LP dreams of a hands-free existence
I long for the day when I can just decide to go to bed and then simply nip up the stairs hands-free. Instead, I struggle up the staircase like a packhorse, laden down with a spilling-over Ikea bag* that is bursting at the seams with freshly washed clothes, single shoes, library books, baby monitors, toilet rolls and a mounting pile of randomness that finds its way downstairs despite belonging upstairs.
*No matter how many baskets and beautiful storage bags I purchase, it’s always the Ikea bag.
When did our household belongings turn into some ridiculous mass migration problem, where multiple items per day make their way from their rightful upstairs home to the apparent nirvana of downstairs? I regularly feel like I’m performing a version of domestic border control in my own home:
Ru’s left monkey slipper: Ru’s Left Monkey Slipper.
Me: Purpose of downstairs visit?
Slipper: Ru needed me on the table while he ate breakfast.
Me: Don’t you come as a pair? Where’s your other half?
Slipper: Upstairs in Ru’s bedroom. He only needed me this morning.
Me: He needed you? Just one slipper?
Slipper: I had to be there otherwise he couldn’t have eaten breakfast.
Me: Right. Will your other half be joining you on this visit?
Slipper: No. It’s currently housing a number of shiny marbles. And an empty snail shell.
10 pairs of freshly washed socks: Ten Pairs Of Freshly Washed Socks
Me: Purpose of upstairs visit?
Socks: To join the rest of our family in the sock drawer.
Me: Wait, didn’t I already wash you all and carry you upstairs, like, yesterday?
Socks: Yes. This is your Groundhog Day. You will never escape us. You will forever be washing, hanging, folding and putting away socks. Often the same ones over and over until your life becomes one big sock-wash de ja vu.
Me: Go away.
Seriously, if there ever comes a day when I get to head upstairs empty-handed, I may just cartwheel my way to the top.
As discussed in 10 Things Kids Love That Parents Hate Part 1, we do a lot of things to keep our offspring happy (and give us a precious half an hour to trawl Instagram, er, clean the house and get the dinner on). Keeping the young'uns amused and busy with any engrossing activity that tears them away from their best friend The iPad for a few moments makes us feel good about parenting. Plus look at that happy little face! So why wouldn't we want to provide them with things that make them smile? Because some of those things make life for us Hell On Earth. That's why...
Sadly, the things that bring our kids joy just... don't do it for us
My first child was a boy. At my 20-week scan with baby number two, we discovered we were having a girl, and after a couple of years of boy clothes and toys - despite having some seriously lovely clothes and toys for my son - the temptation to go out and buy something unashamedly girlie was intense. But once I'd got a few pink items out of my system, I was quite determined that she wasn't going to be a floaty pastel cliche of girldom. And whenever a family member would buy her a pink outfit or shoes, despite whether I liked it or not, I almost felt embarrassed putting her in it. It seemed so obvious and blatant and, well, standard
... from holidaying with the kids. As we've just returned from a nine-day break in the South of France with our two Small Ones, I thought I'd scare, er, share with you the valuable insights I've gleaned from our little jaunt. Sharing is caring, after all, and if it allows you to feel more prepared for your own holiday en famille - or at the very least provides you with the reassurance that it's Not Just You - then my work here is done.