My body feels like one of those ropey old mobile phones whose functions have gone awry and whose worn-out battery needs frequent charging. My battery typically begins flashing dangerously low around late afternoon / early evening – round about the time that the kids need their dinner and baths etc – that time of day when all you really want to do is sit down with a glass or 2 of wine. As a consequence my husband and I have an unspoken agreement, whereby he does all the cooking, feeding, wet wiping, and bathing while I do all the sitting. Actually, that’s not technically true; I often use this time to entertain the kids with my awesome mummy-ness, the value of which should not be underestimated.
I’ve mentioned before that my husband is a teacher and as such he often finds himself working late for various parents evenings, open evenings, award evenings, ‘how to be a teacher’ evenings etc And whenever one of these evenings looms darkly on the horizon my heart sinks. At least 52% of my battery is needed to get 3 young children fed, bathed, dried, dressed, read to and settled, not to mention the mass of toys that will have inevitably built up around the house and which will need to be tidied away if I am to have any hope of finding a safe path across the bedroom floors to the beds!
We’ve just had one of these ‘evenings’. I’d already had a very full day with school / nursery runs, an appointment that left me drained beyond belief and the usual spot of housework. There was no way I had enough percentage left to stand and cook, so Drive-Thru it was – much to the delight of the 3 little sprogs! Turns out that a takeaway isn’t quite as low-energy as it sounds. There was spilt milkshake to mop up (multiple times), constant upset from sprog No.s 1 & 2 because sprog No. 3 kept grabbing their food, requests for spoons (?!), help with opening and assembling toys and a lot of cleaning up. Sprog No. 3 needed instant bathing; covered, as he was, in mucky fast food mush that had weaved itself into his beautiful blonde curls. Legs leaden with lead, I made it upstairs with a plan to run the water and plonk No. 3 in the tub. No. 3, however, had other ideas and he proceeded to run through the house naked and giggling delightedly – it would appear that he wanted to engage me in a game of chase that I had no chance of winning. Simultaneously, No.s 1 & 2 had been hatching a plan to turn the house upside down, inside out and back to front – a topsy turvy tornado of chaos ensued. There’re only so many times I can pick the same pieces of puzzle up off the floor and put the same cushions back on the sofa and the same DVDs back in their cases. There are seriously only so many times my legs can make it up and down stairs to retrieve fallen dinosaurs and bouncing balls and flying Lego bricks. I sat there, my legs bolted to the floor and I cried. I couldn’t do it. I simply couldn’t do it.
After several minutes I decided I needed to toughen up. I gave myself a pep talk – I could do this, come oooooonnnnn legs, we can do this. But just how far can 2% battery go? I was effectively legless, but not in a good way; and so, slithering across the floor like a slug I made it into the room that was currently being torn apart and calmly yelled at the kids to TIDY UP THE MESS AND GET IN THE BATH. Shocked into action, they actually did as they were told and I managed to get a good 10 minute sit down and recharge before Mission Bath, Book, Bed could finally be accomplished.
Whew! Bring on next week’s award evening…