I am Homer Simpson and Ned Flanders in one

My son (8 yrs) and I had a bit of a run in last weekend and it reflects very poorly on my parenting skills that after only 10 minutes of careful attempts to discuss and engage in an enlightened way, I finally lost my temper.

I won’t elaborate except to say that I gave R a bit of a scare. We immediately hugged afterwards, but it needed a further chat and bi-directional apology (and more hugs) on Monday night.

Later on, I twigged further to the brilliance of the writers of “The Simpsons”. You see there’s probably a bit of Homer Simpson in every father, just as there’s a bit of Ned Flanders in every Dad too. Most of the time I’m caring and compassionate, reasonable and enjoy doing things with my son like fishing, but sometimes I just want to throttle the little pest!

Now I think we must agree a ‘watch-word’ between us. By that I mean a trigger word or phrase, carefully chosen so that R can use it if he suspects that trouble is brewing. “I need Ned!” would be one possibility, meaning that he calls upon the Ned Flanders in me.

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