This week has been long and slow and punctuated with squealing and more nappies that I can frankly be bothered dealing with. The fun:work ratio has been waaaay off kilter, and so I suggested to the children that they may wish to consider my resignation. I was thinking I could finish on a Friday, get some nice Romanian nanny in the weekend, and they could all get to know each other on Sunday. Then, on Monday, I would go to an internet cafe and job search for a few hours, maybe nestling a chai latte and a Grazia while I waited for the sites to load. I am flexible, and have been doing quite a bit of work for which I am overqualified, and so would be happy really to try anything. I understand the market is tough, but I am Not Fussy.
The children, however, were not that interested in discussing it. In fact, they barely looked up from watching the Tweenies while the baby was too intent on mainlining toothpaste from the tube. It would be incorrect to say I got any suggestion of agreement. So I have been thinking up some further supporting evidence to help them see the light, as it were.
1. I am not that interested in their dental hygiene. In fact, not just dental – I am not that good at keeping them clean and groomed and brushed and washed. Toothbrushes are rarely-sighted sneaky little things, which move from room to room and are often to be found covered in hair and shoved under the couch. They tend to be shared, as well. There is some sort of colour-coding system but I cannot always remember who gets red, who gets blue, and so on. So we are flexible. And inconsistent.
2. I am not very good at Keeping House. In between the Beautiful Brazilian’s visits (twice weekly these days) I do a bit of putting away, but it is always a bit half-hearted. The washing is done, to be fair, but I have never even turned on our vacuum cleaner. It is big and industrial and confusing and I think it is best to consider that it belongs to BB in an abdication-of-responsibility-kind of way. Sheets are changed fairly infrequently, and the festering pushchair is possibly giving them skin rashes. (Apparently, some people vacuum theirs. Oh, if only I knew how to work the beast. Must ask the BB).
3. I am not convinced that Barnaby needs to know his letters just yet, and so we skip all that. The nursery staff have asked me to try and do some with him, but he likes drawing treasure maps and dinosaurs, and I think that is much more fun. He is 4. Enough of the hothousing.
4. I do not keep much of a close eye on the kids in the park or the garden, and I am fine with Barnaby and Noah scooting off in front of me because they are not dumb and they stop at the kerb. We taught them that. But the Rest of the World are always FREAKING OUT.
5. Leftovers are repackaged and represented to the children as I am from the ‘don’t waste’ school of thought. So yesterday’s pasta and broccoli becomes tonight’s, erm, pasta and broccoli and chopped up bit of chicken from, ah, yesterday’s lunchtime. And I do not monitor what goes in. I figure they will eat what they need.
6. I can be a little inconsistent with discipline. One day I may tolerate the wrestling to the ground and poking with a stick, while another day it may get to me and there is the threat of the Bathroom (3 minutes in the hallway bathroom while child wales and shrieks in unholy manner) or toy confiscation. In public, however, I am oft to be found whispering in a menacing, quite unhinged and spitty way something about “If you do not stop giving the baby a chinese burn I will take you outside and make you sit there BY YOURSELF and who knows what might happen and then we are going to have to tell DADDY and there will be no more ice cream EVER in your WHOLE LIFE!” and I may finish off by surreptitiously squeezing his upper arm in a hurty way. Which is mean.
7. In the middle of labour with Noah, I started rabbiting on about a new lemon-coloured Anya Hindmarch wallet. It became my sole focus, and got me through to the transition stage. And when he was 6 days old, I used the money he got from some DK Publishing new-baby-modelling to buy it. What kind of mother does that? (It was lovely, though, and lemony and so useful for summer).
See? There are many reasons why a kind nanny may actually save my children from years of expensive therapy. I shall put it to them anyway. You never know.