There comes a time when you just need a little space.
I reached that moment some months ago – about 21 months, really. For the last few weeks I have not been on my own save for a half hour drive to a friend’s house and home again, at night, in the very dark.
I have been watched, talked to (incessantly), had LEGO, Trash Pack and various other toys shoved in my face, I have heard the word “Mum” so many times that I developed a twitch-and-shudder combination and have found myself yelling “WHAT?!” when I hear it.
This, in my circumstances, is doubled with the innate drive to do some writing, as well as meet some very respectable and sensible deadlines for others. I am not so deluded that I pretended I could get a lot of work done, and planned meticulously so I could do some of that which I LOVE and which keeps me sane whilst also being responsible for children.
I’m not a complete idiot. Or maybe I am?
In the interest of self-preservation, and that of my offspring, I determined it was probably a good idea that we all get out of the house for a few hours.
Partially because “I’m bored” is high up there on the list of things I have heard incessantly; along with “Guess What” and “I’m hungry”.
I googled a few options, none of which were satisfactory to the children, determined “too boring” or a simple “I don’t want to do that” with no logical explanation or something I can work with.
“Fine. We’ll go to Scienceworks then,” I decide. Because someone has to decide something and that was a suggestion put forth by one of the kids, so it was reasonable.
After breathing deeply for what seemed like days, waiting for Chippie to get dressed, and remaining as calm as possible, I finally alerted him to the fact that I was getting seriously pissed off about his lack of getting dressed.
I did my best.
After the 9 millionth excuse, this one being “I’m tired”, I very calmly got down to his level, held his shoulders and looked him in the eye. I, again, calmly, explained to him that I, too, was tired and that we needed to go out for a bit before someone died a horrible and painful death.
He hissed at me, as he is wont to do when his is pissed off.
I elaborated for him, my temper slowly wafting away on the winds of my middlest child’s toxic farts and the unrelenting “Mum” of my eldest.
“I’m tired. I’m bored. I’m pissed off that I can’t take a piss in peace. I’m sick of hearing “mum”. I’m tired of hearing how fucking bored you are all the time with NO attempt to try to rectify your boredom. You are children – you are supposed to have imaginations. Use them! I’m sick of obstructions at every point with NO attempts at all to add something constructive to the conversations,” I started.
“Also,” by this stage I’m near on yelling. “I just want five fucking minutes to myself. I have to think of every little fucking thing with no help and I have stuff I LOVE sitting there, that I WANT to do and no one fucking lets me do it!”
I stop for a breath.
“I don’t even like Officeworks!” I finally yell.
Then realise that my addled brain had confused everything because I really do like Officeworks quite a lot. It’s Scienceworks I’m not so much a fan of, because I get bored. Well, really, I quite like it initially, but after the 487th time, it is a little boring, and I don’t like that I can’t go see the stuff I really like, but have to watch my kids do boring stuff.
I contemplated dropping them at Scienceworks whilst I went to Officeworks. That would be good for everyone.
We go to Scienceworks. They are suitably subdued and we have mostly good time, until Chippie does get legitimately tired and does his thing where he pretends to hit me (he’s angry) and actually connects with me. Not intentional, but a good excuse for us to leave. Besides, I rang Grumpy and found he had finished work an hour earlier and had been relishing the solitude at home. We can’t have that.
Arrive home and am inundated with the overuse of “mum”, “bored”, “hungry” and the likes. Monkey Boy commenced tormenting his brothers and my twitch-and-shudder had risen several notches. I couldn’t even allow anyone in to the kitchen whilst I was preparing dinner. Things were deteriorating.
“Outside!” I say.
Which they did, but kept coming back in every three minutes or so.
“Outside!” Grumpy tells them. He adds “And don’t come in until we say it’s okay!”
They went out and banged on the lounge room window, until I shut the roller blinds.
After some moments, I heard them playing nicely. It sounded fun and exciting. I listened carefully to ensure that it was.
I even heard “outside is fun!” from Monkey Boy.
We let them in when dinner was cooked.
Monkey Boy advised us that they had been scheming a Revolution Against The Parents for making them stay outside and play.
They blocked the doorways with stuffed toys and boxes that had been turned into building and tanks.
“So, you’re revolting?” I ask.
“Yes!” they concurred, and continued with their staging of a Revolution.
I got a bowl of Dorittos and some dip.
And thus ended their Revolting against us and the alleged Parent Dictatorship.
I might sell the idea to the Russians.