Not suitable for people with irony deficiency and
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Sunday, 30 May 2010

All new parenting manual

It is painfully obvious that I need some sort of guide to parenting. I have read quite a few parenting books, and enjoy them tremendously as works of fiction. I love the case studies, where Child A, a serial bedwetter, occasional arsonist and hardcore kleptomaniac is transformed by the appropriate use of a star chart. But although they provide great entertainment, I find them of little practical use. Boy 1 and Boy 2 are always several steps ahead of their befuddled parents and can subvert any reward/punishment system to their own Ends.

But now, my luck has changed: I have found the book I need, quite by chance, at our local library.

In "The Willoughbys" the author Lois Lowry explains in an amusing and easy to follow way how parents can "formulate their own thoroughly despicable plan to rid themselves of their insufferable children.."

OK, I admit this is not exactly a parenting manual in the conventional sense; actually not in any sense. But it is a brilliant, very funny story, which can be enjoyed by children of all ages and easily read in one go.

Without giving too much away it features the Willoughby children: Tim, twins Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and Jane. They have horrid parents. For example, the twins have to share a jumper. One evening they find their mother knitting and express the hope it is another jumper for them. But no, it is a jumper for the cat. " "I've explained and explained," their mother said in exasperation. "A, you wear it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. B, you have Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. On Sunday you can fight over it." "

The parents go on holiday, leave the children with a nanny and put the house on the market. The plot thickens with an abandoned baby, a lonely old man, an eccentric woman stranded in Switzerland and her son who has developed his own version of German. ("Schlee you later, alligatorplatz"). Eventually everyone lives happily ever after. (Well, almost everyone).

The author sounds a really interesting lady, now a grandmother! Wonder if she is available for babysitting?


  1. Ha Blighty you've succumbed to the blogoshpere!
    Great posts xx

  2. OMG you've got a blog!! You've made my day. Straight to the top of my blog roll. A-M xx

  3. Dear MDS and A-M, thank your for your lovely comments, we'll see how long I can keep it going; all enthusiastic at the moment as a new thing for me, but after a week or so..but enough about my sex life.


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