We wish we could save our kids from...
We understand babies have to get ill to build up their immunity. But teething? It seems such a cruel introduction to 'no pain, no gain' at such a young age.
It's clearly a major biological fail. Perhaps its purpose is to put mums and dads in their place. Just when you think you've got them sleeping, into a routine and weaned, teething brings diarrhoea, grouchiness and sore gums to remind you this job will never stay the same – so don't get above your station.
2. Separation anxiety
No matter how many times we tell our babies and toddlers we'll be back, they don't believe us. All that gripping on, those tears and pleas of 'don't go'. Yes, we get that they have to learn about stepping out of their comfort zone, developing independence in the face of insecurity, mummy going to work and that ultimately we'll come back.
But if we could take that upset away from them – no matter if it lasts 90 seconds at handover once something sparkly or biscuity is produced – then we would.
3. Calling the teacher 'Mummy' in front of the whole class
We still remember the time, decades ago, when we put our hand up and called 'Mummy' instead of 'Miss'. How everyone sniggered. The class bully endlessly mimicked your faux-pas while everyone else silently thanked God it wasn't them. Probably our first experience of humiliation.
Sadly, not our last. If only we could brief the kids or hypnotise them to stop them having to go through the public mockery.
4. Being left out
Whether during the selection process of team-picking in PE or being ignored by your supposed friends, this is one of life's truly horrible moments. Seeing your child go from puzzled to hurt is enough to make you want to give the culprits a good talking to. If only we could cheerlead for our kids. But then that would make it worse for them. Hard to swallow as a parent because we know how awful it feels.
5. Travel sickness
Green face, sick bag and feeling bad long after the journey has stopped. Yuck.
6. Falling over
The slow-motion tumble of your toddler followed by the bawl over scraped knees and elbows is hideous to watch. But when they get older and refuse to cry huge globules of tears so they look 'hard' in front of their mates is like a stomach punch. And a teenager taking a slip is most harrowing of all because it's just not cool.
Oh God. Even the word 'puberty' is embarrassing. It's not as if your child can develop a deep voice and bum fluff or grow boobs and start their periods without anyone noticing. And it comes with attitude and angst.
Mother nature really didn't think this through – or if she did, she's obviously a bit vindictive.
Just when all those hormones are going mental, life heaps on more pressure. Revising when you really want to be out with your friends. Being pestered with questions about your future. The nerve-wracking experience of sitting in a freezing cold hall on an isolated desk. And then results day when it's either success or failure. They're all a practice run for the real world – something we all wish we could protect our children from.
9. Being dumped
Remember the emotional freefall when your first true love told you 'it's over'? Awful.
But far worse is watching your child going through the heartbreak, grief, loss, devastation and that sick-to-the-pit-of-your-stomach feeling. How could someone do that to your baby when they're so perfect?
10. Being embarrassed by their parents
Look, kids, we've been there. First, you worship your parents. Then you're mortified by their very existence. Finally, you realise how wonderful they are. Don't you see the embarrassment bit is all a bit pointless really?
Believe us, if we could save you from cringing over our choice of music, what we wear and how we breathe, we would!
What else would you want to save your children from?