First World Problems

First World Problems

Another appalling first world problem: the eggs should have been on the toast…

It can only be a matter of time. I’ll hear the sirens any minute. Social services must be on their way by now. Ben will be taken into care.

We’ll be filed under ‘failed parents.’ And quite right too.

What have we done? Two things. Sit down, because the scale of our neglect will horrify you.

Number one, the internet has been off for three days. Our early-Victorian router has been diagnosed as the problem. A new one is in the post. Until then we’re back in the Dark Ages (or, in my case, sneaking off to the office at six in the morning.)

That alone would be bad enough. The shame our son will have suffered at college…

But we’ve compounded the felony. We’ve run out of coffee pods.

Since Tom went to work in Brackley and left his Krups Nespresso XN2140 Essenza
behind, Ben’s become clinically addicted. He’s already worked his way from ‘medium roast’ (wimps’ strength 7) to ‘intense espresso’ (real man strength 11).

Goodness knows where it’ll end, but he can’t face 9am History without at least two shots inside him. At 25p a pod it would be cheaper to install a Costa machine in Jessica’s bedroom.

Regrettably, I haven’t been treating this latest hardship with the gravity it clearly warrants.

“Dad we’ve run out of coffee pods.”

“Well why don’t you have instant?”

“Because I like a pod in the morning. Two pods actually.”

“Yes, you’re right. I expect it’s just the same in Aleppo. Barrel bombs falling out of the sky, Russian troops ringing your front door bell. But by God, Ben, at least they haven’t run out of coffee pods.”

My son looks at me bleakly. “Don’t try and be sarcastic, Dad. It doesn’t suit old people.”

As I say, the coffee pods are the latest privation. And over the years we’ve visited any number of First World Problems on our children. It’s a miracle they’ve survived so long without counselling.

It started with toothpaste. We’d bought the wrong flavour. “It’s too minty, Daddy.” That was the first time I realised my children might not have a very firm grip on life’s realities. But there was far worse to come…

“What’s for dinner?”

“I’ve bought you a treat. Your favourite. Mussels in garlic sauce.”

“Where from?”


“What? I only like M&S mussels.”

At which I waste five minutes of my life explaining that when I was his age mussels were hideous rubbery things pickled in grit and salt water and sold from Curly Fletcher’s stall on Scarborough sea front. It’s a mildly therapeutic and pleasantly nostalgic rant but it cuts no ice with my son.

Neither does Caramel Chew Chew. It might well be on special offer but it’s not Phish Food and it’s not good enough.

What other sins have we committed? Maybe social services will go easy on me if I make a full and frank disclosure.

  • Egg next to the gammon instead of on top of it
  • Toast too brown – or not brown enough
  • Had the audacity to serve sparkling water when my child (nameless on this occasion, I think) had told me “three times” that the bubbles got up his/her nose
  • And – I hope you’re still sitting down – I’ve had the brass neck to buy Tropicana with bits in it. Oh how Jessica railed against that injustice…

Look, if you’re going to have a teenager in the near future why don’t you print this list and pin it on your fridge door? After all, we don’t want to overload the CPS.

And cut out the sarcasm as well. How many times do you need telling? Only teenagers are allowed to be sarcastic…

This post was inspired by ‘Water is Life’ and their hugely moving video on Youtube. 

I’m delighted to say that with a designer friend of mine I now have an app on the iPhone App Store. Children fighting, cat puking and your OH prostrate with man flu? Yep, the Stressed Out Mums Sticker Pack is now available for 79p. Need chocolate? Need cake? Ready for wine o’clock? Every sticker you’ll ever need is right there…




  1. Oh dear! Mine are young, young. I have so much to look forward to!

    • Yes you do – make sure you don’t miss a minute of it. Only about three weeks and you’ll be dropping Fidget off at university… But in the meantime start stockpiling breakfast cereal: you have no idea how much a teenage boy can eat. Buy Cheerios while they’re half price and hoard them – you’ll save a fortune…

  2. Yep! I know this well. “Where did you by that cheese?” “If it isn’t organic, creamy, made from goats that breed on Swiss-air AND lactose-free, I’m not eating it.” “And I wouldn’t be seen dead drinking that type of juice. That’s yours!”

    • Victoria – wait until he’s drinking your wine on a regular basis. “Is this the best we’ve got? And shouldn’t we be having some dessert wine?” I hide the good stuff before they come home at Christmas…

      • I can see that coming already. He’s just 14 and whenever we go to a fancy restaurant (which is quite a bit being in Berlin and all that…), his first question is “Right! What’s the budget?” My husband and I can only gulp, and leave the really expensive places for when he’s away camping….!

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