PARENTS

Achtung Baby Or The Germans Think I'm The Whippet Mother

24/03/2011 12:10 | Updated 22 May 2015

I get the distinct feeling that most of the mums at Finje's kindergarten are of the opinion that I'm the English version of the Tiger Mother. I overheard a group of them discussing the current interest in the Chinese approach to upbringing recently. The general consensus was one of opposition to her methods, which was funny, as I was wondering if it was too late to implement a number of them!

Coming from the boarder of Lancashire and Yorkshire, I suppose that would make me a Whippet Mother!

My refusal to allow Finje to have "sleepovers" was the last demonstration of child cruelty. We tried it. It failed. She can do it again when she has her own mortgage.

There are a number of Whippet Mother Rules which the German mums seem to consider a bit drastic. See what you think:

1) Bedtime: Strictly between 6.30pm and 7.00pm. No exceptions. If she stays up longer than that she morphs into that kid from "The Omen" and remains like that for 48 hours. It's not pretty.

2) No trips to the zoo: In my opinion zoos are cruel. Animals do not belong behind bars.

3) No television: My child will not be brought up by a talking sponge.

4) Room tidied before bed: But I'm pretty sure all kids have to do that.

5) No Barbie merchandise in this house: I don't have to justify that, do I?

Apparently however, I have now excelled myself in reaching a whole new level of maternal wickedness.

A friend of Finje's has two vermin rabbits. They are admittedly quite cute and have long floppy ears which beg to be stroked. They live in a hutch in the house. Finje wants one. Of course she does. I want a bum like Heidi Klum but that's not happening anytime soon either. Now if I may refer you to number 2 of the Whippet Mother Rules you will appreciate my position on incarcerated animals. It was time for a chat.

As I explained to my daughter that animals, especially vermin rodents, belong in their own environment, running wild and free, the rabbit owner's mother looked on. She managed, quite impressively to be fair, to convey both a look of sympathy directed at Finje and a look of antipathy thrown my way. I remained resolute. A Whippet Mother has her principles.

Finje, as is invariably the case, soon calmed down and accepted my point.

It's probably just as well as my next line of persuasion was Watership Down!

Am I too strict?

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