I want my children back

Posted Wednesday 11th September 2013   By Ericka Waller

So, the children are back at school and pre-school. I’m writing this whilst munching on Marmite toast, which I shall wash down with a large pot of freshly brewed tea (milk in first, you know it makes sense).

This is the longest break I have had from my children in six and a half weeks.

Obviously I will spend it writing about them, making them a special ‘mummy-missed-you’ dinner and re-organising their playroom. Then I’ll probably leave early to collect them so I have time to buy some magazines with cheap toys on the front which break within seconds.

I know this because I’ve just done a 49 day stint with three children under six. I am an aficionado in toddlers and their paraphernalia.

I know, for example, that children can only sleep vertically when in their own bed, alone. When sleeping with me, they MUST sleep sideways with their feet in my ribs and steal all my quilt cover.

I know that when they are with other people they become alien-abducted versions of themselves. Strange, martian-like creatures who do as they are told and say please and thank you and wipe their own bottoms.

I know that it’s easier to just let them apply their own bloody sun cream

I’ve learned that they rarely want the snacks and drinks they constantly ask me to make. They just like to watch me making them.

I know the running order of Nick Jr from 6am – 6pm.

I know that no toy I could ever buy would bring as much joy as a (stolen from the bathroom) bottle of hand-soap and a bowl of water (stolen from the dog).

I know that if I look under their pillows I will find the toys they stole off one another, and some squirreled away gingerbread men

I know that when they are here at home with me I am hectic and sweaty and stroppy and stressed.

I’ve learned that I am entirely the wrong sort of person to own small children.

I crave order and Fabreeze scented, artfully arranged cushions. The quiet burble of BBC radio 6 Music. Houseplants and tall glass bottles in the bathroom. Candles and lie-ins and uncreased Sunday papers.

I have none of these things. I’ve tidied up sixteen billion times in the last 49 days. I’ve made 146 drinks which were not finished. I’ve read 33 stories which no one except the dog listened to. I’ve watched 14 hours of Peppa Pig.

All I wanted was these four hours.


Now all I want is my kids back.


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