LA life

When the 11-year-old my friend Hannah nannies for threw a tantrum, her daddy took Jack Nicholson to the baseball game instead.

The week before, they'd had a birthday party for their three-year-old. Not only did the Schwarzeneggers, the Beattys and the De Vitos come with their kids, so did $5,000 worth of catering, a circus-load of clowns, three magicians, a real-life "Woody" and a bumpy castle.

It's always fascinating to know how the other half live, and Hannah offers tremendous insight. Her boss is a big movie producer. You would probably know his name, so I dare not mention it for fear of getting Hannah the sack. Anyway, he's married to a blonde socialite who shops all day, and they have three children who they never see because it's easier to leave them to Hannah and their two secretaries, two maids and a housekeeper. They also find it easier to dose them with Ridolin, the tranquillising drug that's supposed to help attention deficit disorder.

With their two beach houses in Malibu and an eight-bedroom mansion in Brentwood, they're up there in the starriest stratosphere of LA society. The family leads a lifestyle that most of us thought existed only in the movies.

As one of those humbler few, it's easy to bitch about them, but the more I've heard about this family, the more I've come to pity them.

Every night their middle son asks for Hannah to kiss him goodnight, not his workaholic daddy, nor his fashionable mummy, whose idea of a treat is to drag him to the shops. Every week their daughter throws a tantrum in a desperate attempt to get some parental attention; every day the three- year-old launches himself through his mother's study door, to be immediately returned to Hannah's charge.

When Hannah tries to take them to the movies, there's nothing they haven't seen; when she takes them to the toyshop, there's nothing they don't already have. When she tells them they'll be flying off somewhere, they ask which jet they'll be going in. And when she takes them to the park, or spends time with them in the pool, their joy at having anyone take an interest in them is heartbreaking.

"All they want is some attention," I've heard Hannah say so often, I'm tempted to call them up myself. "If their mum took them to the zoo just once, she'd get to see so much more than tantrums."

They say that when the antics of Joan Crawford, Mommie Dearest herself, were made into a movie, the lot of Hollywood kids improved. I wonder whether the film deserves a re-release.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

    £30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

    Guru Careers: Account Executive

    £18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / Software Engineer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer i...

    Reach Volunteering: Volunteer Trustee with Healthcare expertise

    Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

    Day In a Page

    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
    Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

    They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

    A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
    David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

    Hanging with the Hoff

    Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
    Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

    Hipsters of Arabia

    Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
    The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

    The cult of Roger Federer

    What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
    Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

    Malaysian munchies

    With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
    10 best festival beauty

    Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

    Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

    A Different League

    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

    Steve Bunce on Boxing

    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf