Back before I had children I had the awful habit – one common to most (if not all) child-free people – of seeing parents deal with their children and thinking: How hard can it be? (And worse: “I would never let my child behave like that”; as if (a) it’s something parents choose, and (b) I’d have any control whatsoever over it anyway.)
Anyway, I thought I’d learnt my lesson the hard way, but no - the old habit of thinking that something I’ve never tried is easy lingers. I found self at the Hockney exhibition last week and it’s impressive and all the rest, but you know, with the right materials and space etc, I could probably do it just as well.
And so I decided to take a leaf from the blog-book of the ridiculously talented Antonia, who often graces her site with incredible illustrations; behold this week’s RL which is brought to you THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF ART.
Thankfully it is short. Nothing worth much comment happened this week.
First we had this:
(That, by the way, is Batboy, giving his feckless mother - who I concede looks more like an angel than possibly she deserves - a well-deserved talking to. What was she thinking going out on a Friday night?)
And then we had this:
(The Girl discovered that poo comes FROM HER BUM.... God knows what she's been thinking all this time, but it seemed to be something of a revelation to her. (She is not eating her hands. Nor did I start to draw an old-fashioned telephone. Sigh. I am so misunderstood.))
And then, the most noteworthy event of the week (at least for me, and almost for the kids):
What do you mean what is it? OBVIOUSLY it’s a middle-aged lady getting the mother of all electric shocks from the bedside lamp her toddler daughter broke. The facial expression, conveyed using only a few deft ink-strokes, is one of clear horror; see how cleverly I manage to convey: I think I’m about to die... (In fact I think I DID die for a split second – my brain and vital organs flickered, just like crap electric appliances do during a storm – and I regret to inform you all that there’s nothing out there; no bright light, no long tunnel, just a split-second of blissful nothingness). Step back and feel my loneliness, sense the absence of a husband buggered off for a few days, leaving me in charge of children and faulty bed-side lighting devices; gaze in pity at the bags under my eyes, and then, almost as an afterthought, see the clock on the Van Gogh-esque bedside table. It is 9pm. Realise with horror that I had sought to go bed EARLY so that when I was woken at 2am by a hacking coughing vomiting toddler there’d at least be some chance that I might be sweet and kind and responsive, instead of spitting and snarling and muttering ohforfuck’ssake under my breath (and I wonder where the Boy picks these things up).
Ok, you can take off your art appreciation caps now. Once it was clear that I wasn’t dead - if you can screech then you’re probably still alive – I was faced with a more immediate concern: making my way through the house down to the cellar IN THE PITCH DARK to reset the fuse box. Which is no mean feat when (a) you’re shaking like (gelatine-free) jelly and (b) you’re convinced that you’ve somehow turned into Electric Woman and are scared to touch anything which might re-spark you (door handles, steps, carpets, tiles, and-god-the-fear-of-touching-the-fuse-box.)
And so I eventually got into bed at about 11pm (having Googled: “electric shock after-effects” – bad BAD idea) and then lay there for several hours worrying about (a) residual heart failure and (b) seriously tho’, what would have happened if I had died? The kids would have had 36 hours alone in their respective cots before the Man got home, and frankly I wouldn’t rate their chances of survival, unable as they are to get through an hour without scavenging in my pockets / handbag for snacks. That’s assuming of course that the Boy didn’t fly out using his bat-wings and start to gnaw at his sister.
But – hurrah! - I DIDN’T die (or rather, die permanently), and I lived to tell the Boy the tale of the Naughty Bad Lamp That Tried To Kill Mummy. To which he replied as follows:
and promptly stuck his fingers in the lamp’s bulb fitting.