arthur, cbbc, grandma thora, dw, grandma, children, old parents, midult parents

Raised by Midults

What do you get when you mix two Midults? This was obviously the sort of biological algebra my parents were trying to solve when they had me, both aged 40.

When you grow up as an only child in a house full of Midults you inherit many things – sass, sarcasm, a slightly deranged sense of panic and jadedness. Aged four I once fell asleep face first in a plate of rice at a family dinner after loudly declaring, with an audible sigh, that I was “terribly soporific”.

Midult + Midult = Little Adult.

Aged nine, a taxi driver once told me I sounded like Jilly Cooper. Aged eleven, I once wagged a finger at an irate parent by the school gates who was shouting at my friend’s mother. I told her she was being unfair and she told me not to speak to her. Thus the finger wagging. I had no concept that a forty-something parent would not want to take advice from an eleven-year-old. I was age-blind. My Midult parents treated me like an adult, why shouldn’t she?

There are definite plus points to not having a kid when you are a kid. You generally have your shit together, or have become adept at convincing the world, and your sprog, that you do. By virtue of my parents’ age they were not reactionary; more modern, more maverick, more nonplussed. They didn’t engage in fads or competitive parenting. They just let me live with them and attempted to make me smart by osmosis.

It meant a bit of cross-generational cultural pollination (gosh that sounds fancy dunnit?). I was the only kid in my class who knew who The Beatles were, who could sing Dylan and The Stones. I knew about ‘Allo ‘Allo and Are You Being Served and I clung to Star Wars and MGM musicals.

I was more third housemate than child. Because that’s the greatest thing about Midult co-habitation: they take you along for the ride.

By Marie-Claire Chappet, @mcchappet

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email