It's a belief that the Italians love children. I have always thought that, written the fact, and witnessed many examples of how the Italians love children in restaurants and thus the children behave better than they would, say in a British restaurant where we are still arguably uptight about kids despite all the mummy blogs, books, experts saying the contrary. It's become a science for goodness sake. How cold is that?
But this week I heard the Italians don't like children. I heard it from a very informed Italian. In fact they are up there with the Japanese on only wanting one child per family, and take their friend to the playground so they can have someone to chat to because they find talking to their own child, dull. So you'll have six women and three children, as each woman will have a friend. This of course could all be an urban myth but it got me thinking how perhaps it's the relaxed way of life in Italy, the warmth of the climate, the relaxed nature of the culture, food focused, sensuality focused that fits in very well with the psyche of parenting - not because they are forced on being good parents, or indeed even liking children, but because it's innate to their way of life. To my knowledge I don't know of any mummy blog equivalent in Italy and when PLAYGROUND MAFIA came out in 2006, the Italian publishers loved the idea but said the name had to be changed. "It means something completely different in this country Sarah."
So perhaps the idea of the Italian mama doesn't exist after all. She just likes her food and catering for everyone, no matter what their age, but it seems the older the better. Perhaps that's why they look after their elderly so well.