Whenever I’m stressed out with the kids, I try to think about how wonderfully rewarding it is to have them. You know, like that little smile Jemima gets just before she pukes all over your neck, or the snarl that peels over Isaac’s face when he’s being told what to do against his will, or how Noah insists on inspecting each of his poos as they bob gently on the toilet water to see if they look like things.
For me, the rewarding part of parenting is not a tiny kiss, or little arms around my neck, or a baby’s laugh (although they’re nice, don’t get me wrong). No-no. The most rewarding part of having children is that I can use them as my own personal slaves.
Perhaps not Jemima, though. At just one year old she’s too young to carry a tray, and too unsteady on her feet to be reliable when asked to fetch something. Plus, she hasn’t got a clue what I’m saying. And the other day she pulled a cup of boiling tea all over herself in what can only be described as a disappointing act of treachery, because I was really looking forward it. (She’s fine, by the way. You can read more about it here.)
At three, Noah has his uses as a slave, but seems physically incapable of walking across the room to fetch the remote without doing some kind of weird jerky dance move and singing something by One Direction in the process. As a result, it takes a good ten minutes for him to jive his way over to the TV, pick up the remote, and jive his way back to me. This is of no use when New Girl is on in two minutes’ time. Did I say New Girl? I meant Top Gear, of course. *spits, grabs crotch, acts manly*
And so Isaac, who has just turned six, is the obvious choice for my personal slave (also known as ‘a child’). He seems to have hit his teenage years, however, as every request is met with a Kevin & Perry-style expression and movements so slow they can only be described as glacial.
So maybe I need to wait for a few years before I can really utilise my children as slaves. Until then, I suppose I need to fetch my own remote. Unless you can get it for me?