The Sex Pets

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‘We don’t have a pet mummy. Why can’t we have a pet?’ Milk moans on the way to school.

I roll my eyes. ‘Yes, we do have a pet. We have two pets. THE RABBITS.’

My eldest son looks confused but then his face relaxes. ‘Oh. The rabbits.’

‘Yes, you know the animals at the bottom of the garden? The ones Daddy feeds, cleans out and takes to the vet. Those are your pets.’

‘I don’t like that grey one.’ Says Mayhem picking his nose. ‘That grey one scratches the white one.’

‘They do have names you know.’ I say a little crossly.

We’ve looked after Barry White and Mrs Grey for four years.

‘I wish we had a dog,’ says Milk.

I ignore Milk because he says this around 47 times a week.

‘Actually.’ I say, a little too brightly, ‘Daddy is taking the grey one to the vet for an operation. Hopefully that will stop her hurting the white one.’

Mrs Grey has not been spayed and keeps trying to hump Barry White, which is confusing for Barry White, because he had the chop a while ago and has no idea what Mrs Grey is doing.

Mrs Grey mounts him and claws at him in her futile passion, pulling the hair from his back. He looks like a zombie rabbit.

My husband takes the sex maniac to the vet, and when the boys return from school, he sits them down for a chat.

‘Operations on pets are sometimes too much for them, so Mrs Grey might not come back.’

‘You mean she might die?’ asks Milk, his eyes widening with interest.

‘Well yes, I suppose she might,’ my husband says carefully.

‘Will we be sad if the grey one dies?’ ponders Mayhem biting the head off his ginger bread man.

‘Errr, we might be’, says my husband.

‘Then can we get a dog?’ asks Milk.

‘No’ my husband and I say in unison.

We actually agree on something. We do not want a dog. Yet.

I can not imagine any scenario where I would want a dog while still looking after small children. Adding an animal to the school run, as well as having to stop to pick poo, is unthinkable.

‘One day, when we have more time, and money, we might get a dog.’ I say quietly.

‘So, we are getting a dog?’ Milk smiles positively.

I’m not even sure why Milk wants a dog anyway. He is terrified of them. He practically jumps into the road every time he sees one coming down the path.

Some mad old woman once told me that if we got a dog it would solve the ‘whole being scared of dogs thing…’ as her mutt tried to eat my flip flops (with my feet still in them) and the boys hid behind my skirt.

I mean that’s like telling an arachnophobe to “just embrace all the spiders”– although to be fair on spiders, they are free and don’t poo on the pavement.

The phone rings and my husband answers. It’s the vet.

He goes very quiet and lowers his voice. ‘Oh, OK. Yes, I see. OK. OK. Mmm.’ He puts down the phone.

‘Is everything OK?’ I ask.

‘Not really.’

‘Oh God, is Mrs Grey dead?’

‘Worse.’

I try to think what might be worse than Mrs Grey being dead. Lots of things actually, but I don’t have time to consider them before my husband drops the bomb.

‘The rabbit is fine but the bill is £137.’

‘What?’ I sit down.

‘Yes. Exactly.’

‘We might as well get a dog,’ I whisper angrily. ‘

Mayhem goes to collect Mrs Grey with my husband, and Milk, Midnight and I wait on the doorstep for the most expensive bunny in the village to return.

We hear them coming up the path.

‘Daddy!’ Mayhem is chatting away. ‘Daddy I can’t believe I am carrying a NOT dead rabbit in a box!’

‘No, I can’t believe it either,’ says my husband grimacing as they appear at the gate.

 

Back to School

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‘Am I going to preschool today?’ Asks Mayhem suspiciously as I sort through Milk’s uniform two days before term starts.

‘No. No one is going to school today.’

‘So, I’m not going to preschool ever, ever again?’

‘Errr. Yes, you are.’ I say shaking out Milk’s jumpers in the hope they will look new.

‘Awww this is the worst day EVER!’ cries Mayhem throwing himself on the sofa in a huff.

It is definitely not the worst day ever. I know because I have lived through several of those during this holiday.

My husband and I have somehow managed to survive six weeks with three boys on an average of four hours sleep a night.

Even the rabbits get more sleep than us, and they don’t have to make their own breakfast.

We have stumbled through most days in a blur of coffee and cake.

I never drank coffee before this holiday. I wonder what I will be shoving down my neck by Christmas.

As far as I’m concerned, the summer holidays are an opportunity to create a world away from school. A world of little structure, no time pressure, no rules. Just fun.

And this involves becoming sloths.

‘Are any of you going to get dressed?’ my husband says one day on his return from work.

‘Not really worth it now is it? Only two hours until bedtime.’ I reply throwing popcorn into my mouth as the boys scramble for the pieces I drop.

Milk and Mayhem have stopped using the toilet, and taken to throwing open the front door and peeing off the doorstep.

‘Not on my tomato plants!’ my husband calls from the bedroom as Milk aims with glee.

A lasting memory is a naked Mayhem racing towards me on a packed Suffolk beach screaming, ‘I need a wee! I need a wee! I need a wee!’ before relieving himself in the breakwater as toddlers and their paddling parents looked on in dismay.

I also discovered the sweet spot of child care.

As long as you don’t have to be anywhere at any particular time, acting normal, looking after three small children isn’t too bad.

However, in my effort to avoid leaving the house and the £100 ‘big days out’, we have pretty much destroyed our home.

Midnight has worked out how to open all the cupboards and particularly enjoys his Tupperware parties, and Milk and Mayhem have brought most of the garden inside.

I also wonder how we are going to wean the boys off ice cream – my husband’s holiday mantra is ‘it’s ice-cream time every time the sun comes out’, which this summer, it really did. A lot.

As September arrives the school run looms.

I don’t like the person I become on the school run.

I am the crazed woman marching along in porridge-stained baggy trousers, wild hair scraped into a bun, still trying to swallow a piece of dry toast I managed to shove in my mouth before we left the house.

I am the frantic one pushing the buggy too fast for my children to keep up, barking orders back and forth answering the same questions over and over again.

‘Come on we’ll be late; do you want to be late? Don’t run in front of that driveway. Did you even look? Milk leave that stick behind. Stop running! Walk faster. Slow down! No, we can’t pick blackberries now. I don’t know why that old man has no hair. Watch out for that dog poo! I don’t know, probably because the owner doesn’t want to pick up poo. That’s why I don’t want a dog. You want a dog? But you’re scared of dogs….’

As we get ready for bed the night before school, I ask the boys what the best part of their holiday was.

‘Playing,’ says Milk.

‘Ice cream,’ says Mayhem.

I think my best parts were probably the smallest things too.

Hold them close, they are going back to their other world now.

Happy Holiday!

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‘They know! They know!’ I mutter loudly as I stomp about the house with a handful of tooth brushes and a nit comb.

‘Shhhh! You’ll wake the kids!’ my husband says grabbing another bag from the pile in the hall.

‘That’s my aim,’ I grumble.

We are loading the car for our holiday. It is 6.45am and we are leaving in 15 minutes. All the boys are asleep.

My husband checks his watch. ‘How can they still be asleep? They never sleep past 5.30am. How is this happening?’

I shrug. ‘I told you. They know.’

Since having children, it would be a lie to call any of our holidays, holidays.

We tread the hopeful path of high expectations and excitement, but always slip into the ditch of irritability and disappointment.

And the whole thing has got increasingly worse with each child.

When we had Milk we went skiing, popped to see friends in Paris, flew to a remote mountain lodge in Switzerland, zipped over to Greece, and did the endless A39 drive to Cornwall.

Mayhem has never been on an aeroplane.

Midnight will be lucky if he gets out of the village.

But we think we have found the solution.

The Isle of Wight.

It’s sunny, full of dinosaur fossils, beaches and pirates. And you get to go on a boat, even if you only have time to get out of your car and stand watching your children pick up germs for 20 minutes in the soft-play, before getting off again.

On the way my throat feels tingly and I find it hard to talk.

‘Are we on Dinosaur Island yet?’ Milk says as we sit in traffic just outside Portsmouth.

‘No, we have to go on a boat to get there.’

‘Like a pirate ship?’ Asks Mayhem hopefully.

‘Yep.’ I say distracted by the swollen lumps on the side of my neck.

‘A real pirate ship?’ asks Milk seriously.

‘No. Not a real one.’

‘But you said we were going on a pirate ship!’ wails Mayhem.

‘I know I did, I don’t know why I said that.’

‘You are the worst mummy EVER!’ shouts Mayhem kicking the back of my seat.

On the boat we look at jelly fish bobbing in the wake.

‘What happens if there are cannon balls on the island and they eat us?’ Asks Milk.

‘I don’t understand what you are saying,’ I croak. ‘I have a sore throat.’

‘You know! Cannon balls – what eat people.’

‘Cannibals!’ I laugh and regret it instantly as I feel hot knives spearing the back of my mouth.

We unpack while Milk and Mayhem race around the garden waving pirate flags, and chanting, ‘beach, beach, beach!’

Midnight watches them, popping gravel into his mouth, like a kid eating popcorn at the cinema.

‘Take me to the hospital on the way please,’ I moan.

‘Happy holiday!’ My husband calls as he drops me off at the NHS walk-in centre.

The most vulnerable patients are seen first, so I spend two hours glaring at every snotty child and hobbling old person who steps into the waiting room. At last I hear my name.

‘Tonsillitis’ says the doctor as soon as I open my mouth. ‘Seven days of antibiotics for you. How long is your holiday?’

‘Six and a half days,’ I swallow.

‘Bad luck. You’ll just have to come back.’

My husband picks me up outside. They have been to Cowes to look at the boats and have somehow managed to spend £9 on three muffins.

“£9?!’ I manage to raise my voice.

‘I know I couldn’t believe it, but I had to buy them because Mayhem licked the tops while we were in the queue.’

I look at Mayhem. He is wriggling around in his car seat, trying to itch his bottom.

Two days later we make it to the beach and I spend my time crawling around in the sand trying to stop Midnight from eating seaweed, while Milk and Mayhem take it in turns to destroy each other’s sandcastles.

My husband strokes my back as I get up. ‘Are you having a happy holiday now?’

‘It’s not a holiday is it – not for me,’ I grumble. ‘I do this all the time.’

‘Well it’s not a holiday for me either,’ huffs my husband. ‘Because I’m just doing what you do, instead of what I do.’

‘Yeah but at least you are doing something different. They say “a change is as good as a rest.” I’m just doing exactly the same thing, with the same children, but in a different place, without all the things which make it easy.’

‘Except I’m here too. I’m here helping you.’ My husband says looking a little hurt.

‘Yes. Yes, you are.’ I agree and we cling to each other in sandy solidarity.

That evening we sit down for dinner.

‘The boys are exhausted’ says my husband offering me a glass of red wine. ‘They should sleep through…’

He is interrupted by Mayhem screaming ‘My bum! My bum!’

‘Shhhhh don’t wake the baby!’ I hiss.

‘My bum arghhhh, my bum!’ screams Mayhem running around the kitchen until my husband catches him.

‘His bum really hurts.’ My husband says after taking Mayhem to the toilet. ‘It’s really sore.’

I reluctantly put down my glass of wine and lie Mayhem on our bed. He is sobbing uncontrollably and grabbing at his bum.

I hand my husband a small torch.

‘What is this?’ He says suspiciously.

‘Look up his bum.’ I whisper, not wanting Mayhem to hear me.

‘Pardon?’

‘Quickly! Look up his bum!’

He does, and I watch his frown turn to deep repulsion.

‘Did you see a worm?’ I whisper.

My husband nods, grimacing.

I want to hit my head against the wall but I need to take my next antibiotic. I wash it down with the wine.

‘See. They know. Even the worms know.’

Happy Holiday!

 

 

 

Bum Talk

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‘Mummy my bum is orange!’ squeals Mayhem from upstairs.

I wonder what he has done. He likes to draw on himself but we haven’t got to that area yet. I hope.

‘Have you done a poo?’ I call back.

I am hopping around the high chair in the kitchen as Midnight throws squashed banana at me.

Milk wanders in. ‘No, he hasn’t done a poo, he is just looking at his bum in the mirror.’

‘Oh good,’ I say.

‘He’s talking about bums all the time,’ sighs Milk.

I nod sympathetically. I am hoping Mayhem’s interest in bums will not be as long lasting as his interest in Captain Jack Sparrow. He manages to shoehorn the infamous pirate of the Caribbean into every conversation he has, no matter who he is talking to, or how tenuous the link.

Now he has started talking about bums, I rather miss the mischievous Jack Sparrow.

‘I’m looking at that lady’s bum bum!’ he shouts when we are out shopping, and runs off, weaving between rails of clothes until he reaches a mannequin wearing a dress.

I find him with his head under the cloth.

‘This lady hasn’t got a bum!’

I look at the mannequin. She hasn’t got a head either but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Midnight wipes banana into his eyes and starts crying.

‘I’m doing a poo now!’ proclaims Mayhem from upstairs. I imagine a whole loo roll being shoved down the toilet.

The front door opens.

‘Daddy’s home!’ screech the boys as if they have been holding their breath for the last 14 hours.

‘I’m wiping my bum and there is treasure in the toilet!’ Mayhem tells his dad.

I wave banana hands at my husband as he goes upstairs to investigate.

I hear him groan. ‘But that’s £1 why have you put £1 down the toilet?’

Mayhem mumbles something about Davy Jones’ Locker and laughs, ‘Look! It’s on my poo!’

I sink to the floor wiping bits of potato and half eaten cucumber into a small soggy pile as Midnight leans over and grabs at my hair with sloppy fingers.

While the bath is running Milk comes in wearing full camouflage.

‘You look great!’ I say. ‘Are you hiding from someone?’

His face crumples. ‘You! I’m hiding from you and you ruined it. THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER!’

Yes, it is pretty bad,’ I say, noticing a large blob of baby snot on my shoulder.

I explain to Milk that camouflage only works in certain environments and definitely not when standing in front of a fridge spattered with milk and banana.

He nods sullenly and runs into the garden. I know he will be hiding in his den.

After a moment he comes back. ‘Mummy?’

‘Yes?’

‘There’s poo in my den.’

‘Rabbit poo?’ I say hopefully, lifting Midnight out of his highchair.

‘No. It’s quite big.’

Of course it is, I think. ‘Did you touch it?’

Milk shakes his head.

‘Good. Let’s go up for a bath.’

There is a loud grunt from the bathroom.

‘Is everything OK?’

‘No, it is not OK. It’s a Euro,’ says my husband.

‘What?’

‘The toilet treasure wasn’t a £1 coin, it was a Euro.’

‘Worth sticking your hand down the loo then isn’t it, given the value of the pound?’

‘Not quite what I expected as soon as I get in from work,’ my husband huffs.

I hand him the baby and he gives me a look. ‘What are you doing now then?’ he asks.

I smile at him. ‘I was planning on sitting down for 15 minutes with a hot cup of tea, while watching Wimbledon highlights, but actually I’m about to scrape regurgitated food from the kitchen floor, crawl deep into a child’s den to remove a human poo, and then cook us dinner. Do you want to swap?’

‘Bath time boys!’

 

 

 

 

Insults and Easter Eggs

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It’s the Easter holidays and I can’t find my Easter egg.

It’s so well hidden I’m getting annoyed. I’m not doing an egg hunt like most families, I’m just trying to remember where I put my egg so my husband won’t find it.

He will hunt down and eat anything made of chocolate however sacred it is.

He once tried to convince me that someone had broken into our house and eaten the top layer of my Mother’s Day chocolates.

‘But if someone did break in, to eat my chocolates, surely they would take the soft caramel one – you know the one with the nut in the middle?’ I said as I examined the box.

‘That’s your favourite one,’ he said a little sheepishly. ‘Maybe they felt bad’.

He does have some sense of decency after all.

I am looking for my Easter egg because, despite being held hostage by three children for the last seven days, there is a rare lull in the chaos.

Midnight is asleep in his cot and the boys are playing shop in their bedroom.

‘£10 please,’ says Milk handing a lemon over to Mayhem.

‘That’s a bit small,’ says Mayhem.

It’s like seeing life post-Brexit.

I calculate I have around six minutes until the peace is shattered. There is plenty I could do in this time, and probably plenty I should do, but what I want to do is lie on the sofa drinking tea and eating cheap Easter egg chocolate, while watching Escape to the Country.

Silly really, as we live in a house surrounded by fields of sheep and I can’t find my Easter egg.

I settle for a cup of tea and stand by the kettle in anticipation. The boys start screaming just as I am stirring in the milk.

I pause for a moment unsure if I should sacrifice my tea at this point. The yelling could be a false alarm, like when I rushed upstairs to save Milk, only to find him holding out a piece of toilet paper, ecstatic that he’d wiped his bum on his own.

Or the screaming could be real, like when I found Mayhem stuck headfirst in the empty bath with his legs in the air.

Real emergency or not, if the boys carry on screaming, they will wake up Midnight, so I leave my mug of tea and head upstairs. I find Milk crying at the top.

‘What’s wrong darling?’

‘Mayhem called me an old fashioned light again.’

None of us have a clue what this insult means, but when Mayhem says it, it somehow seems hugely offensive.

‘Well you’re not an old fashioned light,’ I say stroking Milk’s hair.

‘He IS an old fashioned light!’ shouts Mayhem from the bedroom. ‘And you are an old fashioned light too Mummy.’ He adds.

It’s like being in a bizarre Easter panto. I wink at Milk and call back.

‘Oh no I’m not an old fashioned light, you are an old fashioned light.’

There is a blood-curdling scream. I jump up and race into the room to find Mayhem on the bed thrashing his arms around.

‘What’s happened? Have you hurt yourself?’

‘You called me an old fashioned light and I AM NOT AN OLD FASHIONED LIGHT!’ he screeches.

‘OK OK. No-one is an old fashioned light’.

We all go downstairs for a drink and a snack. As I sip my tea my husband calls the house phone.

‘How is everyone?’

‘You know. The normal. Did you eat my Easter egg?’

Silence.

‘I just need to know if you’ve found it and eaten it, because then I can stop looking for it.’

‘Well, you know how you refuse to wash my work shirts because it’s not your responsibility…?’

I suddenly remember shoving the purple foil deep into the dirty laundry.

‘Arghhh. You! You know what you are…’ I cannot find the words.

I know he wants to laugh, and I imagine him chuckling to himself as he finished off my egg.

The words finally come to me, as I grip the phone.

‘You! You are a massive, old fashioned light’.

 

 

 

 

 

The Midnight Hours

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‘For my birthday I’d like to sleep,’ I say out loud as Midnight wriggles and whines in my arms at 4am.

My husband rolls over and takes out his ear plugs. ‘Did you say something?’

It is rare for him to be next to me. He is usually negotiating with Mayhem in the middle of the night, trying to make him sleep on what we call the ‘floor-bed’.

I shudder as I remember sharing a bed with Mayhem. He is like a sleep-walking gymnast.

‘For my birthday I’d like to go to a place where you can lie down and sleep.’

‘I think they are called hotels,’ my husband says.

‘No. Hotels would mean talking to several people before you get to lie down. I just want to sleep.’

I look at Midnight. I have spent the last hour staring at his face like an exhausted witch trying to do a sleep spell, and he has nodded off while we are talking.

‘Don’t say anything!’ I scowl, jerking my head at the sleeping baby.

My husband looks a little afraid of me and watches as I assess my next move. I have to get out of bed without using my arms, to put Midnight in his cot in the corner of our room. My stomach muscles, which have been sliced twice and are currently under some ‘cosy cosy’ as Milk calls my fat, somehow work to help me sit upright.

I swing my legs off the bed and lean forward so Midnight is lying on his back in my arms. I pause and then creep towards the cot.

I am lowering the baby into position when my husband coughs. Midnight flings his arms out smacking me in the face.

‘You woke him up!’ I hiss, pulling the baby to my chest as he starts screaming.

I stomp back to our bed.

‘I’m sorry! I had to cough. It’s was an inappropriate involuntary action.’

‘How am I going to get him to sleep?’ I wail.

It’s a little tricky teaching a baby how to sleep when you can’t remember what sleep is.

My husband is fiddling with his phone and soon the room is filled with the soothing white noise of running water.

‘You might as well go and have a shower,’ I say looking at the time.

He agrees and disappears into the bathroom, leaving his mobile just out of my reach.

I am left listening to a real shower and a fake shower. I need a wee.

I hear footsteps and Mayhem appears in the doorway.

‘Captain Jack Sparrow takes off his hat when he sees dead pirates,’ he informs me. This is a common 5.15am conversation-starter for Mayhem.

‘Yes. Yes, he does,’ I manage a smile.

Milk joins us. ‘Why is bird poo white?’ he asks rubbing his eyes.

‘Let’s go and find out,’ I say putting Midnight over my shoulder.

He is sick down my back and onto my pillow. I consider cleaning it up but I imagine it will be dry by the time I get back into bed in 16 hours.

For my birthday my husband gets me a massage.

I fall asleep for a blissful hour and am so relaxed I only wake up when I let out a gigantic fart.

‘Inappropriate involuntary action,’ I think, keeping my eyes tightly shut.

 

 

 

The Dentist

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‘What are you doing today?’ My husband asks as he trims his beard into the sink.

‘We’re going to the dentist’, I say breezily.

‘Cool,’ he says swishing water round the sink to get rid of 65 per cent of the hair. He leaves the other 35 per cent stuck to the enamel for me to swear at later in the day.

The thing is, it’s not cool at all. I’ve been preparing for this trip for months. It has three phases.

Phase 1: Persuasion

I explain to Milk and Mayhem it’s normal to lie back in a shiny leather chair while a masked man shines a bright light into their face and pokes at them with sharp metal tools.

‘Does it hurt?’ Asks Milk as we brush our teeth.

‘No. And you’ll get a sticker if your teeth are good, so keep on brushing.’

I can see Milk weighing up the pros of getting a sticker against the cons of me standing over him twice a day doing exaggerated examples of how to clean teeth.

He decides the sticker isn’t worth it. ‘I don’t like that toothpaste. It’s spicy,’ he whines.

Mayhem gets involved immediately. ‘It’s not spicy Milk. It’s DISGUSTING.’

I taste the toothpaste. It’s red and tastes fruity. It is pretty disgusting.

‘OK. I will get some different toothpaste but you still need to brush your teeth, or they will fall out.’

Milk spits and misses the sink but manages to hit the toilet.

‘A boy in my class gets money when his teeth come out.’

‘That’s the Tooth Fairy. She leaves money under your pillow if you give her your teeth.’ I say as if it is completely normal.

‘But you said we had to brush our teeth to stop them falling out?’ Milk looks confused.

‘Yes, I did say that,’ I nod. ‘How much did he get?’

‘Two pounds,’ says Milk carefully.

‘Two quid?!’ I nearly fall over. ‘I would pull my teeth out for that.’

‘What Mummy?’ asks Mayhem. ‘Why would you pull your teeth out?’

‘I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t,’ I say quickly. ‘I used to get 20p for mine.’

‘But you said you weren’t allowed sweets when you were little so how come your teeth falled out?’ asks Milk.

I feel my head might explode. ‘Little teeth have to fall out so that they can make way for the big grown-up teeth.’

‘So, it doesn’t matter if we eat sweets?’ Milk ponders.

‘Errr yes it does matter.’

‘But my teeth will fall out anyway?’

I shrug. ‘Yes.’ Nothing seems to make sense any more.

Mayhem stops brushing. ‘I don’t want to brush my teeth. Captain Jack Sparrow has fallen out teeth and I want to be Captain Jack Sparrow.’

I don’t know what to say, but luckily Milk has the answer.

‘Mayhem if you brush your teeth, your teeth will be strong, and then you can eat sweets.’

‘Sweets. Yippeee!’ shouts Mayhem foaming at the mouth.

Phase 2: Keep the baby asleep

I pick up the boys at the end of the school day. The baby is asleep in the buggy. Milk is hungry and Mayhem is holding his willy and walking like John Wayne.

‘Did you go to the toilet at nursery?’ I ask him.

‘Yes.’ He says proudly. ‘But now I need a wee.’

We all stop as he pees into someone’s hedge, all over his pants and down his legs.

‘I’ve got wet pants,’ he cries.

‘That’s OK, you can tell the dentist all about it,’ I say quickly pulling up his trousers.

‘I’m soooo hungry,’ Milks says. ‘Can I have a treat for finishing school?’

‘Errr no.’

‘Ohhhhhhhwwwwww,’ Milk wails.

‘You can have something after the dentist.’

‘Ohhhhhhhwwwwww’.

‘Don’t say Ohhhhhhhwwwwww’, says Mayhem. ‘Mummy doesn’t like it when we say Ohhhhhhhwwwwww.’

‘Ohhhhhhhwwwwww,’ says Milk.

The baby wakes up.

Phase 3: Damage limitation

In the waiting room I feed the baby next to an old man who stares straight ahead as if he is in a hostage situation.

The boys pick the stickers off a Rubik’s Cube. We are called in.

I go first, manoeuvring myself clumsily onto the slippery black chair. The boys stare at me. I half expect them to clap.

I lie back, my face shielded by large plastic glasses. I can see the bright light and the dentist’s head. I can hear my children doing something.

The dentist reaches for his tools.

‘Argghhh touch anythiargggging’ I shout at my kids.

The baby starts crying and I can hear the boys squealing over the top of the screeching.

The dentist has to shout over the noise to his assistant and a small suction pipe is shoved down my throat.

When it’s over I realise it is strangely quiet. I rise from the bed slowly, hoping to see my children comforting the baby. But the baby has been sick on himself and the boys are staring at me silently. They have rearranged the plastic blinds on the window so it looks like a crack den.

Milk is next.

‘He is fine.’ Says the dentist. ‘Very good.’

I feel like Usain Bolt. Months of preparation and it’s all over in under 10 seconds.

‘Can I have a sticker?’ Milk asks.

‘In a minute. It’s Mayhem’s turn.’

Mayhem tries to go to sleep on the chair. I roll him onto his back and hold his head down.

‘I have wet pants,’ he tells the dentist.

The dentist nods and looks into his mouth.

‘I weed on my pants and in my trousers,’ adds Mayhem.

They both get stickers.

We all turn to leave. ‘You have good teeth’ the dentist says, but adds, ‘for someone looking after three kids.’

I’ll take that.

‘Sweetie time, sweetie time,’ the boys chant as we leave the room.

Mission Complete.

 

If you like Milk and Mayhem please share it, tell your friends, buy the t-shirt. It takes me around four days to write each piece, being interrupted every 30 seconds. I’d like to think it is worth the effort if it makes another parent feel better about their day.