BEFORE kids, I was vaguely aware of the well-trodden phrase of mothers that looking after the kids was harder than a day at ‘work’. I didn’t believe it for a minute.
Turns out they weren’t lying. I should point out I love my children (so much I’m having a third to bring the tally to three under three and a half) and I’m not complaining – but since having them, I’ve never enjoyed work more.
An hour in the car to Glasgow or Edinburgh flicking through radio stations, or a child-free flight to London is relaxing; chatting to adults easy.
Somewhere between 4.30pm and 4.37pm on Saturday afternoon, this conversation happened:
Monty (recently turned three)
Chester (21 months)
Me: I know you’re hungry but you’re allowed one Horrid Henry and then supper will be ready.
Monty: I want supper.
Me: I want a holiday in Barbados and a lie-in.
Monty: Roaaar. Lie-in.
Me: Chester, out the bin. Come on darling. That’s dirty. No, don’t eat it. Sit beside Monty
Me: That’s right, choo-choo. (Sings the theme tune) Thomas Number One. Good boys. Mummy go make supper.
Twenty seconds later, wailing can be heard.
Me: Chester what’s wrong? Nooo. Monty stop it.
Monty: Chester’s a bouncy castle.
Me: Chester is not a bouncy castle. Come on. There’s a pillow. Be good boys for two ticks.
Me: Because it’s cool. You’re cool if you wait two ticks for supper.
Mum frantically spills pasta, boils pasta and makes a cheese sauce.
Me: Yes darling?
Monty: I’ve done a poo.
Me: GOOD BOY. In the potty?
Mum manically looks in potty, around potty, around play room.
Me: Oh God, where?
Chester: Oh noooo. Poo.
Me: Upstairs? Where? When?
Monty: Big poo in my bedroom.
Me: On the cream carpet?
Chester: Mulch (Baby Scottish for milk) mulch, MULCH, MULCH.
I rarely remember conversations but I happened to look at the clock and realised we’d packed a lot in. A day with kids is like that, on repeat just with different words all day. Our seven minutes of mayhem might strike a chord, make you smile or even make you feel better. Now, when’s my next work date?