Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Big Chunder House

This week has been different from usual.

On Monday morning children went to school as usual.  DH went to work as usual and I sweated my way around the neighbourhood in the name of fitness and then collapsed in front of daytime TV for the rest of the day did the housework as usual.

Then, on Monday evening, just as we were getting the twins ready for bed, I heard those three and a half little words that every parent loves to hear.

"Mummy, I feel si..."

And so, dutifully one of us cleared up the sick while the other got the children into the bath one by one and then into pyjamas (Let's just clarify that it was ME who cleared up the chunks, while DH did the other stuff, which means that I now have maximum parental points for the week).

We then prayed that nobody was sick for the rest of the evening, which they weren't (thank god).  One episode of vomgate is quite enough thank you very much.

But, the following morning the realisation of what was to come, confirmed by a stern email from the school, suddenly dawned upon me.  The twins would not be allowed back into school for a full 48 hours.

Thank you to whoever thought up that rule.

They were of course feeling a lot better and were practically bouncing off the walls at the thought of two whole days at home with no school.

I, on the other hand, was not so overjoyed.  Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my children, but since they started school in September I have become quite used to my own space too.

It felt a little like I had been imprisoned.  An enforced period of time in my own house with no sensible conversation for much of it.  Rather like being a contestant on Big Brother, only without Emma Willis wearing an almost entirely see through skirt and unsuitable shoes (much to my husband's disappointment).

And it went something like this:

*adopts Geordie accent*

"Welcome to the Big Chunder House...

Day 1 in the Big Chunder House.  Sounding Like My Mother is feeling optimistic.  She has provided the twins with a Playdoh Sweet Shoppe Bakery and herself with coffee, lots and lots of coffee..."

This should keep them occupied for a while I think.  It will be just like when they were toddlers - they could be doing this all day.  20 minutes later...

"Mum we're boooooored"

The kitchen looked like a bomb site and there were gobbets of luminous pink and yellow dough everywhere (and green, we don't even own green).  Seriously what exactly had they been doing with it?

I'll clean it up later I think, they may even go back to it. Besides, I'm still only on my third cup of coffee.

"10.25 am, Sounding Like My Mother is feeling caffeinated and is trying to get the twins to move from the sofa where they are watching cartoons."

"So, who'd like to do a nice drawing?" I say brightly.  Silence follows and slowly they look at me as if I've grown two heads.  "Can't we go on Minecraft?" they whine.  "No.  You are ill." I argue back.  The TV watching continues with added tantrums.

"11.30 am, Sounding Like My Mother is feeling fed up."

Turns out there are only so many episodes of My Little Pony that you can watch without wanting to stick your head in an oven from the sheer monotony of it all.

"Is it lunch yet?" DS3 asks.  Repeatedly for ten minutes straight.  "OK, have some lunch..." I sigh.  If it is lunchtime then half the day is already over.  A quarter of the way through our confinement.

We eat lunch and I give into them playing Minecraft - ONLY if there is no arguing and ONLY for half an hour.

"1.30 pm, Sounding Like My Mother is feeling stressed and is trying to get the twins to stop playing Minecraft, unsuccessfully."

Ok so the half hour has turned into an hour and then a bit more. More tantrums as I suggest that it might be a good idea to give the XBox a rest before either it blows up or I do.  Sulking resumes in front of the TV - how can it still be My Little Ponies?  I thought that only CBeebies was on a loop. I miss CBeebies...

Right, time for me to do something for myself.  Not housework.  That can wait.  Why not spend all this time at home sorting out all my social media profiles? After all, I've been putting it off for ages.

There was a reason for that.  I am crap at all social media stuff.

"2.45 pm, Sounding Like My Mother is feeling shouty and murderous as she tries to work Facebook while high on the fumes from the playdoh which is still all over the kitchen table."

Now I know why it is called the antisocial network.

"4.45 pm, Sounding Like My Mother is feeling absentminded."

Is that really the time?  I chuck some frozen pizza into the oven while still swearing under my breath at the computer.  Facebook, Twitter, G+ (although really, why bother?) done.

Feed children.  One twin only wants toast.  I give in.  Life is too short and I'm reminded of the previous evening and vomgate - if there is a second round then toast might be easier to scrape up from the carpet.  Always looking on the bright side, that's me.

"6.15 pm, Sounding Like My Mother is feeling relieved."

Twins are in bed with extra towels spread over the beds and floor in case of round two and the other children are all in their rooms "doing homework", or so they say.

I collapse in a heap on the sofa.  Day one is over.  Only one more day to go.  Unless I catch it too.  I decide to self medicate with a large gin and tonic.  Will that kill off a virus?  I read somewhere that gin is cleansing and can be used as part of a detox.  Something to do with the botanicals I think.  Yes, that's it.  Better have a second one then.

"Day 2 in the Big Chunder House and Sounding Like My Mother is feeling browbeaten as she realises that not only are the twins still not allowed back to school but that her husband is also feeling more than a little unwell."

The other three children are mercifully still alright and go off to school.  I decide that staying as far away from everyone is a good plan too and go out for a run.  

I have escaped!  Like Jack Dee did in Celeb BB a few years back, only I didn't have to climb any fencing or negotiate with the security guards.

Sadly I realise that I cannot stay away for too long.  For one thing I need a shower.  I must return.

"11.00 am, Sounding Like My Mother is feeling desperate as the requests for more Minecraft and other things to dooooo overwhelm her"

I try to placate DD2 with a suggestion that she plays on Club Penguin for a bit.  This doesn't work as she points out that it will be boring when everyone else is at school.  Why is nobody else off school?  I must have the most sickly children ever, FFS.

The day continues with some horrific looking drawings in addition to more playdoh - I'm getting quite used to the fumes now. But my god, the mess...

What is that?  A balloon whisk or a hand?

"5.00 pm and Sounding Like My Mother is feeling triumphant."

Nobody is feeling ill.  Nobody is being ill.  Thoughts and conversations turn to tomorrow's eviction.  Back to school, back to real life.

Rather like the persistence of Alison Hammond's TV career since BB3, DD2 is adamant that she never wants to go back to school. Ever. (Please, God, No!)

"Day 3 in the Big Chunder House and Sounding Like My Mother is feeling ecstatic.  The twins' uniform is on, the school bags are packed and she is the last person to be evicted from the Big Chunder House."

The Winner.

Until next time...


  1. That is pretty much big brother (without the kids and the sick). Hope you adult guys didn't get the bug, the only thing worse than looking after sick kids is you being sick and having to look after the kids.
    By the way there is still a bit of red mixed in with the white in that playdoh tub *feeling a little OCD anxious that the colours are mixing*.

    1. Haha, thanks, I was fine, husband less so... You should see the rest of the playdoh, it would probably give you nightmares! ;)

  2. Love the fun & mayhem you have at your house. Glad everyone's well again x

    1. Hmm, not sure it was much fun this week but you've got the mayhem part spot on! ;)

  3. Lol, love your way of describing the monotony of being stuck in quarantine at home for two days post vomgate. Glad you managed to escape the sick bug too x

    1. Thanks, if I didn't write it down I think I'd sometimes go mad! The funny thing is that I never seem to get ill despite being the one who is in quarantine with them...


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