Independent play

“Yes it’s a well-known concept, Sarah. Zak needs to spend time playing on his own to develop his imagination and his self-esteem. No I’m not just ignoring him and he’s not just sitting there staring at what I’m watching: he was playing happily until you came in and started shouting!”

Having your child read to you,
not always reading to your child

“Hey, I can listen to him and watch the game. And I did just read to him. I read Goodnight Moon. Uh, well it was about saying goodnight to the moon, Jesus Sarah.”

Coffee mornings with other children
and their PCGs

“It’s important that Zak mix with other children to build his social skills. No we don’t just put the kids in front of the TV. No, the coffees aren’t always Irish, and you know what, it’s BORING looking after him, give me a break.”

Allowing contact with germs

“I did not clear that up, no. If I’m constantly on my hands and knees scrubbing, he’ll never develop immunity to common bacteria and he’ll always be ill. Yes, I read that you should never disinfect his cups. It’s not that it’s too fiddly — how lazy do you think I am?”

Child-led potty training

“In his own time, don’t smother him! Yes, I’m AWARE he’s nearly five. You’re smothering both of us, JESUS!”

Grandparent time

“I’m pretty sure the book said every day was fine. No, I’m sure they’re agile enough to get to him before he gets to their pool.”

Leaving him to cry when he wakes in the night

“If you bring him into bed even once he’ll want to do it every night until he’s in college. And HEY, if I’m tired all day, what kind of a parent can I be to him? I’m hardly what? That’s low, Sarah. Really low.”

Putting him in the door bouncer for exercise

“Oh he is NOT exhausted. He hasn’t just been dangling there — he was jumping a minute ago. No I DON’T love the couch more than him. Look he’s right there in the doorway! Oh, what now? Maybe I should go in the door bouncer? What the HELL is that supposed to mean?”

I’m soon to be going through a divorce

“It’s a tricky time for me. I can’t focus on Zak as much as I would like to. Sarah, I don’t think it’s working between us.”