This is a plea.
A persuasive speech if you like.
Please don’t go.
I don’t think I can handle it if you leave. Not with the half-term holiday coming up. Please. For the sake of your family, don’t go.
I know I agreed over a year ago that you could go skiing with your school this year because I know how much you enjoyed it three years ago when you went when our little girl was one. But, it was easier then. We only had one child. A child who slept. A child who could not ascend and descend the stairs in twenty seconds flat. A child who would let me put her down so I could
shove discarded toys in the any old cupboard tidy up.
However, now darling we have two children – an intelligent and yet an incredibly strong willed little lady who can cry relentlessly for half an hour if she is denied a packet of salt and vinegar crisps and a one year old Dude who, if given the chance, would commando roll down the stairs and leap unaided from his high chair. Little did I know that when I happily said you could go skiing last year, that our beautiful boy would not have slept through the night yet. Little did I know that when he does sleep, it is just for two hours at a time. Little did I know that he would be able to climb the stairs faster than lightning and reverse crawl right under his sister’s bed so much so that we think we have lost him because he has disappeared completely from our sight.
Little did I know that he would be able to cock up his little leg and climb out of the bath, as well as destroy every toothbrush in the house by throwing them into toilets and baths that he has stood up and wee’d in. Little did I know that he would be able to manoeuvre himself around the back of the television and pull out all the wires.
In addition, since your last whizz down a snowy mountain, our amazingly talented and beautiful girl has changed from being angelic one year old, who didn’t really notice Daddy had gone skiing three years ago, to a four year old who feels that it is okay to just go up to the freezer and take out a Smarties icecream any time she so wishes. Who, when I told her no, looked squarely at me, sized me up and with her purple wellington boots she kicked me right on the shin. She forced my hand; she gave me no choice. I had to use my teacher voice on her. I made her cry. A lot. Please don’t go, because if you do I may have to use my teacher voice her again, which, despite it working an absolute treat, it made me feel incredibly guilty – especially when she attached herself to my leg (the one with a bruise forming on it) and cried. She didn’t get the Smarties ice-cream though.
You can’t go. I fear that our children, the ones I am so lucky to have, the ones who make me feel blessed every single waking day, will push me over the edge. I fear that when you return, you may find me wedged into a kitchen cupboard, surrounded by Weetabix and homemade Hipp Organic Jars shaking uncontrollably. I fear that our girl will have taken her Crayola Marker Maker and made 1000s of the bloody things and taken to drawing her name all over the wall. But, at least our girl is potty trained. What about the boy? I fear he will turn feral and crawl round nappiless and use soiled Huggies wipes as a lasso. Even worse – what if he becomes territorial and starts marking his territory by standing up and p*ssing all over the stairs? This may be the end of me. The end of us.
What if I break our family?
Last night, you had Parents’ Evening and you arrived home to find me laying on our bed with our children. One was in an iPad induced sleep while the other was wide awake. When you arrived, I had been singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ for at least twenty minutes and was slowly going mad. I was angry. Not at him and not at you. No, I was angry at myself for not choosing a song with more lyrics to it. I could have chosen a 14 minute Meatloaf ballad to sing to him or perhaps even ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ because at least it’s a song that can be made interesting, especially when Peppa, Batman, Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes (it was on TV during the last sing-a-long) have been known to ride on my bus in the past. But no, I chose to sing a short song about a star that I was continuously in wonder about. Just as I was using a simile (always teaching) to compare the star to a diamond, you entered the room and asked me how I was, how we were doing and if I needed anything. I quietly asked you to bring me a towel as I had been sitting in a little bit of milk sick for the best part of an hour. Lovingly, you passed it to me and then…headed downstairs to watch television.
A little while later, our Little Man fell asleep and as he was dozing off to the Land of Nod (where dreams only last two hours), he turned to me with closed eyes and let out a little wet fart.
‘It was just a trump’, I told myself. ‘It was just a trump.’
It wasn’t just a trump.
Texting you, my saviour you, you came to the bottom of the stairs…and together we made an executive decision to let the Dude sleep in it for a while. This sounds shocking, I know. But we discussed the fact that he would probably wake up in twenty minutes anyway and we would tackle the situation then, as a team.
So twenty minutes passed and I had managed to iron at least two t-shirts and a pair of jeans, when we heard the stirrings of the Little Man upstairs. You grabbed the nappy. I grabbed the bag and together our hands touched as we reached for the Huggies. We made it into the bedroom where we saw that our boy had just sat up.
“Grab a towel!” you cried. “We don’t want poo juice on the bed.”
I grabbed the towel and placed it under our boy.
“I’ll do the changing and you distract him,” you suggested.
My hero. I would not be getting my hands dirty for this change.
Everything was going so well. The bum was being wiped, I was keeping all hands out of the poo and I was even leaning down to give my boy a little kiss to calm him down. But then it struck. It struck me in the face. His little dinker had been let loose and he had managed to wee in my face. But you, my love, you didn’t panic. You swiftly passed me a wipe for my face and then wiped your only son’s cheeks and continued to kick ass out of the task at hand. It happened again! Another wee began to flow up and out and this time it missed me, but went all over the boy’s sleep suit and our bedding. Did you get angry? Did you swear? No, you gently picked up our boy, laid him on the carpet (as surely there was no more of the brown and yellow stuff left in there), put his nappy on, grabbed a new vest and sleep suit and dressed him.
Here comes the best bit. You didn’t hand me the baby and go downstairs. No, you handed me the baby and you stripped…
…the bed! You pulled clean bedding from the wardrobe and began to put it on the bed. While you were doing this, I was watching quietly, soothing our son back to sleep and secretly planning to hide your passport.
Our little family doesn’t function without you.
Can you even ski anyway?
This post, I am sure you are aware, has been written with my tongue firmly in my cheek and I can assure you that my children will be thoroughly loved and cared for throughout the half term holiday – just as they always are. I can also assure you that the Other Half going skiing during the holidays was a mutual decision and I would never stop him from doing anything he wants to do. Over the last few days, however, I have become acutely aware of the fact that I am going to be doing this parenting malarkey on my lonesome over the half term and I just wanted to pay tribute to all the partners out there who are keeping us mothers sane and take my hat off *bows and takes pretend hat off* to the parents who are tackling this parenting journey alone; you are doing an awesome job because caring for little ones is tough, challenging and so damn tiring. You are all a million times better at this than me.
In fact, what are your plans for the February half term?
Can I call you?