Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

July 10, 2009

If it wasn't for you pesky kids....

It’s Friday afternoon and at the end of another week on the domestic superhighway my nerves are in tatters, my stress levels are off the scale and I am wondering whether it is too early for a G&T.

So, I strike a deal with Number One that if he eats all his tea, he can watch the whole of his Toy Story DVD. A fairly good offer by anyone’s standards, especially a three and a half year old’s. The DVD will buy me around 90 minutes of ‘quiet time’ before PJs and bed (Number Two may not be quite so enthusiastic about Buzz Lightyear, but he’ll soon catch up).

Deal brokered, we play trains for another hour before 5pm, tea time, the witching hour.

“What is it for tea mum?”
“Shepherds pie and peas.”
“But I don’t like that.”
“Oh, you do, you love it, and remember, Toy Story if you eat it all up”, I say jovially, more keen for him to watch the sodding DVD than he will ever know.

Twenty minutes later, after much cajoling, he has refused to eat even one pea (yes, I resorted to desperate measures to get my quiet time), and we’re in tea time lockdown. Number Two, meanwhile has thrown most of his tea over the floor and is now insisting that I go somewhere urgently with him.

I resist the urge to up-end the kitchen table and everyone with it and begrudgingly resign myself to another 90 minutes of play time.

I look wistfully at the clock, the fridge (maybe a G&T would help see me through?) and back at the plate of uneaten tea.

“Just one pea?”, I offer for the last time.
“No mum, I don’t like peas. Come on, let’s play trains.”

Drat, and double drat.

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