Why, might you ask, is my smile so wide? Well, tomorrow the kids go back to school. What joy awaits me, and how my heart does sing. Turns out I’m much more a stickler for routine than than I thought, as week after week of unbridled levity has turned my children into something approaching feral.
Yes, children are precious, bleh bleh bleh, we know the drill. But feck me, they’re right melters too. Here’s a few tales of woe from the summer, not that you need any reminding how irritating youngsters can be.
We arrived home from Malaga late one Saturday night, and woke to a wet and chilly Sunday morning. Never do this. Never book a flight for a Saturday night and have a Sunday to fill when most of your buddies are still on their hols, because by God is it excruciating. We collected the cat from the cattery and snuggled under blankets on the sofa. This peaceful scene lasted about ten minutes. The cat legged it in a huff, peeved that we’d abandoned her for 10 days and also, according to her, manipulated the weather gods into making it piss down as well. The kids played with their toys and ransacked the joint and later we went to Forestside to shop. The sun steadfastly refused to appear.
‘I am SO bored’ said the older child. ‘Me too,’ agreed the smaller one, with gusto. ‘This is TERRIBLE’ went on the older one. ‘We have only done TWO things today and one was a SHOP and that doesn’t count.’ LSB took himself to the pub for the World Cup Final and proceeded to get rightly binned. Given that I’d cleared off on my own to Malaga to go around the shops and visit the Museo Carmen Thyssen I couldn’t really complain. Of course, I did, inevitably, but it was most unfair.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say, in a most circuitous manner, is that my progeny are spoilt rotten. It didn’t matter that they’d enjoyed numerous and costly trips to the fair in Fuengirola and hours of undiluted poolside fun at the hotel. The more we indulged them, the worse they behaved. And so it went for the remainder of the summer. I WANT! I NEED! GIVE ME IT NOW! It’s not the done thing nowadays to beat one’s children, so I settled for telling them in most uncertain terms where to go on some occasions. And do you know, I don’t believe it did them any harm.
Other annoyances this summer included:
Tantrums- Any normal cleaning rituals became anathema to them, such as having their hair washed or brushed, or being shown the shower. The rows, the screaming that ensued, and LSB taking the stairs 3 at a time to exclaim ‘WHAT’S HAPPENED?’ ME: ‘Just trying to wash the Small Child’s hair.’ LSB: ‘Ah. I see. Here I am, it’s a two-man job that.’
Then there was: THE LAUNDRY. Load upon load of washing. Much of this was because despite being ferried off to summer camps left right and centre my children took to playing ‘camping’. With much duplicity in action, they filled rucksacks with clean and sometimes IRONED garments, and relocated them outside, shoving them, unbeknownst to me, into a little sun tent. Several days later, LSB noticed this pile of sodden clothes and his face turned grey as he imagined my response. He wasn’t wrong.
My mood deteriorated further when, as a fun activity with a visiting friend, they dragged a mattress and all accompanying bed-linen from the spare room into the landing as a ‘boat’ and proceeded to ‘accidently’ tip water all over it. The bed remained thus demolished for at least a week, because of my weariness. The small child then had the audacity to choose that SAME week to resume her nocturnal forays into our room, leaving LSB to sleepwalk his way into the unmade-up bed. He let me down a bucketful by explaining his plight to fellow parkrunners one Saturday morning. ‘Seriously,’ said he, pointing at the bags under his eyes, ‘I’ve seen classier crack-dens than our spare room.’ ‘You change the f**king bed then,’ I hissed.
So, like most of the mums I’ve met this summer, I’ll say the obvious thing. I love my children, BUT, I may well shed tears of relief in the morning and perhaps give their teachers a box of biscuits because by f**k do they deserve them.