four impeccably behaved and impossibly handsome, talented and gifted sons, I know exactly how it feels to be at the receiving end of jealous comments. It seems that some people find others living the dream just too much to handle.
On a bus earlier this week a row of complete strangers gave up their seats for me and my brood. €œWe’ll just nip up to the top deck” one old lady smiled as she picked up her walking stick from the floor. I don’t think one of my boys had accidentally thrown it there.
You€™re probably thinking €˜what a lovely surprise gesture€™. But while it was lovely, it wasn€™t a surprise. At least, not for me.
Since becoming the mother of four boys I€™ve regularly had people move mountains for my brood. Almost literally in some cases. One gentleman even decided to go on a later train in order to make sure my boys had sufficient seating and space for themselves and their toys. I think he said something like, “Goodness, what a delightful handful!” as he retrieved the briefcase he had kindly lent as a mini trampoline. I couldn’t help but notice other mothers look on with envy as my children enjoyed enough space for 10 people while they, and their inferior brood, had to share a single seat.
It’s the same walking down the street. On any given day I’ll pass scores of inferior children. Some of them can barely scoot in a straight line. Others are in buggies that could never be considered designer. I never comment, it would be rude, but it’s hard not to notice the green-eyed glances cast in the direction of our personalised, bespoke buggy emblazoned with the children’s names in neon-lit diamante crystals.
In restaurants we regularly get served before other families and usually get free ice cream. To go. “On a cone for your little dears. No need to pay. The door is right here”, directs the surprisingly smiley restaurant manager.
Having perfect children is obviously a wonderful blessing. But it can be hard for outsiders to appreciate that we don’t have a completely perfect life. Only yesterday one of my children was exposed to a child with nits. And at birthday parties other mothers rarely accept that one of my children is going to outshine theirs in the birthday photos. “He’s really taking over the shot” I overheard a friend say at a sixth birthday party, and I knew she meant my child’s superior looks and superstar smile compared to the poor birthday boy’s wonky grin. And playdates are rarely repeated because the temptation to kidnap my perfect children is too much of a temptation for less fortunate parents.
The time has surely come to stop judging perfect children so harshly. Someone has to be the best and it doesn’t mean other children are without merit. There’s nothing wrong with being average. Unless you’re a child of mine.
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