I saw an old silver haired fox (similar to me) getting taken down outside Tesco today for attempting to shoplift a Tesco value brand 17" monitor, and it got me to thinking about the responsibilities of parenthood.
I mean, this middle aged (presumably) responsible pillar of the family? What would his kids think, bailing dad out for shoplifting something that wasn't even name brand?
I think parenthood is the next evolution in our social climb up the proverbial ladder. The single life and the child free wedded years, you have such a different outlook, a different perception on life and your responsibilities are... well, you. Out all hours, spending money on what YOU want, being reckless and answerable to no one else.
You pop a sprog out and it's not about you anymore. You've evolved. You are now a role model. These little sponges take in everything you do, believe you're Superman, want to be you and believe you can do no wrong.
Given this great power, it's amazing how many people completely mishandle this great responsibility and ruin it for their kids.
I'm not perfect, I just try not to screw up too bad. There's a few easy wins though to being the best parent I think - no drugs, not being drunk in front of them, no swearing, treating them with love and affection and teaching them boundaries early on.
I think a lot of today's problem kids have at the root of their issues parents who've disregarded these easy wins, for one reason or another. No one ever said it was easy, and being a parent doesn't come with an instruction manual (if it did, it would have warned me about Emily's penchant for hiding my TV remotes!!).
I just think life's hard enough without giving our kids a crap start to life. I mean, if I was going to shoplift a monitor it would have been name brand and at least 24"! At least being bailed out, they wouldn't be embarrassed by my (almost) plunder.