I’m pretty sure in the U.K. you would call it bad parenting but then most things in the UK are considered bad parenting. The tut tutting of disapproval follows me around every time I visit. Dylan doing laps of the plane climbing onto other passengers laps to play on their i pads and racing from one end of the cabin to the other to see how fast he can go normally incur a fair amount of disapproval. I normally manage to ignore the shaken newspapers and scowls of hatred and the unsaid scream of “control that child” .
I like the Bulgarian way, we share child care, in the park we (and by we I mean everyone who is in the park not just other parents) keep an eye out for the children playing. Someone falls over and grazes a knee the closest adult will get up and dust him or her off. Bags of sweets are shared with strangers and all in all it feels like the community I grew up in our village back in the U.K. The spectre of fear that hangs over British parents isn’t really apparent in Bulgaristan, I’m sure there are the same problems here with wierdos and murders but it just doesn’t feel like it. I look around when Dylan is playing in the park and there will be 10 other adults I sort of know keeping and eye.
On the mountain skiing this week it felt great, in the crowded mess that is Bunderitsa Polyana 2 dozen ski instructors would stop to pat him on the head and have a chat, people would be pulling him out of puddles and generally making sure he was safe and happy.
On the ski road back to Bansko it was a bit of a different story, Daddy was the only person really concentrating on The Little Man and The Little Man was only concentrating on going as fast as possible. eventually I caught up with him and suggested in the most gentle manner possible that he might be inclined to slow down or stop. The Little Man slammed on the racing snowplough swerved hard left, hit the kicker that is the edge of the ski road, took off and flew into a small spruce where he ended up hanging 6 foot off the ground by his skis. Fortunately the tree was there as the other options in the boulder field that is the edge of the ski road are not worth contemplating.
The Little Man can have the last word on yesterday, “not a good day Daddy, not a good day”