Conversations with children can be fairly entertaining. I was talking to daughter three the other day about housing. I’m not sure why. She said with a sense of certainty that when she has children she will continue to live at our house.”I won’t be having any husband, though, mum, so that will save space.” Very considerate.

I inquired about the lack of husband, though. Daughter three caught a small segment of Who the hell did I marry? not so long ago. Daughter one is obsessed by Who the hell did I marry? and claims it is educational, bordering on revision, and preparing her for a future in psychology. So when asked why she wouldn’t have a husband, daughter three merely arched an eyebrow and said: “You know, mum. You can never be sure who they might be or what they might be doing at night when you’re sleeping. Do you know what dad is doing when he is asleep?” I replied that I was pretty sure he didn’t even move in the night as I am generally up of a night, attending to only son. In fact, he appears to have no trouble sleeping through nights when a whole number of adventures have happened on the right hand side of the bed eg Tuesday. Only son woke up, we met daughter three in the bathroom, took her back to her bed, only son came to our bed, then at some point started running down the corridor giggling to his sister’s room, woke up daughter three, who must have lain there until the point where I was drifting off before she came into our room and shook me slightly too insistently. Apparently, soon after this daughter one did the same after suffering a migraine, but I was long gone by then. My partner woke in the morning and asked if I had slept well. In the past, when the others have been babies, he has claimed to have had a bad night when in fact he slept the whole way through just so I don’t feel he is not showing solidarity.

In any event, I tried to explain to daughter three that Who the hell did I marry? is not indicative of the majority of households and that she has to learn to trust some people at some point. “I do trust you, mum,” she replied. I asked if she trusted her dad and she said that, despite her concerns about his potential night escapades, she did. She wasn’t sure about only son, as he is a bit erratic. Surprisingly, she trusted daughter two, even though daughter two is her major tormentor as well as her best buddy. However, she said she did not trust daughter one. “You know, mum, teenagers. How do you know she’s at a sleepover when she says she is?” Daughter one was at a sleepover at the time. I am pretty sure that daughters two and three will keep daughter one in check. They are studying her every move as a teenager basically because they feel she is getting unfair treatment. Daughter three is keeping a running tally of all money given to daughter one to get to friends’ houses and events.

Meanwhile, only son is trust incarnate. He has been helping me around the house this weekend. He helped me wrap up his friend’s birthday present – a Peppa Pig tea set. I was a bit worried about this because I thought he might want the tea set himself. I needn’t have been concerned. “We have another one of these for me, don’t we, mum?” he asked sweetly. I now know what to get him for his birthday next month. He has also been helping with gardening. I was trying to clear the weeds, but he kept pulling all the ones with flowers out of the heap to put in a vase. He is also very good entertainment value, gasping at the sight of any small insect. “Look, mum, it’s a slug. Slugs help vegetables to grow. Have a potato, slug. Make it grow.” We then decided to hide from the rest of the family under the duvet. Only son loves hide and seek. He burrowed down the bed, giggling, making him slightly easy to locate. Suddenly, a little voice came from below me. “Mummy, you are the most perfect big girl in the world.” “Suck-up”, said daughter one when I related this to her – maybe, but it works, it works.

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