How to recover from a devastatingly accurate insult from a seven-year-old

CHILDREN say the cruelest, funniest things, directly to you in front of a roomful of people, like ‘Where’s your hair gone, uncle Simon?’ Here’s how to laugh it off: 

Try not to take it to heart

Hard as it is when a child has said ‘How are you sisters when she’s pretty and you’re not?’ remember children don’t have ulterior motives for humiliating you, unlike adults. They just tell the truth, which means that yes you have a big wonky nose and smell of tuna melt, but it’s wrong to suffer a mortal wound from someone who still sucks their thumb.

Shrug it off

In a group setting, the chance of a comment like ‘Are you drinking wee?’ or ‘Mummy says you drink like a fishy, can you show me?’ is dangerously high. Preparing a coolly-worded comeback to show how unbothered you are, like ‘Shouldn’t you be drawing a crap picture to stick on the fridge?’ reduces the risk of barking out ‘F**k off, you’re adopted.’

Blame the parents

Really, a child remarking ‘What happened to auntie Emma from Christmas, did she dump you?’ is the fault of their parents. Shoot them affronted looks and if they don’t work, call out ‘Can anyone put this little shit on an iPad, because I think that’s how she’s normally raised?’ Bear in mind nobody feels sorry for an affronted 33-year-old.

Get everyone pissed

Children in the 1970s didn’t give cheek, because adults were habitually drunk and not above a clip around the ear. Return to those dark days of unforgivable brutality by pouring liberal measures so the next time an adorable tot says ‘You’re all boring and you smell bad like eggs,’ someone’s intoxicated enough to tell them to bugger off.

Take revenge

Adorable moppet just called you fat? Wait until her parents are out of the room and hit back hard. Being short, having twat teeth or being a bedwetter are all solid lines of attack. Add ‘You’ll fail at school and have to work in a bin,’ to get them crying. You will be grassed up but your self-esteem will soar. They’re only fake crying anyway.

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Parents of aspirational son delighted to be yardstick he measures success against

AN upwardly-mobile man’s parents just love providing a contrast between his humble origins and what he has achieved in life. 

Having provided Tom Logan with a stable upbringing in an end-terrace house, Barbara and Nigel Logan are thrilled that he always wanted more than ‘a drab little town and drab little lives’.

Nigel said: “From when he was a boy, he always said he’d never work in a shirt factory like me and wouldnt be beaten down by our lack of expectations for him, which was lovely.

“His active, fizzing brain could never have tolerated that kind of mind-numbingly tedious work, he’d say while I paid him through university, shaming me for not knowing about Brecht and Dostoyevsky.

“And now he’s doing well, and never forgets to mention his ignorant provincial mum and dad who stifled his creativity by watching Millionare and eating chip barms. And how he tolerates us voting Tory because we don’t know any better.

“I suppose people love a rags-to-riches tale of a boy born into the extreme poverty of a three-bedroom house who goes on to become a social media manager in Penge.”

Barbara Logan said: “Though he never mentions that we’re swingers.”