Yesterday was, of course, Mother’s day, and down here in Tales, the children were ‘chez papa’, so it got off to a jolly good start. A lie-in, an uninterrupted breakfast over the morning paper with music playing sedately in the background, a long walk in the sunshine with the dog-of-small brain, and then round to ‘chez papa’ where my darlings had prepared Sunday lunch for me. How civilised I hear you say. And it was…for a while, and then all hell broke loose.
Upon our return ‘chez mama’, the urchins descended into tantrum mode. There were tears, stamping, shouts of ‘I hate you’, and a bitter and prolonged outbreak of fraternal warfare. I stood in the middle of this maelstrom, clutching the cards they’d made and whimpering, ‘it’s supposed to be Mother’s Day’. It didn't make any difference. No one was listening.
The crowning moment came at teatime, when son-the-younger swallowed a tooth with a mouthful of food. He was distraught. Screaming, he tried over and over to make himself sick, but he’s lost the knack now, this having been something of the ultimate tantrum-party-piece when he was small. I tried to soothe him by launching into an explanation of the tooth’s impending journey through his body. But have you ever tried explaining digestion to a distressed autistic kid with limited understanding? Let’s just say it wasn’t one of my finer moments. Son-the-elder nearly choked laughing, while son-the-younger’s screams have probably been picked up by scientists in a distant galaxy scanning ours for signs of life.
By bedtime, we were all exhausted, son-the younger still sobbing over his lost tooth, which he was still doing this morning until he realised the tooth fairy had remembered, for once, to visit. (how good am I? and this time without, I might add, having raided either child’s piggy bank) The tears vanished at the magical sight of a pound coin.
Mother’s day: thank goodness it only happens once a year. Now, if days like the one I spent with my children yesterday only happened once a year, my life would be peachy! And my hair wouldn’t be turning grey…