Being self employed means that you get to go to watch your daughter’s disco dancing as part of the local Welsh cultural inter school competition. It is so joyful that the Woodcutters’ Wife and I take it in turns attending, as to share the joy. The dancing saw gymnastics not seen in their parents for a generation; somehow I felt as a middle aged man by myself, that I had to justify my presence by telling the ex Prison Officer sat next to me, which school my daughter went to. After numerous individual dances and a host of local schools performing their group dances, the winners were finally announced! We came second, so the Woodcutters’ Wife will have the joy at the next round in Newtown.
From a parenting point of view the day started badly when I raised my voice and suggested to the nine year old that he got off his fat lazy arse (a phrase that I picked up from one of my well thumbed parenting books). It not only illustrated my enlightened approach to parenting, but the gulf in parenting styles, as it had previously been suggested that my idea of sending them to bed with only bread and water for supper was, medieval.
The underlying issue for me is what we used to call watching telly, we now call screen time. Whether it is playing a game, watching You Tube or playing music, it’s all screen time to me. I have almost come to a point where I feel I have lost the battle to moderate or even monitor it. Expressing my concerns over the last few years has only resulted in frustration and contributing to me being a Grumpy Old Man. I do however recognize that it may be me being old fashioned and not accepting that we will all eventually spend much of our day looking at one screen or another. The screen that I want to look at most is the focusing screen in my medium format camera, so perhaps it is me that needs to get down with the kids and do a Fortnite Dance!