"Attentive parenting", is that when you are too tired to make "anal retentive" come out as two words?

Kim’s earlier comment was right. We have been attentively parenting this past few days. As opposed to inattentively parenting, or absentee parenting, or obsessively parenting… Or the kind of completely screwed parenting I do when I forget to be inattentive, absent, obsessive or anal and instead try to lead a normal life: that never works.

This latest onslaught of attentive parenting is brought to us by the joy of school holidays and a long weekend. In some ways it is a joy. It’s the last break for the kids before Christmas and it’s good to have a three day weekend in the middle of the two weeks so we can have some relatively stress-free time together without the noisy or silent arguments about whose turn it is to give up work time to look after the school holiday-aged child.

In other ways, of course, it is the same kind of drama you always get when trying to juggle the conflicting interests (theirs: movies, swimming, eating fish and chips; ours: sleeping, sleeping, drinking pinot) and conflicting demands (theirs: more movies, more swimming, more chippies; ours: less, less, less) of five people, large and small.

Even though holidays put a strain on, it is becoming easier and easier to enjoy each other’s company. The magic three year old landmark for the twins has catapaulted us out of babyhood and man am I glad to leave that shit-hole town behind. Sorry Kim, but I know you agree and besides, you’re younger than me, you’ll get through this next three years in a blink (hah!)

This particular set of holidays is made easier by some glorious weather. I can’t remember a more perfect long weekend for years. Uninterrupted sunshine, long days, balmy nights. It’s about 32 degrees out now (sorry Americans, go metric or do the maths yourselves!) which is a fraction too hot, even for heat-seeker me, so after spending a couple of hours at The Most Beautiful Zoo In The World this morning,

we’re now back at our cool house, waiting for the sun to lose a bit of bite before heading out to the beach again. Judging by yesterday’s experience, the sand will be hot, the water cold, the kids happy and the adults relaxed. Wish me luck for the rest of the day’s attentivity…



ps – can anyone tell me why it is “inattentive” but “unintended”? inquiring mind seeks hard and fast grammar rule.