How a spoilt child made my heart go out to Kim Kardashian

When Kim Kardashian flew her son by private jet to an Arsenal match, he declared it the ‘worst day ever’. For once, every mother will know exactly how she felt, writes Charlotte Cripps

Thursday 19 October 2023 16:56 BST
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Kim Kardashian hires a manny for her kids, but she's scared to tell Kanye West.

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

When billionaire supermum Kim Kardashian attempted to give her seven-year-old son Saint a special treat – flying him on a private jet to London to watch an Arsenal match with his mates – every mother who’s ever tried too hard to please will know instinctively what happened next.

As he’s escorted to the best seats in the Emirates Stadium, the Kardashians’ camera crew inevitably in tow, the seven-year-old declares, in a super-whingy voice: “This is the worst day of my life…”

Should you wish to experience the full ungrateful awfulness for yourself, it’s a highlight of the “London, Here We Come” episode of the latest series of The Kardashians.

And the child’s unthinking dismissal of his mother’s efforts will no doubt outrage many parents who’ve ever had to arrange a playdate. They will claim he’s a spoilt brat, that it’s all the fault of his rich parents, Kim and Kanye – but not me. I know exactly how Kim feels when your child utters the phrase “worst day ever”.

It’s a dagger through the collective heart of motherhood. Yes, Kim’s “treat” is on an unimaginable scale – not all of us are billionaires. But if you live to please your kids, when they don’t appreciate big gestures – or seriously epic ones, in the case of Kim – it’s a real kick in the chops.

I recently took my two children, Lola, seven, and Liberty, five, to a five-star hotel in Cornwall, overlooking the rugged cliffs with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. The kids had bunk beds in our expensive family room. Even packing their bags before the trip was, for me, a highlight.

Like Kim, I’d briefed my kids about all the perks that were in store for them: I’d booked pony riding rather than a meet-and-greet with Arsenal’s top players. And, just as Kim had stated about her trip, it was going to be a “an amazing bonding experience”. Sometimes, it’s not about how much things cost.

But as soon as we got there – or was it during the five-hour drive that somehow took seven? – all they wanted to do was go home. It was raining, and somewhere in west London there was a friend’s trampoline party they were missing. They scowled at dinner and mumbled about the “worst day ever”, three little words that are usually reserved for washing their hair, or having to get up for school.

It gives you that same feeling of despair as when they open a Christmas present that you’ve spent ages choosing – in my case, a Baby Annabel cot – and they burst into tears, saying “it’s the wrong one” because “it doesn’t rock and play music”. Or you buy them a jumper and they chuck it on the floor, saying: “It’s itchy.”

My initial response is always anger – quite frankly, why do I bother? – followed by a desperate pang of mum-guilt for not getting it right.

One birthday, I remember ordering a fabulous Peppa Pig chocolate sponge cake. But my daughter hysterically sobbed, saying: “Mummy, why did you get the wrong one? I hate it! I don’t like vanilla icing. I wanted chocolate. All I wanted was chocolate birthday cake…” She was only two years old. I let the dog lurch at it, taking out a good chunk.

In my experience, it’s not often that the surprise is an entire dud – it’s just that, in the mind of the child, the smallest thing has interrupted the perfectness, and they struggle to get past that. In Saint’s case, his playdate in London was “ruined” by a packing mishap. (“I forgot to bring Saint’s red Arsenal jersey that we specifically got for this trip, that of course, I left at home,” Kim says, beating herself up like I do. “I’m the worst.”)

As Saint cries into his hands, Kim tries to placate him like only a mother disappointed at herself can: “Oh, buddy, life is so tough…” she says.

I get it. It’s no different to leaving your child’s favourite teddy behind. It’s a nightmare. What mum hasn’t been there? We might not have Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah on hand to sort it all out by giving everyone red Arsenal jerseys – but, just like Kim, all any mum wants is happy kids.

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