Monday 18 August 2014

Mother of the year

Hermaphrodite Mum
Three kids and a single mum

My voice has gone hoarse. Too much shouting. It's week six and I have cracked. It's a shame cos I was doing so well. Only a few stern words and couple of sarcastic retorts in five weeks. I deserved 'Mother of the Year' and then I went and blew it in week six. Shouting. At the kids. It's official: the summer holidays have gone on too long.

Perhaps it's raining in Majorca?
We were in the supermarket. Middle Child wanted to buy a box of Mini Magnums. I said, no darling - remember we are trying to cut down on sugar, and he said, pleeeese, pretty pleeeese, and I said, HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TELL YOU, THE ANSWER IS NO!!! 

I think the guys stacking the trolleys in the car park heard me. It wasn't pretty. The old lady cruising down the frozen-foods aisle with a trolley full of prunes and Bran Flakes gave me a disapproving stare. I wanted to shout after her, "I've had them at home for six weeks for goodness sake! Give me a break! AND my ex-husband is in Majorca right now with his new girlfriend! She's probably rubbing suntan lotion into his back as I speak." But I didn't. I just put the Mini Magnums carefully into the trolley.

Back home, Quiet One wants to know if she can ask me a question without me losing my temper. I know what's coming next, for the umpteenth time: why is Dad on holiday with Samantha from his office? Yes, nice Samantha who used to come to our house for Sunday lunch and bring presents for the children. (Now I know why.)

What answer should I give? Because Daddy is making new friends? Because Daddy wants to do some work on holiday so he is taking his personal assistant with him? Or, cos Daddy is having a mid-life crisis and, rather than get a motorbike, he has decided to shag his secretary...

Quiet One looks at me with trepidation in her eyes. "Mummy, why are you always so grumpy these days?" These days! It has only been Monday and Tuesday. I look at her rather blankly. "I'm tired, sweetie. It's hard work looking after you lot day in and day out." I think wistfully about my new squeeze, Stay-at-Home Dad, who has been down in Cornwall for the most of the summer with his twin girls. "And I am missing my friends."

Now Quiet One looks at me with a baffled expression. "Oh! I thought it was because you were cross about Daddy and Samantha."

In two weeks' time, the older two will be back at school and Walking Toddler will be starting pre-school. Meanwhile, I will be in a gaggle of mums at the school gates lamenting how the holidays just flew by and how the house will feel so quiet without them. But until that sweet moment comes, Mother of the Year will be chomping her way through Mini Magnums and checking the Majorcan weather forecast on her iPhone. You never know, it might rain.

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