Following along on the success of the marvelous parenting manual ‘French Children Don’t Throw Food’ I have decided to write my own parenting manual based on my experiences as an expatriated mother living in Europe.
Except I am not going to write it from the view point of an expatriate Anglophile living in France who notices how French children are very sophisticated and pleasant to have as dinner guests compared to the whiney gobshites American and Brit type parents tend to have spoiling every adult occasion. Oh no. I am going to write it from the view point of an expatriate Anglophile living in Denmark.
As to what I have noticed about Danish children, ah well, we’ll just have to wait and see won’t we?
But if some clever broad can write a parenting tome about how French children are, I am sure as hell sure I can write one about how Danish children are.
Except this is all part of a backlash. My parenting manual about the differences between children of certain cultures is going to be uplifting for the common mother in contrast to ‘French Children Don’t Throw food’ which had all us American and Brit style moms feeling as if we have got it all wrong and we really should have put ourselves first or at least said “NON!” more often instead of “Oh Hepzibah! I understand you want the cookie now and you do not feel you can wait another moment, but mummy is busy right now operating this heavy machinery. You can have a cookie later, when my hands can be made free without having someones eye out and when you have finished your organic wholemeal dried fruit husk….Hepzibah..Hepzi! Now listen Hepzi…if you don’t stop pulling on mummy, mummy will drop the heavy machinery and it will spin out of control and cut both your legs off and that will hurt, Hepzi..HEPZI! IT WILL HURT and we are all out of biodynamic arnica and you will BLEED goddammit, and everybody knows you can’t apply arnica to an OPEN WOUND. Oh fuck it, have the cookie, here, have the packet, I’m going next door to Mette’s for a joint and a mug of cheap wine from FAKTA. Yes of course you can watch TV. JAYZUZ.”
My book will speak about roughly the same sorts of things as the ‘French Children don’t..’ book. Pregnancy, childbirth, kindergarten, being bilingual, what Danish mothers look like, the sort of things they say, what their apartments look like, and what sort of sex lives they have. It will also go on to say all the things Danish children do, or at least what I have found them to do. I will draw heavily on interviews with people I know who work or have worked in daycare here, and they will speak off the record of course. I will of course do some sort of formal work to back all this up, I will look into how child care workers are trained here. I will look into the history of child care here and do a little chapter on how in the old days, Danish children were tied to stumps in Jutland so their mothers could go and make cheese but that now all that is changed and that mothers in Jutland now take their kids to vuggestue instead, so they can go and make cheese or work in Nordea bank or be a student. Or train to work in a vuggestue.
I will contact Danish Childcare experts and ask for their opinion and see what they will say.
It is going to be great.
But like I say, instead of making parents feel bad about how their kids aren’t French and they aren’t skinny Parisians themselves, this book is going to make parents feel okay about their choices. It’s all relative after all.
If anybody has a suggestion about something I could put in the book do let me know, I can’t decide on the title as I am presently rather underwhelmed with it all.
It would be really helpful if I got some more accounts from expat mothers in Denmark about how they see the Danish kids to be compared to their own kids, or even French kids.
And if any publisher wants to send me a huge advance and a ghostwriter that would be fab too. I am sure the rest of the world wants to know how Danish parents do it, what with ‘The Killing’ and Sara Lund being such hotstuff.
Love ya xxx