My son has an unfeasibly large head. It’s quite cartoonishly vast and I’m certain it contributes to his inordinately high trip/fall ratio. When he was a baby we hoped that he would grow into it but now that he is three years old I have grown to accept he will only ever wear sweaters with zipped necks and will always sport a buzz-cut – excess hair serving only to accentuate his disproportionate swede.
I mention this not in order to humiliate my son, but to make a point about smug parenting. We’ve all met smug parents before – at the school gate, in toddler groups, at baby sessions, in fact I’ve met smug parents in the waiting room of the maternity unit. Their off-spring were barely conceived before they began pontificating about the genius germinating within.
Nobody likes a smug parent, but it is in fact perfectly acceptable to be one just as long as you balance out the smugness with self-deprecating acknowledgement of failure in other areas. Hence I can bask in the reflected glory of my intelligent, articulate son, as long as I then throw in a wry remark about his melon-head. I can freely boast about my daughter’s early walking and superb motor skills, if I follow it up with a reminder of her inability to string more than two words together. I suspect this is a deeply English trait, borne out of a cultural tendancy to underplay strengths, and a slightly superstitious feeling that pride will almost certainly come before a fall.
I am unashamedly a smug parent. My three children are beautiful, smart, funny, articulate and filled with imagination and talent. But my goodness my son’s head is enormous.
Are you a smug parent? Feel free to boast about your off-spring’s achievements here, but only if you share the pants bits too.