Parents are usually biased
Other people's kids... I mean, they're generally just not as charming or talented as their parents think they are. Not as interesting either. I really don't care whether little Jonny has uttered his first word or toddled his first step. Little Jonny still can't play tennis, talk sport, or banter about whatever I want to banter about...
And there's something else that gets my goat: parents who move to the country and then tell anyone who will listen how simply marvellous life is...
- "Just amazing - the little darlings spend all their time outside" or
- "Of course they don't watch TV; they're too busy discovering new species of earth worms..."
- And the worst: "it must be really tough bringing up kids in London."
Poor little city dwellers
Arrgghh. As we're stuck in London for the foreseeable future, this stuff galls me. Typically, I've found a few useful straws to clutch at. My gang spend pretty much the whole of July and August in rural France; throw in other holidays and weekends, and that's about one third of the year spent chasing those earth worms.
I guess the more important question is, do children really benefit from the great outdoors? Probably a bit I suppose, but as Mo Farah, Christiano Ronaldo and David Beckham can testify, city life isn't a barrier to sporting greatness - never mind happiness. And then there's the easy access to all that lovely culture that us city dwellers can fall back on.
We want what we don't have
There's a serious point to my pre-holiday ramblings. We ('we' as in us westerners) spend far too much of our time talking about family and kids. Children need a few things - love, stability, and opportunities to develop. Masses of outdoor space and a decent game of tennis ultimately come quite a long way down the list.
The grass is always greener on the other side - and that's especially true if you live in the middle of a field!