Yesterday I told MiniLew that I was getting a new set of kids to replace him and his brother as they hadn’t lived up to expectations and they were an experiment gone bad and that I am going to try to do better with the next batch

We were walking to the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve in Forest Hill from Nunhead and I thought he’d see the humor in that and it would stop him from being so moany about having to walk. He was being very stroppy. I now know that 11-year-olds don’t find that kind of talk funny.

Kids are moany because they can’t punish an adult by stopping buying us candy, can’t stop our pocket money – UK for allowance – and definitely can’t hit us. Not many options left, then.

[Excuse this post: No one is interested in hearing about my kids – 11-years-old – and WildOne – 9-years-old – except The Mother and me, and it’s taken a long time for me to admit that The Mother cares. Okay, and maybe other parents who want to hear that my children are more annoying than their children or that I am a worse parent than they are. They are not any more annoying and I am not worse than them.]

MiniLew asked where I was going to get another wife as I did so badly with the first one and I don’t have a car because I have no money because I don’t work. He then shrugged that he didn’t care if I left because I loved WildOne more than him.

“Ask The Mother to give me money to get a car.” I pleaded. “She gives me no money to support her family, none whatsoever.” He didn’t see the humor in that, either.

Earlier, WildOne woke me 9 AM to take him to watch Athenlay FC play near Peckham Rye. I am a good father for getting up, as 9 AM for me is like 4 AM for normal people. We got to the pitch to find the team was playing an away game – so MiniLew became my favorite.

Most of the way to the Nature Reserve in Forest Hills MiniLew is bitching – it is a 20 minute walk and the day was sunny and warm – 15c. The WildOne loves to do outdoor stuff. I hate being outdoors but I don’t have a car so I have to pretend to like it. WildOne is my favorite.

At the nature reserve 25 volunteers were building a hardwood building with only mortise and tenon joints – you know, a bit that fits into another bit. I was amazed to see local people working together for the common good – like barn raising in America. It made me proud to be English.

WildOne – the 9-year-old – runs off into the woods. I get afraid when he does that – afraid for trees and wild animals. MiniLew stays with me and wants to help the men build. He drills and screws the only bits that need drills and screws – the floors. Very manly, just like his father. He then offers to show me around the nature reserve. What a lovely lad. My favorite!

On way out of the woods I see WildOne catching catching newts in the pond with his bare hands – a mean feat – then gently putting them back into the water – which, I was told, was okay by everyone there. He falls into the water, completely regaining favorite status.

A wet WildOne stops being so wild and starts crying for The Mother and her car. It is still a sunny day and even though he one side of him is soaked we’re walking home. He needs to learn there are repercussions for being wild.

On the way to Nunhead through Brenchley Gardens the two start telling me what a bad dad I am for making them walk home – and detailing other crimes against them and The Mother. They are shouting that they hate me and that they love The Mother and not me, and they start punching and kicking me, with MiniLew instructing WildOne to go for the knee which had the surgery.

They turned into a team – like the scene in The Dirty Dozen where the twelve turn on Lee Marvin. It was beautiful.  I have it all on video if it goes to Family Court.

By the time I dropped them at The Mother neither was my favorite. I blew them kisses, told them I loved them and ran fast around the corner to the safety and quiet of my flat and remembering why I can’t even think about having another set of kids.


Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission. Reserve at

One thought on “I have a favorite child and I will tell you why

Leave a Reply