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Bad Parenting – the one with the wind-up

Warning! Spoiler alert! There is no gambling addiction in my household, I made it up

Parenting like any relationship is about a level of trust in someone. I like to think that by and large we have great parental relationships with our children. But sometimes the occasion arrises when you can have a bit of Fun.  I feel bad about picking the subject I did, gambling addiction, which is all too real a problem for some households, but it just came out and once out it’s like putting a cat back into a bag. So don’t be offended our have faux outrage, it was a story that we collaborated accidentally in for our own amusement. This may have been brought on my the ongoing angst that my partner has about the children not even buying a birthday card for her this week. I know right, not even a card!

So here we go then:

Friday Evening after a particularly tedious and time-long commute home, it was warm, I was looking forward to the weekend, I slumped onto the couch.

My Daughter wandered into the room, glances at me as asks “Why are you crying?”. I wasn’t crying but I was wearing contact lenses that probably needed taking out and cleaning and that sometimes makes me frown. “No seriously what’s up?” she says. She’s now 17 and thinks she very worldly.

“Nothing”, I replied. I can see a look on her face that she’s not going to let this go. “Dad, it looks like you’ve been crying!”

“”Ok” I said “it’s like this, it’s a bit difficult to tell you and I don’t know if you’ll like it” I started so I had to finish. “We have a few financial problems, we’ve got to sell the house and move to a smaller place. This means that you’ll have to leave your school and possibly not play hockey this year. Your mother has spent all out money, we owe the bank thousands and we have nothing left. You mother has a gambling addiction and has spent everything”

This lead to a moment’s silence and a rapid fire “What?, You’re Joking, and Serious?” pause “Wait, What?, You can’t be serious, that’s not true!”

“Of course it’s true” I said “Why lie?”

At this point my partner walks into the room and daughter says “Mum, is it true we have to move?” My partner just said deadpan “Yes it’s true”

I don’t know why she said that we hadn’t planned it, talked about or even thought about it. I could tell by her tone that she was just agreeing in that tired and  weary way that partners sometimes get – just say yes to go with the flow. I was surprised but I smiled on the insides

“NO it’s not true, you’re lying” continued the daughter “Do you have a gambling addiction?” and again my partner deadpan says “yes I do”

Daughter is flummoxed but not completely flustered, not distraught but confused by all this. “Where do you think she goes every weekend when she goes to ‘the library’?” I asked “Nobody goes to the library every day, she’s at the gambling place”  I also said that she’d left her work and spent all day at the poker machines, and we were flat broke penniless

Daughter is adamant that we’re lying, which of course we are, but we’re not letting on. She spent a few minutes explaining why she couldn’t leave school and then with a finality said “Well you’re both lying, and I don’t belive you”

So for 15 minutes on a Friday the world ended for my daughter.  Cruel and unusual parenting? why yes, yes it was. Torture? not really, there really wasn’t any conviction in the discussion, and besides which we would have had it in a more formal setting, like all the family in the room.

There is no gambling problem, we don’t have to move, and life carries on as it was before.

Daughter is going to have her revenge one day, I can’t wait.

One comment on “Bad Parenting – the one with the wind-up

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge
    January 31, 2012

    Yep. Raising a creative thinker. Be prepared.


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This entry was posted on January 31, 2012 by in All about me, Justsaying and tagged , .

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