Right now, at 6 o’clock in the morning, my house resembles a scene from Lord of the Flies, complete with bloodlust, primal chaos and a pig’s head. Well okay, a slice of ham, but you get the porky reference. Seriously gang, the school holidays have taken their toll, and I’ve given up trying to be the peacekeeper and conch holder (conch, heh heh) and instead I’m hiding in the toilet, with the door locked. Those bitches can bang all they want, but I’m not coming out until the wood splinters.
Please tell me your house is like this. Please tell me your days aren’t filled with pipe-cleaner craft activities and merriment. ‘Cos I don’t think I could take it, not right now, not while one kid is trying to impale another kid on a Strawberry Shortcake doll. I actually just stood in the middle of the living room and implored them to LOVE ONE ANOTHER, PLEASE, but that was a waste of fucking time – they just threw Mr Potato Head ears at me and continued smearing themselves in Sudocrem.
As you probably know, we spent the first two weeks of the school holidays in England, which was brilliant, because I had back-up in the form of my excellent husband, who has no authority whatsoever, but knows where the booze is stashed.
Now that we’re home, however, and Paul’s back at work, I’m left alone with these hoof-wankers, and I’m seriously outnumbered. Ten-year-old Ben’s been sick too – properly sick, with a week’s worth of high temperatures, sweating and so much snot that he actually puked. That was nice. And while I am sympathetic, yes, I’m also seriously lacking in bedside charm. The snot noises turned my stomach, and I couldn’t get too close, ‘cos he smelled weird. And – as I’ve discussed before – Ben’s got a tissue-phobia, and will only blow his nose on handkerchiefs and – when they run out, ‘cos I’m not touching/washing a fucking HANDKERCHIEF – underpants. And then socks. And then small children. It really is the icing on the puke cake.
There was a plus side to Ben being sick: he wasn’t such a dick. Now that he’s better, he’s back to winding up Frankie and Alice to the point that one leaves teeth marks in his arse and the other pulls out so much hair that he squeals loud enough to drown out the music from the ice-cream van (silver lining, etc). Their fights revolve mainly around the sofa, and each other’s refusal to get off it. (It’s a BIG sofa, but each person wants to lie COMPLETELY horizontal, without touching another human.) And also Disney Jr versus Cartoon Network versus CBeebies, and the subsequent volume of the aforementioned channels. It shits me. Go the fuck outside.
Some might say, then, that perhaps now – in the midst of school holiday chaos – wasn’t the best time to start toilet training Alice. Yeah, you could definitely say that. But when is the right time to toilet train? When is it ever a good time to hear your daughter shouting – in the park – “poo coming!” and have to pick her up and run, run like the wind, to the café toilets, shouting “HOLD THE POO IN” while holiday-makers tuck into their tortillas. Also: Alice wees like a boy, with her pants around her ankles and her hands around a wishful willy. This attracts much amusement in sand dunes and parks. Yesterday a crowd of small boys formed around her as she pissed in a bush, to to the point that I said: “Haven’t you ever seen a girl wee like a bloke before? Eh?” And they shook their heads, no.
So yeah, the kids are feral, and I’m outnumbered. I’ve got nothing. I tell them I’m going to COUNT TO THREE, but get to two-and-three-quarters and realise – as they’re still smacking each other in the face with TV remote controls and colanders (basically, whatever they can get their filthy hands on) – that I’ve still got nothing, apart from getting “REALLY, REALLY ANGRY AND CALLING THE POLICE”. And that’s why I hide in the toilet, and why the kids have taken over, and why I’m counting the days until school goes back (17).