This Inner Monologue is being brought to you by Stella Hervey Birrell – a real life author! SQUEE! I’m always looking for contributors, so if you have a monologue in you (and don’t we all) then get in touch!
One of several annoying things about parenting is the vast chasm between what you think it will be like – and what it is actually like.
A small example, before I get to the main inner monologue. Hand holding. Aaah. It will be lovely, your child, part of your heart and soul, trustingly laying their tiny hand in yours.
Nine times of ten, they are twisting their hand out of mine before I’ve even taken it. Or it’s sticky. Or they are complaining in their loudest voices about how they don’t NEED to HOLD A HAND Mummy!
Which brings me to: the inner monologue. I give you – The Duvet Day! An exercise in disappointment, brought to you by my lovely children.
Me: ‘I’m just going for a little lie down.’
Kids: ‘Hello Mummy! We want to lie down too!’
(Fabulous. Busted within 30 seconds.)
(Remind self of parental responsibilities, even though Daddy is in the house. Passing regret at not utilising lock on bedroom door. Guilt.)
‘I mean, lovely! Why don’t we all snuggle in bed together and watch a film on Netflix?’
Kids: ‘What film? I want to choose!’
(They are not grasping the impossibility of two children choosing one film. Worry about their combined lack of basic mathematical ability.)
Me: ‘We’ll choose something we can agree on. Stop kicking me please. What about this film?’
Kid 1: ‘No.’
Kid 2: ‘Yay!’
Me: ‘‘Ow! Don’t lever yourself up using my boob as your platform! This one?’
Kid 1: ‘Yay!’
Kid 2: ‘No.’
(oh dear God, really?)
Me: ‘This one? This looks good.’
*repeat the last five steps for approximately fifteen minutes*
Me: ‘Right, well, I’m not spending all afternoon arguing about what film to watch. This one.’
Me: ‘Tough luck.’
(It looks funny enough to hold an adult’s attention, and it’s not a Christmas Film.)
Kids: ‘Can’t we have a Christmas film?’
Me: ‘No. It’s October.’
Kids: Can we have a Hallowe’en film?
Me: ‘Er, no.’
(Because I am terrified even of children’s Hallowe’en films. They use the same music as adult scary films.)
Kids: ‘Because Mummy is a scaredy cat?’
Me: ‘That would be correct.’
Five minutes of relative peace pass. I start to drop off to sleep.
Small child: ‘There’s too much talking. It’s boring.’
Me: ‘This is story line. (Worry about said child’s lack of interest in narrative and potential impact on future school career.) Stop flicking the duvet off my legs, you’re letting cold air in.’
Kids: *doing it more*
Me: ‘STOP IT! *coughing fit follows* (I think the whole of the UK has a cold this half term.) Right, shoosh you two, I’m watching this.’
Large Child: ‘Mum, are you crying?’
Me:’ No. Yes. This is a lovely bit. ARGH! You just coughed right in my face!’
Large Child: ‘I didn’t!’
Me: ‘You did!’ (I can totally feel the mutated viral cells in the air.) I’m going to get another cold on top of this one.’ (Try to remember who the parent is.)
Small Child: ‘There’s too much talking.’ *Coughs into his hand.* (Instantly takes ‘favourite child of the day.’) I’m hungry. Can we have a biscuit?’
Me: ‘In my bed? Dream on. Crikey, get your talon toe nails away from me!’
Large Child: ‘hee hee hee.’ *Continues to slash my leg with said talons.* (This is not what I was hoping for this afternoon. Coughed on and slashed. Wonderful.)
Me: (make mental note to remind Daddy that it is meant to be his job to keep talons under control. Wonders if anyone would cut kids nails if she died.) ‘Gerroff!’ (Feel guilty re thoughts of early demise and potential overly long nails.)
Kids: ‘Can we get up now?’
Me: ‘Noooooo – oh, OK then.’ (Will give me a chance to dry my eyes) You can go play and I’ll just watch the end …
Kids: ‘… No, Mum, you need to get up too.’ *multiple flicking of duvet, complete removal of duvet, small tussle as they argue over who can annoy Mummy more.*
Me: (oh for fu…) FINE! I’m getting up.’
Kids: ‘Can we have a sweetie/biscuit/cake/cup of juice? (OK, OK I get it – anything that will simultaneously wreck your teeth and make you even more hyperactive than you are already?)
Me: ‘Aye, fine. Whatever you like.’
*Mummy coughs. Into her HAND.*
Stella’s debut novel, How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right? is available from UK Amazon, US Amazon, Kobo, Nook and iBooks. She blogs at #atinylife140, tweets at @atinylife140, and can be found on Facebook here.