‘No kids, stop with all the thanks! Really! It’s only a tidy airing cupboard! Yes it might have taken me nearly a day, caused nothing but pain, frustration and some pretty heavy-duty soul searching about the point of my existence… but please, give Daddy some credit. He has installed a whole playhouse-cum-alfresco- dining area, he’s the real hero this half term…’
Is what I have not had to say to my kids this week.
Because while the new airing cupboard will go on to revolutionise the laundry system of this family, it’s daddy with his jazzy make believe house who’s won the kids adoration. Blahblah blah female/male housework imbalance blah blah blah mummy never getting to be the hero blah blah blah.
(To be entirely honest, Andrew has done the whole playhouse thing at night, once the kids are in bed. He’s asked me several times to come out with him but I’ve refused. Mostly because it’s been half term and we’ve had all three kids at home ALL DAY. I know! Once they’ve gone to bed the only thing I’ve been capable of is lying on the couch, dribbling a bit, with whatever alcohol and old episodes of Poirot are closet to hand.)
So when Andrew suggested we camp in the garden with the kids last night it was clearly a chance for me to clamber up the barometer of cool.
Out comes my old Ministry of Sound tent for the boys, out comes an equally old mattress for Andrew and me. All is fine. Because even though it’s 11 pm and the boys are still running around like loons, look at the magical memories we’re creating! And look, even now I’m getting into bed and feeling something cold and wet, it’s fine, because it’s Raffy’s foot. Except it isn’t. The cold wet thing that has clambered into my bed, onto my nightie, is actually a slug.
But who cares, because look at us all, outside together…and oh look, there goes daddy, squealing manfully about yucky slugs.
So just me and the boys then.
Nope! Wrong again!
Because this is when some neighbours decide now would be a really good time to have a party. At half past fucking one, when Eileen in Come on Eileen had still failed to come, there we are, wide awake. So is Andrew, upstairs in our bedroom, with all the windows closed. So is the baby, also upstairs, with all the windows closed.
After Andrew asked the neighbours to turn the music off at 2am, I got to lie awake some more, although drifted off at about 3am. To be woken at 4am by one of the boys, who had wet themselves. Which is when we decided to go inside. Which was a whole two and a half hours before Edie woke up.
But hey, all totally worth it because would you look at this god damn airing cupboard. My kids might not appreciate it now, but one day, one day they will.