Since the cold, coupled with the season, has left me somewhat housebound the last few days I have revisited the observer status that I had when my arms were in plaster. For those that watch the Simpsons think Bart with broken leg in the swimming pool episode.
The observations made in the early hours of this morning revolve around those that no longer meet the standard family classification – separated parents. In a lot of households Christmas is divided at an agreed point notionally around midday so parent one gets Christmas Eve and parent two gets Christmas night, this seems an eminently agreeable way of scheduling the limited resource of children to me.
What I notice now is that this ‘traditional’ approach has been adapted by a generation that view separation as the norm to meet their own lifestyles rather than accommodate their children. So now the battleground is not the joy of the children’s faces on Christmas morning it is the battle of the Eve’s. Ex partners now use this as an opportunity to disrupt the social life of the ex with the argument that ‘for the sake of the kids’ whoever has them for Christmas Eve doesn’t have them for New Years Eve.
Since when has any child cared about New Years Eve? they care only for Christmas Eve and more importantly the day itself. The insanity of this is that the parent that ‘wins’ Christmas Eve child free will have a stinking hangover on Christmas Day with the kids and whilst both parents will be convinced that the other has the best night to socialise and form intimate pairings the truth is neither Christmas Eve or New Years Eve have ever been about this!
The only people that lose here really are parents, I know I will be chastised for not saying kids but in truth I believe that we are more nature than nature and your childhood, whilst to some a convenient excuse for failure, does not have a big affect on your life. The parents though are losing opportunities that occur only once and they are losing them because they are just not mature enough to be trusted with such an opportunity.
And here’s the rub, the older I get the more people I want to grab and yell “grow up”