Do you ever get the feeling your children are conspiring against you? Like, for real? As in, they conduct late-night meetings in the older child’s bedroom to discuss their tactics for the coming week?
“Now Frankie, you’ve been waking mummy up at silly o’clock for the past two months. How about you hand over the reins to Alice, who’s been sleeping well past 7.30 since birth and is definitely due for some early morning Bananas in Pyjamas and swearing mamma action.”
“Ben, according to my notes, you’ve been a shithead for close to a year now. You must be exhausted. It’s definitely time for Frankie to step up and have a few public meltdowns over the colour of his ice cream.”
“And guys – guys! – no one’s shat their pants this season! Who’s up for it? All-in group challenge? Yeah!”
“Finally, comrades: I’ve noticed that the mother figure’s been looking pretty complacent over the last week or so. Relaxed even. We can’t have that. It’s time to bring out those long-forgotten quirks. Frankie, I want you to refuse to wear anything that’s not a matching set. Leave the house naked if you have to, but coordinate to the death. Ben, I want you to refuse to pick up your feet when you walk. Shuffle my good man. Shuffle. And Alice, dear Alice, I want you to say no – with a smile – to every request made of you. Got it gang? Yeah? Then let’s go fuck shit up.”
‘Cos I don’t know if it’s a full moon, or a rising tide, or simply the result of my children’s midnight AGM, but my lot have been weird this week. Weirder than normal. Out-of-character weird.
Frankie’s started sleeping past dawn! Yeah! Which means, of course, that Alice has turned the tables and done the opposite! Yeah! What’s WITH that? It’s like they’ve actually tag teamed – ‘you’re on the dawn shift, sucker!’ – and the chances of me ever, ever sleeping past daybreak are looking increasingly unlikely.
Speaking of broken sleep, someone – and my money’s on Frankie – has tinkered with the home phone so that it now chimes WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS at two-hourly intervals. I was unaware our phone had this functionality until 12/2/4am last night, at which point I ripped it out of the wall.
My kids are also taking it in turns to be sick. Alice last week, Frankie the week before, and this week the baton’s been passed to Ben, who then passed it back to Frankie, who kindly decided it was my turn, which means there are three very, very unwell Shearons under one roof. And one (who shall remain nameless, upon request) who keeps shitting himself (“I trumped! It had lumps!).
Which is not great timing, because we’re moving house on Thursday. I’m not sure if you’ve ever moved house with three children, but it’s hard bloody work. And I tell you, the house-moving process would be a whole lot easier if my mum didn’t keep packing all our shit. I mean sure, pack away the non-essential items, like the ironing board, for instance, and the iron (do we have an iron?). But clothes? And food? And spoons? Yeah, we kinda need them.
It was the final inspection on our house last night, at 6pm. Yep, smack bang in the middle of the witching hour. We had it all planned out. We’d eat early, bath them early, have them all ready for bed and watching a movie so we could casually and in a relaxed manner show the new owners of our house how the reticulation and hot water system works (the exciting stuff). Taking a wild guess, how do you think that went? Yep, exactly. We went outside to demonstrate the finer workings of the pool pump, and came back inside to find Alice and Frankie – naked as the day they were born – dancing on the kitchen table with banana willies. Yes my friends, banana willies. I’m going to leave you with that image, just as my children left the future occupants of our house with it. You are WELCOME.