Written by Amanda Coop
Once upon a time, there were two perfectly sane, normal human beings. Their house was tidy, life was uneventful but civilised.
And then they had a baby, and nothing was ever the same again. They were always tired, life was chaotic, and the mess was out of control. So, what did they do? Why, they had another one, of course.
It is a true story for so many of us. How is it we can be so tired and totally over it, while simultaneously gushing about how our kids are the greatest thing ever?
I guess the survival of the human race is dependent on us thinking our kids are pretty spesh, even when they’re acting like Gremlins who’ve been fed after midnight.
It’s funny how all the Gremlinesque moments can be simply erased by a kiss, cuddle, kind act or funny moment.
As we reach the end of a three-week school holiday break, I look around the diabolical state of our house and remind myself that I am lucky. Lucky to have a house, for one thing. And the belongings that are strewn from one end to the other may be irritating, but they are evidence that we have all our needs and many of our wants met.
There is a tent in our living room, which the kids had fun not sleeping in the other night, invading the parental bed in the early hours of the morning while apparently forgetting their own beds still existed.
The remnants of my son’s “office” have taken over the coffee table, after he and his big sister played a game pretending to be jail wardens (and might I say, pity help us all if they ever enter law enforcement for real, though it was hilarious to watch).
Have I made the kids clean up? Yes.
Have I cleaned up (multiple times)? Yes.
Does it all just come back the next day? Also, yes.
I have now given up in the knowledge that their return to school is imminent and I may be able to sit on the couch without having a Minecraft sword light up under my butt.
I’m biding my time until I can chuck out the latex glove that has been filled with water, tied off and decorated with Sharpie into a … something. Jellyfish, maybe? I’m quite surprised it hasn’t sprung a leak already, but it’s an almost certainty that something tragic will befall the jellyfish while its owner is at school next week.
In the scheme of things, I realise these are petty complaints. My biggest stroke of luck is just having these lovely kids. I imagine anyone struggling with fertility would gladly swap my woes for theirs, and parents of sick kids would be only too thrilled if their children gained the strength and vitality to make a big, glorious mess.
And funnily enough, when Monday rolls around and I get some peace and quiet, I’ll be missing them (but probably not the jellyfish.)