Monday, 8 June 2015

"Home Alone 6...Anyone Fancy a Game of Black Jake?"

Bye-Bye husband (far left)...hello week of hell
Yesterday morning the husband departed (with two other equally mad mates) to spend five gruelling days cycling the Pyrenees.  He tells me with nervous glee that it will be the equivalent of doing Everest...twice (gulp).

Normally I'd be sympathetic, but truth is, he gets off on pain (not the Fifty Shades type alas), and besides - he's leaving me with the monsters to single-handedly 'hold down the fort'.  Of the two of us, I'm the one freaking out.

You know in those cheesy Hollywood films where the well-intentioned but useless adult stays home to take care of the kids, and the wife comes back to find everything trashed, the kids re-inacting 'Lord of the Flies', and the lone parent is found dazed in a chair staring woodenly ahead, utterly destroyed?

Well that's me. Pretty much every day.

You'd think that by boy number three I'd be a seasoned, 'broken-in' parent.  Not so.  If anything, I've become even more vulnerable...incredulous that this raving bunch of lunatics not only belong to me...forever...but actually issued forth from my loins...voluntarily!

The other day my Hungarian builder, watching me work alongside him for 11 hours like a crazed washerwoman, scrubbing nose pickings off of our lovely reupholstered chair, magic marker off the walls, and picking idiotically at stickers that will NEVER come off my antique mirror, finally felt led to remark, "Mother of boys is hard, no?  Very much work." I smiled wearily. "Yes...sometimes I just want to die." (Turns out that's T.M.I.)

The thing is, it's not just that they're smelly, messy destructive creatures who roam the house constantly foraging for 'treats' and other contraband.  They also have the ability to reduce me to tears or screams.  Sometimes both.  And that's despite them being totally adorable and funny and clever and all the rest.

Take last weekend.  Lying in bed semi-awake listening to my beloved BBC6 on the radio, I was distantly aware of Egg creeping in and whispering, "Mama, what's your phone number again?"  I mumbled the digits whilst dimly acknowledging that Egg was probably trying to memorise my mobile in case he ever needed it in emergency.

Not so.  He simply needed it to verify my details in order to authorise a MasterCard purchase of £280 worth of virtual chips on the gambling website he has apparently been frequenting with abandon for some time (using the husband's picture as his avatar to get over the age restriction clause).

Now we're not idiots.  We have been onto this for a long time...ever since we clocked him several months ago, watery-eyed and blinking back tears as he proudly proclaimed to a guest at his cousin's christening that he was currently ranked number 17th in the world in Black Jack on this particular gambling site.  That was in response to a simple, "...we hear you're rather clever at Maths?"  We thought we had closed. that. mother. down.

The thing is, my children are all crack whores of the internet.  Be it ipads, ipods, laptops or my iphone, they will connive, sneak, manipulate and even try and lock me in my bedroom by tying up my doorknob with skipping rope in order to gain unsupervised access to one of the plethora of devices we have littering our (apparently unsellable) home.  (At last count Eggie noted seven odd laptops lying around...) Squit and I are a familiar sight on our road: me propelling our battered old MacLaren pushchair past ladies-who-lunch, loaded up with too much shopping, and a toddler in front glued to an iphone playing video games...(conveniently hanging up on anyone who might ring and disrupt his point scoring).

It's not that I'm freaked out by the amount of time they spend in the virtual world (I am, but bigger fish to fry an' all that...) but shocked that despite the husband being a virtual I.T. genius, more than up to the job of online policing, Egg is nevertheless thriving in his latest twin pursuits of hacking and online gambling. Fully aware that his once sharp parents are becoming more feeble-minded, he is taking full advantage of our limited array of passwords to put his hacking skills to full use.

Still, nearly £300 out of pocket, Egg is insistent that I not share this latest 'disaster' with the rest of the family.  So I'm sharing it with the rest of the world.  (Of course by the time he figures this out he'll be well into adulthood and will no doubt look back on it with a sense of humour...the husband and I may have even rediscovered ours by that point).

Which brings me to my question:

Who has it harder this week?

The husband traversing epic mountains using only his gnarly shaven legs, disgusting liquid gels in lieu of food, and sheer determination...or me - armed with a xanax spiked glass of Pinot Grigio in one hand and a mop in the other, facing down three formidable adversaries, determined to BRING ME DOWN.

(note: it would be unfair of me at this point to omit the fact that on Thursday evening I shall be flying to Barcelona for a long weekend to help the husband celebrate his triumphant feat...leaving les monsters in the hands of my beloved Sis - who I PRAY TO GOD is not reading this blog right now)

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