I actually love children, but they, like the idiosyncrasies of a classic car, need to be lived with, irritants and all. Below is a far from exhaustive list of why children are bloody annoying, and not just when they’re allowed in pubs.

Low Walls along the pavement

This is an example of how you see the world differently with children. A walk in the park is so easy that it’s an idiom, but not when there’re walls low enough for toddlers and young children to walk along. While you’re wrestling single-handed with a pushchair that you’ve loaded with a month’s shopping alongside a road thundering with heavy traffic, they want to climb up onto the wall and trapeze their way along it holding your hand. It basically transforms every 10 minute journey time into the sort of imprecise estimated time of arrival more associated with polar expeditions undertaken too late in the year.

Shops – Yes, they still exist. Not that they ever sell anything I want, unless it’s a record or book shop, but entering a shop with young children involves the kind of iron fist that is illegal in public. As they touch, stroke, or break anything within reach, which in defiance of spatial physics appears to be everything, you endeavour to discipline them through the use of a barking whisper that only parents develop. Meanwhile, the child raps on about how much they’ve always wanted : a Danger Mouse comic, hole punch, flamingo glass ornament, or rubber gloves (delete where appropriate).

Bath toys – because bath time isn’t already an activity seemingly designed by bathroom manufacturers to destroy your washroom in under a year, the children insist on displacing most of the water with bath toys, which they then don’t play with. It leaves parents not only having extract reluctant children from the bath squirming like cut eels, but also well over 50 plastic toys which eats into the 5 minutes they have to bath themselves. Pointless plastic bath toys are basically the perfect encapsulation of why planet earth is fucked.

Shoes – trying to put a child’s foot into a shoe that is apparently the right size is reliably accompanied by mumble swearing and questioning ‘how hard can it be? Meanwhile they succeed in putting them on the wrong feet with a regularity that can only be deliberate.

Lego – Successfully penetrating the soles of parents feet with the fierce precision of carpet scorpions since it’s invention in 1960.

Power Rangers – Of course most children’s toys are inane film/TV tie-ins with as much creative thought as a trade union meeting, but I’m unsure anything has quite encapsulated the derisory ‘this’ll do’ when creating a franchise quite like Power Rangers. Instead of developing any distinguishing character of each Power Ranger, they are simply a different colour. Future cultural genealogists piecing together our civilisation will be utterly stumped by their existence, unable to determine where they came from, how and most bewildering of all, why.

Arts and crafts – this is what children have been led to believe is compulsory if it is a wet day. Gone are the days of gazing out of the rain-bejewled window pane, head on hands ruminating on life and where it goes. No, now they insist that the paints and paper and pipe cleaners are found (always form the highest, most awkward cupboard), in order to make the kind of mess more associated with direct collisions involving a painter and decorator’s van. Once every single box, pencil case and paints is opened, they scrawl for 2 minutes before asking if the TV can be put back on.

 

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