Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Secret Diary of a Demented Mother Aged 36.5

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Secret Diary of a Demented Mother Aged 36.5

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jenny Lesley

Quick - Fergus is asleep, let's do the 20-minute dash! Twenty minutes is the maximum that he will sleep during the day, although occasionally he will extend his lunchtime nap to an hour. This is done deliberately to throw my schedule out and happens only when I've got plans for the afternoon. On days when I'm desperately tired and hoping for a quick nap, he will omit the lunchtime snooze altogether. Because babies are like that. I could leave him to scream himself sick in a room but I'm into mothering, not subjugation, and for the most part we rub along just fine.

The 20-minute dash involves me rushing around like a mad thing to achieve all those tasks you can't do with a baby in your arms - like picking up all the washing from the bedroom floors.

Apparently my children, particularly Kieran, have the shortest arms in the world, which will not extend to putting dirty clothing into the laundry bins! Either that or they scoop everything dirty and clean alike into said bins; I'm thinking of tagging some of Emma's clothes to catch her out.

The problem with the 20-minute dash is that it has to be done quietly so activities like vacuuming are limited. I don't believe in tip-toeing round a baby; a certain amount of background noise is inevitable. Actually, in our house a huge amount is unavoidable if Carys and Kieran are in the house as they seem incapable of lowering their volume. Whether they are playing together, watching TV or arguing, the voice pitch is just about the same. I've often charged into the sitting room to break up what sounds like a fight to the death only to discover that they are sitting next to each other and talking!

Emma seems to have quietened down a bit recently but that's probably only because her stereo has broken and so she now listens to her Busted CDs through headphones on her portable disc player. …

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