Mum’s love

Written by Amanda Coop

“Mum?” came the tentative yet hopeful voice beside me.

I opened my eyes and turned to see Miss 9 standing by, doll in hand.

“Since you’re not doing anything, could you play with me?” Hmm, tactful.

“I am doing something,” I told her, despite the clear and obvious fact I was lying on the couch and had had my eyes closed just a moment before.

“I’m cooling down for a minute while I let the bathroom cleaner sit.”

It was one of those days where just the effort of raising my eyelids was enough to break a sweat and I was, indeed, taking a breather under the fan between scrubs.

It wasn’t long before Mr 5 wandered over to harass me, err, I mean, ask if I could play with him.

“(Miss 9) just asked if I’d play with her,” I told him. “Can’t you just play together?”

That is, after all, the point of siblings, isn’t it? Well, one of the points, anyway.

“I’m a 40-year-old woman,” I told them. “My playing days are over.”

Now, this is not actually true. I play with the kids often, admittedly under duress at times, especially when it comes to Mr 5 because if I don’t, he simply follows me around whining until I give in and do it.

I offer to let him share in the joys of adulthood and help me do chores. He does enjoy a spot of vacuuming and likes to help cook dinner. But it’s quite clear he’d rather be stabbing fake villains with his toy Minecraft sword.

I try to indulge the kids by playing with them, even when the house looks like a bomb has gone off in it (so that’s most of the time).

Every time I look at them, they are more grown up. As I write this Mr 5 is about to start school, and everyone who sees them is commenting how tall they’ve got since last time.

“Adulthood must be SO boring,” Miss 9 says with a sigh as she and her brother decide to do something together.

Not five minutes later, I’m back at the cleaning, and I hear them arguing.

That’s the other point of siblings, isn’t it? Honing your negotiation skills.

My kids have been doing a lot of “negotiating” lately.