Sunday, 8 March 2009

"And Here's Where You Start Paying...."

You know I think it's slowly sinking in, the fact that children are 'not just for Christmas' but for - well, forever. Having spent our twenties adventuring around the world, dancing in clubs, camping at festivals, lounging in bars, socialising at parties, and generally acting like adolescents (well into our thirties if truth be told), there was a huge lifestyle change to adapt to when Jay and I became parents. You would have thought that our children now being 4 and 2, we would have completed the transition from fun-seeking hedonists with creative pursuits, into noble parents and caregivers. You might have thought that almost five years in we'd have put aside our aspirations of old and were now focused admirably on our young, attention-craving offspring.

You'd be wrong.

Just this morning I was jolted awake by Jay muttering, "Dumpie's calling you." I was in the midst of a most pleasant dream (the contents of which do not need to be made public) and after several more tries he eventually succeeded in waking me, whereupon I asked the obvious, "Well then why can't YOU answer him if you're awake?"

Jay muttered something about it 'being the weekend' and I was like, 'Uh, yeah...and your point is...?" Then I realized that loathesome subject was about to rear it's ugly head (...the "I work outside of the home so mine is a real job and you don't work" argument). Sure enough, he was quick to point out that he got up earlier than me during the week and therefore deserved a lie-in on weekends.

I didn't bother to point out that he got up earlier because he showers and tinkers about on his computer before setting off, whilst I, having little care for the impression I make at the school gates, am usually content to carry out the bare minimum of my daily ablutions before shepherding two tousle haired boys out the door, looking like i've been dragged through a hedge backwards. (I should confess that I usually get away with it given that i've got some sort of make-up on - not because I can't leave the house without any, but rather because I'm a total beauty product junkie and have the most gorgeous products lying around and playing with them is the only thing that makes my mornings a little fun...or should I say bearable?)

At any rate, i digress. This mornings little 'tete-a-tete' continued, with Jay and I discussing (in a sleepily grumpy fashion) whether me cleaning the house from top to bottom for 7 hours yesterday like a scullery maid could be computed in the same parental transaction as his staying out till 4:30am at a big poker game on Friday, and mean that I might be the one entitled to a 'lie-in' this morning? I even leveraged in the fact that I was going to take the monsters to Sunday School this morning, leaving Jay wiht a glorious undisturbed morning to himself....

No such luck. You see, just like in the Bible when two women were fighting over the ownership of a baby and wise King Solomon did a test to determine the real mother by assessing which one cared more and was willing to sacrifice her child to keep it it was determined that I would be the one to get out of bed first this morning by Jay stating the only words to really sink in and send me scampering for my contact lenses and hurtling down the stairs.....

"There's no chocolate or treats for them to get into downstairs, are there?..."

At that he had me beat and he knew it. After so many hours rubbing my hands raw trying to bring this place up to scratch yesterday (or at least making sure it was not a contender for a 'Britains Dirtiest Homes' special), there was NO WAY I was going to let the monsters loose to rubbish it - no matter how much precious sleep I would have to forfeit.

Clearly, Jay and I are still coming to terms with what being a parent really means. We used to laugh and shake our heads amusedly at each other when fellow parents would regale us with tales of woe about their weekends...the early morning starts, the constant activities planned with military precision to keep their charges out of trouble, the total selflessness sacrificed on the altar of responsibility...blah blah blah...and until now we felt immune and above it all. Not so anymore.

We still have a long way to go until we reach that point of glazed eyed robotic servitude and flustered gesturing which epitomises a run-in with a fellow parent on the weekend. Jay and I still prance about, totally delusional about the real state of affairs in our four person family, and seem to think that dark glasses, a slick of lipgloss and two novels clutched tantalisingly in beneath our arms, means that a chilled-out visit to our local cafe is do-able.

WRONG-O. How many days...weeks...months...years(?) will it take to realize just what we've gotten ourselves into? Egg and Dumpie are only getting smarter, stronger, more determined, infinitely naughtier, and show signs of completely overtaking this household within the next year or so. Just like the elf people at the end of the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, the time of our absolute rule is drawing to an end.

We steal kisses from their cherubic little mouths, have cuddles on tap 24/7, and spend a good portion of our time giggling at the two darling and hilarious 'little people' who inhabit our lives. Such delicious cuteness and warm fuzziness comes at a price. As my father recently (and wisely) said on ichat, when he saw me losing the plot, head in hands, moaning after a particularly hard day with the boys, "You don't think you get all the good things without having to pay for it do you?"

No Dad...I don't. I get it. Kiddies cost...and here's where we start paying...(sigh)

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