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The Meanest Parents In The World

I had the meanest mother and father in the world.
While other kids got a chocolate biscuit for breakfast,
I had to have cereal, porridge, eggs or toast.
When other kids had lemonade and fish & chips or
crisps for lunch,
I had to walk home from school
I had to eat a square meal.
And walk back to school again
And by golly the same rules applied
when I started work!

My elder sister and two brothers had
the same mean parents as I did.
They insisted on knowing where I was at all times.
Who my friends were and what we were doing.
If I said I would be home in an hour,
I was home in an hour, or else!
I'm nearly ashamed to admit it,
but we were actually smacked!
Can you imagine someone smacking children
just because of disobedience?
Now you begin to see how mean they really were?
The worst is yet to come.

I had to be in bed by nine each night.
On Saturday, I couldn't have a long
sleep -in like my friends.
My parents actually had the nerve to make me work.
I had to wash dishes, make beds,
learn to cook, clean the bath, basin and toilet,
vaccum clean the carpets,
I had to mow the lawns after my brothers
had left home and got married!
Weed the garden, and all sorts of cruel things.
Before I could go play out with my girlfriend
I believe they lay awake at night thinking
up mean things for me to do.

On Sunday, they had the nerve to make me go to church,
Be a member of the church choir
while my friends joined something more fun sounding.
They always demanded I tell the whole truth
and nothing but the truth,
even if it killed me - and it nearly did.
By the time I was a teenager,
my life became even more unbearable.
They embarrassed me no end by making
my friends come to the door to get me.
I forgot to mention, my old-fashioned parents
refused to let me date until I was 17 ....
and then only for a school dance.
They insisted on meeting my boyfriends
after I turned 17, and inviting them for dinner

My parents were complete failures as parents.
None of us have ever been in big trouble.
None of us have ever been a vandal or a lay-about.
My three eldest half brothers all served our country
during the war - two becoming prisoner-of-war for a time
My sister has been running her thoroughbred
horse business for years
getting up early to exercise and feed them!
Both of my brothers have been successful
business partners for years.
And who do we have to blame for
the terrible way we turned out?
You're right - our mean parents.
Look at all the things we missed.
We never got to wave banners in a protest march,
take part in a riot, or spit at the police,
or any usual things
a normal youngster's are expected to do.

They actually forced me to grow into a God-fearing,
educated, honest adult.
Now I am trying to raise my two children the same way.
I'm proud to be a mean mother too.
Because you see, I thank God for giving
me the meanest parents in the world.

Amanda Martin-Shaver
14 April 2001

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Amanda Martin-Shaver