I have been following the recent series, 'The Family' on C4 wednesdays, although rather haphazardly and in the wrong order on the online C4 player.
It sparked my interest because I can recall the first series upon which this one is seemingly based. Way back in 1974 it introduced us to the Wilkins family and it was considered groundbreaking at the time. It was probably the first fly on the wall documentary as it was refered to then or now as a reality programme. I was also interested as the family in this series live in Canterbury, my old home town before we upped sticks and moved north in 1996.
Both are hardworking and families in the traditional sense, with a mix of teenage and young adult children.
What amazed me is that even though we have moved through nearly three and half decades, the behaviours,attitudes, arguments and family dynamics were so strikingly similar!
I was also amazed to find myself saying and admittedly so out loud, variations on the phrase,
'So we/they/he/she/us/I/ am/are normal then!?' emphasised with much relief.
Mum and Dad bickering over the kids - we are normal!
Mum muttering to herself that Dad was a soft touch with the kids and she was the 'bad guy' -so that's normal!
Mum sighing heavily A LOT! - So I'm normal then!
The kitchen a mess when Mum came home and she moaned on and on - That's normal then!
The dishwasher was always stacked badly/uneconomically/dirty washing on the floor etccccccc- that's normal then!
Dad slept on the couch a lot (during the day!)- He's normal then!
Dad?Mum complained he's tired/misundertood/hard done by, very often- He's normal then?
Daughters (16+) room looked like a landfill site - She's normal!
Son is 14 (same) lovable and unpredictably aloof- Its not me, he's normal!
Daughter and Mother clash in a range of hormonal rages- We are normal!
Mum shouted alot/ Kids mostly ignored her - Normal?
Parents chasing kids for evidence of homework - Way normal!
Son is mostly found in his darkened room hunched over homework/laptop/phone/Empire magazine & Mother concerned about future spinal/social problems- This is normal!?
Sometimes like this evening, I am in our bedroom on my laptop, husband is in living room working on his business laptop, son is in his room playing his guitar (attempting Tubular bells), daughter has been napping in bed (its 7pm) and is now doing her homework, we are all apart, but together. This is normal!