I have had so much going around my head recently especially the prospect of going back to work :-( Rather than look at the ceiling and try to organise how everything was going to work in 6 weeks time, I decided to watch something on BBC IPlayer and then write this blog.
I watched a programme that was on BBC2 called "Queen Victoria's Children - a domestic tyrant". Ok, I didn't get the warm, fuzzy feeling that I was looking for at midnight but I must admit I was a wee bit intrigued. What was an Alpha Mum like at the end of the nineteenth century?
One word - scary!!!!
By the end of the programme I think we could safely assume that the first British Monarch to celebrate her Silver Jubilee was not a Julie Andrew's figure; in fact, she was more like a queen "Vicky" Pollard.
Let's compare the parenting of the woman who ruled at the height of the Golden Age of the British Empire (Don't even get me started on Colonialism) with the dark and dismal image projected about parenting (also, a world with Peppa Pig and the Ninky Nonk) by the media at the beginning of 2013.
1. In the 21st century, most Nurseries have policies where you can't say the word 'naughty' to a child. In Queen Victoria's Nursery that was the least of the children's problems. God help little Leopold or Louise if they even looked the wrong way. A trip to the naughty step would have seemed like bliss.
2. Queen Victoria liked sex, not babies. She said that babies were 'Frog-like'. Hmmm, I wonder what the NCT mummies would think about that analogy?
3. She despised breast feeding, insisted on using wet nurses for all 9 of her children and commanded her oldest daughters not to breast feed when they had babies. When they disobeyed her she wrote, "It makes me feel sick to think that my two daughters are being used as cows". The Queen took revenge on her daughter Alice by naming a cow after her. Let's see. How would this stand against the NHS Breast is Best policy?
To be honest, if Queen Victoria was on The Jeremy Kyle Show he would have told Albert to "stick something on the end of it" and referred Queen Vicky to Grahame and the after-care team. I wonder what these modern 'Parenting Authors' who appear on Lorraine and This Morning would think of Queen Vicky? I can just imagine the dulcet disapproval twangs of Denise Robertson who often points her finger when she's not happy. You never know, they might need to re-name the pub in Eastenders to "The Domestic Tyrant". Well, at least Bianca, Peggy and Old Mo would fit right in
Dearie me - maybe I need to re-assess my position of being a Royalist (again! It was precarious to begin with). Damn that Jubilee Concert with Gary Barlow and that emotive choir; for the first time in years I felt patriotic.
There is a ray of light; Princess Alice - Victoria's estranged second eldest daughter. Alice - it must be the name ;-)xx Apparently "she found liberation in nursing and medicine". A fact which horrified her mother. I really can't see Disney Pixar making a film about Queen Victoria anytime soon
And on that bombshell, it was 01:53am. Not long till my babes get up. Suddenly, living in the 21st Century doesn't seem that arduous at all. Just imagine, if that was the treatment of kids at the highest levels of society, what type of 'Parenting' would the poor blighters at the bottom of the social hierarchy suffer? Suddenly, Gina Ford seems like the mother in The Brady Bunch.