Dear The Mothers of Rome,
Please find outlined important notes on child rearing, for your immediate attention.
1. Your 7 year-old should not be interrupting my lesson to say, ‘Teacher, I really need to make a poo but when there is no bidet my mother normally wipes for me.’ Should this situation arise, your child will return home with either a dirty arsehole because he can’t clean himself, or a dirty arsehole because he shat himself from trying to hold it in. As an English teacher and not a Shit Attendant, neither of these is my problem.
2. If your 3 year-old cannot aim for the toilet bowl with over 75% accuracy then do not let him use my bathroom unattended. I am not responsible for mopping the floor, wiping down the sink, and cleaning the OUTSIDE OF THE CISTERN any more than you are responsible for changing my tampons.
3. If your child has a bad flatulence problem, CHANGE HIS DIET. Those smells are not natural, no matter how silently they are omitted. When the kid who eats the glue sticks stops to ask what the heck that stink is, that stink is BAD.
4. How is it possible that your 5 year-old son has bad breath? HOW?
5. i) If we arrange a parent-teacher meeting, it is polite to show up.
ii) If we are arrange a parent-teacher meeting, it is polite to have your children wait in the next room with another teacher, not on your knee where you pay more attention to them than to what I am saying about points 1 through 4.
iii) If we arrange a parent-teacher meeting, it is polite not to have three of your friends come with you for moral support. In fact, that’s just weird because this is English School, not Mean Girls, and embarrassing for everybody concerned when my purpose for calling you in is to tell you that Giovanni likes to lick the walls.
6. It is inappropriate to declare that under no circumstances should your child ever be singled out for disciplinary measures. If you don’t want me to tell your child off, teach him in the privacy of your own home that screaming ‘GO FUCK YOURSELF, WHAT DICKS’ at 6 years old isn’t how we respond when we don’t get what we want. At least not unless we blog it, anyway.
7. If I ask you what your child says about English class at home, and you reply that you don’t ever ask about English class at home, you might want to rethink your approach to parenting.
8. If the human rights lawyers can make it to pick up their children every week, so can the desperate housewives. When your Polish nanny doesn’t understand the Italian child or the English teacher, I’d put money on the fact that your child knows they are a third priority to your hair appointment and the dog.
9. If your child asks for help in putting on their shoes by handing them to you and then laying on their back with a foot in the air, AND THEN YOU DO IT, you are failing at parenting and at having respect for yourself. Both sadden me. And your husband.
To conclude: if you do not have the time or energy to raise decent human beings, you shouldn’t have kids. And if you do, they aren’t people I want in my classroom as kids, or in my bed as the adults they will become. Because the adults they become will be just like you.
That isn’t a good thing.
‘Mama, I’m Googling jobs in Istanbul.’
‘ISTANBUL? I don’t think they want women of your calibre in Istanbul, Laura. And I mean that in as bad a way as it sounds.’
‘Thank you for being supportive of my life choices.’
‘Do you need vodka?’