Marriage is all about compromise (and competition obviously) and today my wife allowed me to sleep in until 8.30am and I then did the child-care for most of the day (aside from when I took the dog for the midday walk and had to drop my stones because ramblers were coming - why couldn’t I have recorded this one?) and then when I was exhausted by my stupid offspring, my wife swept in and did bath time. I probably did the most time wise, but it very much works out as equal for her to take the start and end of the day….
As tired as I still was, I massively enjoyed my Sunday with the kids. Phoebe and me drew round our hands (whose are the smallest? It’s very close now) and coloured them in. I turned the fingers on my picture into cartoon people and animals and Phoebe just scrawled a bit of colour across hers, but Catie still judged Phoebe the best picture. I demand a recount. Why can I never win anything?
I hate to play favourites as you’re meant to love your kids the same, but clearly you don’t. And anyone who says you do is a liar. They’re people. Obviously you prefer one over the other. Do you love your brothers and sisters the same (if applicable)- NO- you clearly have a favourite and least favourite. You know it’s true. Do you love your parents the same? Not a chance. So to say you love your kids the same is ridiculous. My son is an annoying idiot and my daughter is mainly OK. Obviously she’s the best. Plus she was first and all parents love their first kids the most. It’s just a fact. Deal with it.
Ernie is OK, I suppose, when he’s not shitting himself or putting himself in danger (which is never). After he’s been climbing up on to small tables or trying to pull the TV down on himself I usually give up on allowing him the freedom he so clearly takes for granted and stick him in the high chair or the jumperoo. But today he made a good attempt to escape from both of those. The kind of attempts that would end with him falling from a height on to his head. I looked down at my computer for a second, looked up and he was dangling head first out of the jumperoo - only saved from toppling by his foot trapped in one of the straps. “Ernie, No!” I shouted at him ineffectually, as it wasn’t like he’d be able to get himself back in. It took me surprisingly ages to get the six feet across the room to save him. But I did save him. This time.
I rallied after an evening break and Catie and I had a nice home cooked meal and a bottle of wine. She was happy that she’d got some work done and I was happy that I hadn’t had to take my second favourite child to hospital. She’d like writing and I’d loved playing with the kids. And then we got two hours together before we passed out from exhaustion.
I took the dog on a night time walk and went along some dark paths, where I saw two ghosts, though one of them, a milkmaid in an old style uniform, turned out just to be a white sign on a post and the other, a black wraith that was changing in size and shape and seemed to be coming for me, was probably just my shadow, caused by a distant security light.
Surely all ghosts can’t be such mirages. These two looked terrifyingly real.