No 52. David Cameron is not right about grandparents (or anything?)

These last few days I’ve been undergoing the Family Test. Not Cameron’s Family Test to check if I’m one of that happy group of Normals who will benefit from his excellent policy decisions, but the true Family Test — a tour of Mini’s grandparents.

This disastrous idea came about because of the annual Holiday Question (HQ).  The HQ always used to be “who will I go on holiday with, and can I persuade them to walk up big hills with me?”. In my recent brief and disastrous time as part of a couple  it was “is there anywhere on earth we can go without becoming Angie and Den circa 1987?”.  Now the HQ is “is it actually possible to have a holiday alone with a toddler?”.  (I’m sure that David Cameron thinks the holiday question is “will the taxpayer think it’s ok if I holiday in my third home in St Tropez?).

I really don’t know what other lone parents do.  If you’re broke, forced to take time off at the most expensive time of year and no longer able to do normal singleton holidays, you have two options: sit in a cave for two weeks with Cbeebies on a loop, or descend on relatives in the hope of conversation and occasional respite.

And Lo!  My idea of a grandparental tour was endorsed by the great man himself — David Cameron has told me the truth once more: apparently grandparents are the saviours of the modern age. They yield billions to the economy in unpaid childcare and he approves, deeply.  I may not be a building block in his big society (lacking a marriage certificate), I may not pass the family test (being a blood-sucking single parent) but I CAN contribute to Dave’s grand vision by having baby boomer grandparents for Mini.  Perfect.

Ye gods!  I was yet again sadly let down by DC’s vision of life in Britain today.  The only grandparently duty performed was to follow me and Mini round the house with a hand-held hoover until I could take the psychic torture no longer and wrenched it from said grandparent’s hand promising to leave each room backwards as I hoovered up after the biscuit-shedding beast.

To be fair, one step-grandparent did take Mini to the post office for an hour. I’m sure Dave has already calculated the £7.25 she has saved the nation.

The reality of 21st century grandparenting is apparently to take as many cruises as possible while sloshing Pinot Grigio around and gaily yelling “I’m selfish and it’s great!” (A direct quote).

Perhaps Cameron’s speeches would ring slightly truer if he voiced the Boomer-creed — “I’m selfish, and it’s great”. It would then be clearer that his perpetual use of the word “family” is really just a way of ignoring the voice and needs of the single, the childless, the poor and the disadvantaged

 

This post is dedicated to everyone who hasn’t enjoyed their holidays. I raise a glass to every moment of supressed rage, every misunderstood comment, every unhelpful hint, every pointless compromise. And here’s to getting back to work. Cheers

(This post is laced with additional bitterness as my laptop is broken so I was forced to write it long-hand [my Berol callous from 1990 still bears the load] and then pinch  a PC from a friend to type it up as the library is closed on Tuesdays due to budget cuts.  Thanks again DC)

 

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3 thoughts on “No 52. David Cameron is not right about grandparents (or anything?)

  1. Hey Anne. Last year I looked into Gingerbread-it’s an organisation specifically for Single Parents, and one of the things it can do is signpost you towards holidays that cater for single parents. Some of them are subsidised, some of them are groups of single parents that go to (are segregated in to) the same place. (Even writing this myself it sounds hideous, and there’s no way I could say ‘looked into gingerbread’ without coming up with several jokes, but really it seems really good!) My head was no way in the right place last year to organise a holiday, & this year, well… but if I hadn’t been moving house now I likely would have tried to do something through them. Hope this helps…?? X

    • yes! I need to get my act together really and be organised but I somehow lurched into this holiday period with idiotic hopeful blindness — as though a great holiday would materialise from nowhere! More importantly — HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE HOUSE!?!!!!

      • Oh God, bloody solicitors, hate them all….. Should have exchanged today, but my solicitors are claiming my vendors solicitors weren’t answering the phone/returning calls, my vendors’ solicitor claims that MY solicitor wasn’t returning calls/answering the phone… Seriously, managing toddlers is easier!! I’m slowly losing the will to live….!

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