- You’re watching a film, OK it’s Disney..but actually you’re involved in the story (sad but true)..at the crucial scene (long-lost Anastasia being re-introduced to her frail Grandmother..a real tear jerker. Promise)…there’s always a ‘Mum, mum, I need to tell you something RIGHT NOW.’ Without fail. Truth be told, happens in all programmes..sport – just as they come to the finishing line, the news..the weather! They announce the weather you’ve waited 30 minutes to hear so you can plan the next day – picnic? no picnic?….’Mum, MUM!…’
- This also relates to map-reading or any activity that requires your immediate attention…..major road junction and need to hear the sat nav? or need to talk to husband because not trusting the stat nav?… ‘Mum, MUM, MUUUUM!’…
- The phone..Mum talking on phone means I must talk to her extra loudly SO SHE CAN HEAR ME.
- ‘Please guys I need 30 minutes undisturbed’ equals at least six interruptions. Because each one was only a small one…because they didn’t want to interrupt you…
- The call of ‘Mum, MUM!’ from another floor followed by silence…that chick-like cry translates to ‘Drop-everything-you’re-doing-even-if-it’s-saving-the-world-because-I-need-you-to-do-something-really-insignificant-because-if-it-was-important-I- would-actually-bother-to-come-and-find-you’.
- The other much heard cry: ‘Mum-MUM-I-need-a-wee NOW!’…guaranteed on a motorway but the worst time so far…Eight hours into a drive on Greek roads at 37 degrees of heat, crawling along on single track, snaking, moutainous road with a stream of lorries which we’d slowly and painfully over-taken without being killed. We pulled over and had to watch as each and everyone passed us again..I cried. And Charlie was given an empty bottle for the rest of the journey..
- The ground-hog-day morning call of ‘Please can everyone have their shoes on and teeth brushed and everything ready so we can go as soon as I’ve finished this’. You finish tidying the house, sorting the washing, putting the washing machine on, cleaning the fridge (delete/add as appropriate)..and nothing’s happened. And now you’ll be late…
- You’re always late.
- The ground-hog-moment of reminding them to say please and thank you on loop throughout the day. Like hitting you’re head against a permanent wall. You can remember the date of your birthdays but this is too hard?? It’s the mum equivalent of chinese water torture. Results in No.15.
- I say ‘Please can you turn your ipod down’ and I get ‘Well that’s it..I’m just going to throw it in the bin and then you’ll be sorry’. Like doh? Results in no.15.
- The more bored they get, the less I want to do with them, the less they are capable of doing except whining at me for being bored…and then I spout all the cliches: ‘In my day…’
- Then you book them on a camp or tennis club..and it’s ‘We don’t want to go because we want to stay with you..’ Why???
- The longer you take to cook their breakfast/lunch/supper the less it will be appreciated. And cooking three meals a day stinks. Results in no.15…for me..
- So you have a picnic and where ever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’ll be handed all the rubbish as if you’re one giant dustbin. Even if you’re driving. Or getting ready to pilot a rocket to the moon..silently, the used lolly wrapper/empty drink carton, sandwich foil are passed over to you… Do I have ‘I am really a bin’ written in permanent ink on my forehead? Results in no.15..
- I tell them a certain behaviour will result in a consequence. They never believe I’ll carry it through. But I do every time..and they’re still shocked. Like??
- Because of no.15 the consequence usually means we don’t do something nice that gets us out of the house….which means no.11 kicks in…and I’m bored too.
- Asking something to be done requires the order in triplicate. And then no.15 kicks in, followed by no.16. And then no.18
- The longer the school holidays last, the more I find my brain shrinks (see no.1)
- And then they’ll disappear and play beautifully together..
- Except the more fun they have…. the greater the mess…
- Till it reaches a tipping point of hysterical proportions and you say ‘This will all end in tears’. And it does…
5 weeks down, three more to go….
Laters, Kate x
(Ear cuff by Ryan Storer, now sold out – Boo!)
Walked into the utility room this morning and found the sock box all over the floor. Again. How many times have I said to the kids if you go for a rummage – leave the room as you find it – if you disturb anything PUT IT BACK? I start moaning to the Husband who’s trying to get dressed. ‘It’s not a big thing, but it’s representative of a larger issue,’ I say. No response. I tell myself don’t linger on the negatives but everyone needs a rant at some point..in the evenings he gets to offload work on me so a voice says, why can’t I moan about my work? I’m the first to say mines not the job that brings in the money, but sometimes it’s the hidden work that holds a family together: It’s the monotonous, grunge, brain numbing stuff that’s like groundhog day every day except it largely remains invisible as if fairies have been at work. So I say, ‘it’s the invisible work I do that needs a bit of respect’. Still no response. I can feel the emotional plates shift like a red rag to a bull…’That’s just perfect, I’m so invisible (read taken for granted) no-one even hears me..I don’t want practical solutions, I don’t want a conference call or a European Summit but just an acknowledgement or a grunt will do’…nadah…I continue, climbing upon my very high horse..’I consider the work of a mother one of the most vital on the planet. It’s the foundations stone that builds future lives, holding them together, keeping them moving forward in a (generally) clean and (hopefully) happy manner..it’s seven days a week, 365 days a year and for all this I get..nothing..zip..zilch..I live off your income and get not one iota of recognition from the government, not a tax break, not nothing..and as for society…well if this is indicative of society’s attitude..'(voice rising in crescendo..)
He pulls out his headphones..’Did you say something, Darling’?
Men. I really just give up.
And from now on I’ll be charging the kids 10p off their pocket money every time they mess up my utility room. A girls gotta earn her money somehow….
Laters, Kate x