Next to go is usually Rock Godling - but it takes stories, cuddles, extra drinks, cuddles, blankets of books, the 'big' light on (sneakily changed to a low watt red bulb), a nosebleed, (undoubtably unmentionable biological experiments we have to pretend we don't notice until that becomes impossible), upbeat suggestions for lovely dreams, be back up in five minutes, gentle threats, less gentle threats, pointing and shouting, guilt, promises, bribes, more cuddles, one more wee............zzzzzzzz The zzzzzzzzzz is me. He's still awake.
Two hours later Thuglet might exhaust himself to a standstill. Way after I've been roused from my 'disco nap' (like yeah) with RG by outraged daughter demanding I do something about the psycho-dwarf. When he finally passes out I have emerged from mine-shaft of exhaustion, gone from pink, red, purple, blue-in-the-face through to translucent ghost of a shadow. Totally bruised, broken......beaten.
And then there's Minx herself. Still going strong. Himself's been dribbling and snorting on settee since grown-up telly time. But it'll be another couple of hours before she runs out of steam, cocoa butter, nail varnish remover, pens, glitter, business plans, ice-skating routines.........
And THEN it's my turn to have MY TIME. Now I can DO something. After a fistful of carbohydrate, another cup of tea I won't drink (will find it in the microwave tomorrow as I'm putting another one in) and I'll just get started on whatever and Thuglet will wake up again.... I'll fall asleep getting him back to sleep.....
My ancient baby-ravaged bladder gives me a second chance. The house is quiet (ish - if you ignore the rodents the size of Jack Russells). MY TURN.
About 20 minutes before Gorilla Boy wakes up with the dawn chorus and starts throwing bananas at me.
And then I'm supposed to be some reliable pinny-wearing pancake-flipping floral bloody maypole thing. I don't do 'Mother' very well. I still do double-takes when I hear 'MU-UM'. Who are they talking to? Where have these dirty feral midgets come from? Who burgled my house? Who the fuck is THAT in the mirror?
I've been in this house too long. The ice track leading to civilization is still sterling. We are beyond Blitz spirit. Way past Withnail and I. We are at the bit when we see each other as giant hams and hot-dogs. Have come over all Sylvia Plathish - without the writing talent obviously. Just the Bell Jar behaviour bit.
But then this afternoon I started moving about a bit. I'm always complaining I don't have enough time in the house - always running around to different gatherings, classes, matches etc. In the house long enough to trash it but not long enough to tidy it but these past few days I have been catatonic in my own filth. But I worked it out - Xmas has just come early. I mean the catatonic state bit - the inbetween Xmas and New Year bit when you've done your duty and now it's time to eat shit and watch telly. I thought this was a result of good cheer, free cheese parcels and headaches after the high-decibel family stuff but it's simpler than that. It's just stopping.
And I just stopped.
But today I started twitching again. The scum ring round the bath wasn't just a memorial to someone actually having a bath this month - it was a sign. I cleaned it. I used to do things like that long ago. Today I also moved the recycling around a bit. It's nearer the back door. I hoovered downstairs. I - took - the - hoover - upstairs. I did. UPSTAIRS. Tomorrow I shall take over the world.
But tonight is yet young. The scribbling scratching sounds from Minx's room have faded. IT IS TIME.
That baby is creaking. I think I can hear birds. Who are these bloody munchkins? They're smiling at me. They want things. They think I'm their mother. Must get under the mattress.