Today has been one of Those Days with the kids, the kind of day where even when they’re tucked up in bed you can’t relax, like you’ve got your finger in the plug socket and 240 volts are humming through your muscles. And I blame Easter.
Over the past couple of days my two sons have eaten more chocolate than they would normally consume in an entire year. It’s pretty much the first thing Noah asked for when he awoke from his afternoon nap, and like an idiot I gave him some. Look at his face. He’s barely conscious, yet he’s chomping down on a fragment of egg like there’s no tomorrow.
This continued blood sugar high culminated in an evening of belligerent children and stressed parents, the kind of evening which makes you turn your palms upwards, look at the ceiling, and think ‘Why did I have to have children capable of forming their own opinions and independent thought instead of kids that can be manipulated to do exactly what I want?’ In your mind, you form Fritzl-esque plans for a cellar where you can lock your kids up for twenty years, but eventually abandon them due to the excessive cost and risk of jail time.
Noah point blank refused to eat his tea, instead jabbing a podgy toddler finger at the fridge and demanding cake. Isaac had chosen one of our posh yoghurts to eat, taken two spoonfuls and refused to go any further, like a dog approaching the vet’s door, or a horse approaching a high hurdle, or another animal approaching something else.
My wife was on the front line, at the table, trying simultaneously to coax Noah to eat his food and Isaac to finish the yoghurt. Whilst she was in (figurative) hand-to-hand combat with our sons, I’d chosen to take more of a back seat, lobbing over words of reprimand and warning now and again like artillery shells.
Much like the French, our efforts at combat were useless, and so both children were sent straight to bed (where they now lie, yelling for me every two minutes). We brush their teeth and take them to the loo. As Isaac sits on the toilet, face scrunched in turd-straining effort, my wife asks him if he’s finished.
“I’ve only just started,” he replies. And I can’t help but wonder: is he still talking about the poo?