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?’
‘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’.