Only son has been in a dance marathon this weekend, performing in two shows. We loaded up the car with drinks and snacks on Saturday in case we got stuck in a snowdrift. Only son announced his plan to go on strike from all after school clubs after the dance marathon. “Spanish club was bad enough,” he said. “Why does school want us to do even more work?” I replied that the clubs were supposed to be about enjoyment, but for him just the fact that they take place in school means they are basically work. I feel much the same about home these days. Because I work at home I’m basically at work all the time. There’s a great cartoon which shows a man at his home desk. He says: “Tell me, do I work from home or do I live at work?”
In any event, daughters one and two volunteered to attend the first dance show on Saturday. Daughter two had taken some persuasion after a slight altercation earlier in the day when she had got into the bath with only son fully clothed and flooded the bathroom slightly. Amid protests from her brother, she retired to her bedroom for a while. When I passed it later, I noticed that on her door were scribbled the words “worst sister ever”.
Daughter three didn’t come to the dance show. She was languishing on the sofa with period pains. It’s been a week of hormonal overcharge in the house. Several teens have had their periods and have been craving sugar and, in the case of the lapsed veggie (daughter three), chicken breast.
Only son danced his socks off in show number one and we made our way home through driving snow. By 7.30am on Sunday he was up going through all the routines again. My partner was squirming in the corner of the bed, having been awake since 5am with shoulder pain. “I was listening to a programme on people accidentally dislocating their shoulders in bed the other day,” he said. “And then I thought it may have happened to me.”
I brought paracetamol and a pillow. Can I sleep in your room tonight?” asked only son. My partner groaned. “I’ll create my own mattress area on the floor,” said only son and set about transferring pillows, duvets and teddy bears. “You can have the giant tigger, mum,” he said generously.
Sometimes I feel my dreams are less surreal than my waking life.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.