Sometimes I like to imagine that my life is really a Truman - style reality tv show....
'Parenting' - A new reality TV show coming soon to a life near you! Not to be missed! There's drama, tears, bodily fluids, terror, gripping suspense, comedy and horror!
You will be completely unshockable when you have come out the other end of - 'Parenting'!
The objective is to get the kids to 18 years of age alive and relatively unscathed.
You lose points for major scarring (physical or emotional).
It's a lock in. There is no escape.
Children are randomly allocated. You might end up with a quiet, obedient goody two shoes or you might end up with the spawn of Satan. You will be aware of this random allocation before you begin however you will attempt to fool yourself into thinking your child will be the next Christ/Mozart/Einstein. It will be many years before the fullness of your mistake sinks uncomfortably to the pit of your stomach (possibly to develop into an ulcer, which you will lose points for and incur a hefty time penalty for).
You must feed, bathe, school and clothe the children in a regular and routine fashion.
Sleep time will be randomly generated but will be no more than 6.5 hours in a 24 hour time frame.
You are not allowed to toilet or bathe alone.
You will be given a minimum of 32 different objectives/tasks each day (on top of those already listed). Some examples are:
Cleaning rooms, doing loads of washing, going grocery shopping, teaching your child to swim/ride a bike/catch a ball etc.
You wil lose points if you fail on these tasks.
There is a 'chance' element to this game and you will receive a number of 'chance' cards daily. These are events that are outside of your control but must be dealt with. Some examples of chance card challenges are:
- You are at the town park and your 3 year old just wet himself. You have no change of clothes. (Penalty loss of 20 minutes)
- You have an interfering mother-in-law. She undermines your parenting at every opportunity and makes snide remarks about how her son 'Could've done better' etc. (Penalty loss of 4 months)
- You are in the supermarket and your 4 year old has just knocked over several egg cartons in a temper tantrum because you won't buy her sugar-coated breakfast cereal. (Penalty loss of 30 minutes. If spectators look snidely at you you lose another 20 minutes.)
- Your neighbour has called over to tell you that your 11 year old son has been bullying their 7 year old son. (Penalty loss of 2.5 hours)
- Your husband just left your for a blond ninny. Now you are single parenting. (Penalty loss of 5 years and $10,000).
- Your child just bit another child in the baby and toddler group. You incur the wrath of the other mothers and the humiliation of having a violent child. (Penalty loss of 1 hour)
- Your pet rabbits have escaped and you must find them and bring them home before the kids get back. (Penalty loss of 4 hours)
- Your car breaks down. (Penalty loss of 4 days and $340)
I've been playing this game for 13 long, hard years and I can tell you that it is the game you can never win. There are however varying degrees of losing and at the moment I seem to be losing quite badly.