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to demand some amusing anecdotes of competitive parenting?

(32 Posts)
fuzzpigFriday Thu 16-Jun-11 06:52:33

I was at an info evening for my DD's school, and bumped into a woman I know. She was one of my first friends when I moved here but we've drifted since as we are very different (her: rich DH, huge house, me: poor but happy with simple life)... No animosity, just gradually reduced to friendly and slightly forced small talk.

I added to said small talk by saying how excited my DD is about starting in September, and she and the woman she was standing with burst out laughing and then went on about how their DCs had been excited and ready for school for soooo much longer - they were even competing with each other about it! It was quite bizarre and would've been really funny if they hadn't been so patronising and talked over me - it rankled a bit I must admit blush

I am nervous... we are in a wealthy part of town, and the school is very much in demand as it has an excellent reputation. It was pure luck that we moved where we did (ie catchment) and found affordable rent. We are technically in poverty but are mostly happy as we are, simple pleasures and all that - no car, growing veg, no tv, wildlife mad, blah blah blah. But my goodness we really stuck out like a sore thumb at the school.

This doesn't really bother me for myself (or DH) - we've got lots of friends from other parts of town. I'm more worried it'll affect DD's social life there as all the alpha/yummy mummies know each other and are cliquey - it's certainly been the case at her preschool although as that was part time and informal, and her best friend was there it wasn't too much of an issue.

I have to get through 5 years at this school... Help!!! Please tell me some funny competitive mummy stories and cheer me up smile

Punkatheart Thu 16-Jun-11 06:57:16

My fav (and I have told it here before) is from my wildly insensitive friend. I told her my father had died and that my DD was upset.

'Oh my children don't know any dead people,' she said, really smugly. 'I intend to keep it that way.'

(She wins. My DD is doomed)

halfbakedcookie Thu 16-Jun-11 07:23:20

I know a woman who has a ds the same age as mine (8).

Everything her ds does is better, things they both do be de is better at, is more talented at etc etc - you know the type (intact her ds is a nasty little bully and it's all wildly fabricated).

Anyway, so our ds's had both been ill one week. I mentioned that I'd had make off and wash the sofa covers as ds had missed the bucket as always and had been sick all over it.

She pipes up "oh well my ds has always been incredibly god at getting sick into even the smallest bowl. He's always had such a good aim ad co ordination".

I could not believe she had stooped so low to be competitive over puking.

fuzzpigFriday Thu 16-Jun-11 07:27:30

Wow those are.. Um... confused

But also grin

I'm amazed she thought your DD knew dead people... Does she think she is that kid from Sixth Sense?!?

CamperFan Thu 16-Jun-11 07:35:12

halfbakedcookie that is really funny! OP, you probably don't mean it, but you write like you can have nothing in common with someone just because they have more money than you. Even people with lots of money can appreciate and yearn for the simple things in life too. And you probably don't want your DD to be going to the school thinking she is different because her family has less money. Maybe you'll have more in common with the other mums than you think.

Tenebrist Thu 16-Jun-11 07:44:10

There was a woman in the mother and baby group whose attention to detail with baby food would have put Annabel wotsit to shame - obviously it was all completely fresh organic veggies, but on top of that only food that was in season and chosen according to phases of the moon (I shit you not), and the whole cooking and preparation process took 4 hours for a single batch. Meanwhile the rest of us were pleased if we actually managed to warm up the jars of baby food (this was in pre-BLW days). Now what she feeds her PFB should be her own business, except that she persisted in telling us how our kids' digestive systems were now screwed for life etc. I'm not sure if she ever realised how much we were all sniggering.

microserf Thu 16-Jun-11 07:53:49

a close friend was (seriously) told by an acquaintance that the acquaintance's child was better than my friend's child, and my friend would always be wondering why she wasn't as good a parent.

my friend's child was a newborn at the time.

the acquaintance who made the remark has a rep for being ultra competitive. but still. horrible thing to say to a new mum.

sad

halfbakedcookie Thu 16-Jun-11 07:56:07

Oops, apologies for the typos in my post. Early mornings and typing on an iPod don't mix!

StealthPolarBear Thu 16-Jun-11 08:07:15

lol at competitive over puking
I don't really have any competitive friends, feel as though I am missing out

Dozer Thu 16-Jun-11 08:14:16

Agree with campervan, you seem to have a chip on your shoulder about wealth and make assumptions about people based on theirs. The women you mention do sound vile though!

Shocked at the dead people comment! Aside from the incredible insensitivity, how controlling and mad is that, to imagine that death can be controlled?! Sad, sad woman.

Someone on another thread mentioned competitive people who, when their dc isn't the best, compete over them being the ABSOLUTE WORST, e.g. "he's just SUCH a bad sleeper". I have a friend like this, plus lots of "it's easy for you", "you can't possibly understand what it's like"; and stealth boasting "mine are just so active/challenging/needing constant stimulation", "it's good that they're summer-born as they'll be ready to go to school at 2" etc. Bleugh.

emptyshell Thu 16-Jun-11 08:20:17

Used to have a family at the school I worked at - who were very very very ahem... focused to put it politely.

They had, every week, a family story writing night, a family poetry writing night and so on where they'd all sit down and write, and then evaluate each other's work.

They then sent a poem one of their kids had written into the local paper about all the kids in their class - completely ficticious but using actual names in lines such as "Johnny is always naughty" (names made up to protect the innocent). Johnny's mum was a TA in the school who was about fit to go and punch the lights out of the parent in question when she read it and the subsequent fallout took weeks and weeks to be defused.

The PTA family fun quiz night had to be cancelled because of them as well - they had a family member at home sat with the Encyclopedia Britannica and Google at the ready and cheated every question. The bear diary from previous years when they'd been in the class I later had (I'd kept the old diaries in the reading corner as the kids wanted to read them occasionally) - well it was a masterpiece of 20 page recounts of the entire evening where Bear had read Shakespeare and studied alegebra etc etc!

Not surprisingly - their child was a gibbering, tearful wreck when it came to tests and things.

fuzzpigFriday Thu 16-Jun-11 08:35:24

Aw no I can see how that came across - a lot of my friends are wealthier, but have similar ideals, hence us getting on better. The woman I was referring to was lovely, but we drifted apart because our view on life was so different. Conversely I have drifted from people who have the same sort of ideals as her, but on the same income as her, so it works both ways. I'm sure it would have been the same even if she had less money.

Mind you I don't want people to think I vet people according to their lifestyle, I don't think "oh they watch too much telly therefore we can't be friends" - not at all. It's just one of those natural things, we drift because we don't have as much to talk about or go to the same places. If the DCs were good friends at preschool I'd make more effort I guess.

Very good point about not wanting DD to feel she's different, I will bear that in mind. We certainly don't shout about not having money (not in RL anyway grin) - the DCs don't look any different, we are savvy shoppers so they are decently dressed and have nice toys, I guess maybe I don't know them because we don't go to all the activities that they all do (there's lots of expensive toddler music/drama/sport stuff around here) and therefore in their eyes (the ones I've met at DD's preschool anyway) I'm clearly letting DD down and not pushing her enough hmm

fuzzpigFriday Thu 16-Jun-11 08:38:11

Oops in the first paragraph I meant Conversely I have drifted from people who have the same sort of ideals as her, but on the same income as us not her. blush

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 16-Jun-11 08:40:37

I have had the .my child is sicker than your child' competition. My DD was a pretty robust little thing, but kept getting infected with dysentry.
A so called friend who worked at the hospital DD was admitted to, managed to get the blood and stool specimin results to compare with her DS.
Similarly, she had supspected dengue fever. A well meaning friend phoned me in the hospital and told me that the daughter of one of the teachers at their school had just died from dengue so at least my DD wouldn't be the first.
The dengue turned out to be a virus of some sort and the so called friend was never spoken to again.

FetchezLaVache Thu 16-Jun-11 08:48:17

I'm so pleased the poetry-writing-evening family were rumbled cheating at the family fun quiz! I need to overcome my fear of Alpha mummies and start going to toddler group, or I will never have any good anecdotes to contribute to these threads. grin

fuzzpigFriday Thu 16-Jun-11 08:52:22

chosen according to phases of the moon

OMG! I snorted rather unattractively at that. What the actual Jeff?!? I think you are the winner so far with that anecdote.

LithaR Thu 16-Jun-11 09:01:19

My only experiene with this so far is with a mum at a baby group near me. Since her son learnt to walk she's constantly being smug and tells my son that he needs to start walking so he wont be left behind.

They are 15 months ffs

emptyshell Thu 16-Jun-11 09:01:22

Worked at another school where one of the teachers was disqualified from another family quiz night for arguing (in a friendly way) with the quizmaster! Parents all thought it was utterly hilarious, teacher in question never was allowed to live it down!

CheerMum Thu 16-Jun-11 09:01:42

When my dd used to go to school (we home educate now) the competition was about who had the WORST child. they used to discuss how little sleep they had, how many times they child had got into trouble at school, how little food they would eat etc etc. i could never join in as my dd is wonderfully well behaved, sweet, kind, caring, a good sleeper/eater hehe [smug grin]

my mil is the same, whenever you mention one of us having a cold or something, she launches into a description of some (imaginary) illness that SHE has, which is obviously worse. (I suffer from depression and was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack on the night before our 15th wedding anniversary and she even did it then!)

i have no idea why people feel the need to put others down in order to make themselves feel better, probably their own insecurities coming through.

Alpha Mummies spend so much of their time working at being an Alpha, that they forget to just ENJOY their children.

lovemyskinnyjeans Thu 16-Jun-11 09:10:39

Hi fuzzpig,

Sorry, I can't remember any really funny stories, but there have been many over the years. I also find competitive parenting extremely tiresome but I am embarrassed have to hold my hands up and say I get sucked in sometimes too, although I never set out to do it! blush It's also sometimes fun to make up outrageous stuff just to see who'll push it the farthest...

It does have a positive side, though. My personal experience (and I know there are always exceptions) is that the children with focussed parents have tended to be more motivated, which creates a bit of healthy competition in the classroom. As long as it's managed in a healthy way by the teaching staff that can be beneficial for all, as the collective achievement is higher.

We had to move DD1 from her first infants school because of just one set of parents who didn't give a crap. Their son was so disruptive, kicking the teacher, locking the kids in the classroom - even told the head to F off in front of me one day. And that was just the stuff I was aware of...

So if I had to choose between pushy/competitive/over-focussed parents and those who let their dog shit in the playground and just leave it there for the teaching staff to deal with, I know which ones I'd choose every time.

QueenofDreams Thu 16-Jun-11 09:29:22

A friend of MIL's is ridiculous over her DS. She tried to make the local school accept him early because he's so intelligent (he's really not). When he went to nursery the staff had to keep telling her that he was bullying the other children. Her response 'he's so intelligent the other children frustrate him and that's why he beats them up' <<sigh>>

A woman I know is all competetive over methods of parenting. Her smuggery over extended bf, tandem feeding, cosleeping, baby led weaning, babywearing etc knows no bounds. I used cloth nappies - she did it better by not using detergent on the nappies. there are so many I can't even begin to list them all

emptyshell Thu 16-Jun-11 09:51:28

Another one - mentioned this before and it's more of a public worthiness stage parenting than anything else.

Local park, hot sunny day - I'm getting the dog out to bunk off into the woods for a squirrelly whomp but there's a kids' play area right by the carpark as well.

Mummy's getting kiddy out of the car next to me and kid's grizzling a bit (it's hot as hell) - so mummy looks around and then theatrically goes "DARLING DO YOU WANT A BREADSTICK", looks around again for the expected nods of approval about what a good mummy she's being. Kid replies in full tantrum-pitch volume "NO I WANT A BISCUIT LIKE WE GET AT HOME!"

I almost wet myself giggling as mummy went very very red faced!

GabbyLoggon Thu 16-Jun-11 10:03:32

fuzzpigfriday....a great idea. Great thread. We should be able to see the funny side of serious issues. fictional story. "Labby Gogan says the kids get me up at 3am ,they love their 5 mile cycle ride." Calm down Labby, you know I am an undercover fan

fuzzpigFriday Thu 16-Jun-11 10:09:17

Hahahaha at the breadstick! She really should have got rice cakes though, much more worthy grin

The other day my friend was saying that she hadn't seen my DS (nearly 2) for ages. I admitted it was too easy to leave him with DH (off sick) rather than drag him out for the school run. She said "oh you're so lucky - he's placid enough not to mind, I could never have kept [DD's best friend] indoors"

Errr ok then smile

GabbyLoggon Thu 16-Jun-11 10:19:30

Lovemyskinnyjeans ponit taken But if its in the genes and the parenting you canna blame the kids who draw the dodgy straw I would like to help them

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