So we spent the afternoon in that massive toyshop with the stupid name. As usual, we didn’t buy anything but spent the whole time in the car aisle, with the boys getting in and out of miniature battery-powered Porsches, and me staring into space, sending the odd text message and generally feeling zoned out by boredom. In situations like this, i.e. when I’m in a public place paying no attention whatsoever to my kids, I often worry about kidnapping. It’s got to be every mother’s worst nightmare.
Of course, my children wouldn’t get kidnapped. They’re really good at running and stuff. It’s me I’m worried about. In my worst fears I’m kidnapped and the last ever CCTV footage of me involves me being a crap, inattentive mum in Aisle 16, and it’s featured on Crimewatch and there’s Kirsty Young with her “serious” face, reading it all out:
Friends remember her as a loving, caring mother, which clearly, judging by these final sightings, she so wasn’t. Police are not launching a nationwide search but are warning anyone who thinks they may have recognized her that she’s totally fucking useless.
I try to pay attention, I really do. But it’s those cars and that aisle and my stupid brain. Sometimes I find it really hard to do the most fundamental childcare basics because I’m tired and I’m selfish and I want my own headspace. And even if nothing terrible happens, I feel the minutes ticking by, minutes in which I could have been so much better.
I’m lost in a daydream then I hear my kids fighting so I snap and I shout and my tone is so harsh, but then I’ll always add you silly sausages! to the end of every outburst. I say this in a light, jaunty tone:
STOP THAT NOW you silly sausages!
I HAVE HAD QUITE ENOUGH OF THIS you silly sausages!
IF YOU DON’T SHUT UP RIGHT THIS MINUTE I WILL SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST you silly sausages!
Obviously they fall for the silly sausages trick every time. They think I’m sweetness and light, my two do.
I ought to write a book on this, in the “slummy mummy” genre. Why I’m shit at parenting, but I’m less shit now cos I’ve admitted it in print. Got to find someone to pitch it to, though. It’d be okay, right, if I just left my kids with you while I go hunt down a publisher?