Six Weeks Of Screaming

Thursday the 6th of August, 2015. 11:05am.

Nearly three weeks of the school summer holidays have passed and as I am blearily jabbing at the keyboard to pen this piece, the children are screaming. I’m not sure why, if i’m honest. One of them screamed about something, which made the other one scream, then they just started screaming at each other. It’s what I call the “Perpetual Emotion Machine”, a non-stop cycle of childish anger which cannot be stopped, only redirected towards any hapless adult (yes, me) who might be foolish enough to intervene*.


Sipping at my second energy drink of the day and wiping the blood from my ears, I find myself browsing Facebook to see post after post of the same old shit. “Lush day with my babies, LOVE Summer hols”, “Another great day out with my family. XOXO”, “OMG BESTEST TIME WITH BESTEST PEOPLE!”. Status after status of gushing, luvvy-wuvvy happiness. What am I doing wrong?

I adore my children and we’ve had some great days out (and in) over the past few weeks. We’ve watched a bunch of films, eaten enough sweets to leave a trail of sugar from here to Terabithia, been to a frankly fantastic animal park (Axe Valley, well worth a look), all sorts of shenanigans.


That being said, you can’t do it every day. Thanks partly to my useless appendages (you can read that tale of woe here), some days you have to just sit. Other days, you maybe have to get some housework done. There are days, my darling children, when you have to entertain yourselves for an hour or two so that shit get’s done. You’d think i’d asked them to build a rocket and pop to the Moon for some cheese.

So, as the children whirl past in one of those cartoon clouds of dust, scrapping and yelling at each other, I wonder again what have I done wrong? Facebook is full of happy families who’ve never had a bad day and are always smiling big ol’ smiles like the freak show from the Black Hole Sun video. Are they better than us?

No. They’re just less honest. Everyone has bad days but they don’t post those on Facebook. You see the picture of the angelic wee child baking with mummy, but you never see the picture of said child drawing a big hairy arse on the wall in Tippex while mummy downs a litre of Pinot Grigio. You see a status update saying “Daddy/daughter time! X” with your friend’s wee girl riding her daddy like a pony, but no-one posts “GET THIS WEE SHIT OFF OF ME!” with the same sweet little angel bouncing on her daddy’s head while he tries to sleep off a migraine.


If you’ve ever felt like you’re screwing it all up just because Prissy McPerfection has posted yet another picture of her perfect family baking perfect cakes in Perfectville, don’t sweat it. The day after that, her kids smeared her Audi in shit and then set fire to the dog. She’s just never going to mention it on Facebook. Chin up.

* That’s rather clever, isn’t it? Perpetual Emotion Machine. That should be on an array of child’s clothing, wouldn’t you agree? It is now. Go HERE to buy some. NOW!

So very tired…

If I seem a little short today, it’s because i’m standing in a ditch.
Sorry, so sorry.
I would never normally make such a terrible joke but the sleep deprivation has quite addled me.

Why so tired, I hear you ask?
I will tell you…

At around 12:30am, I shuffled off to bed.
After carefully rolling Marital Unit to one side, I slipped under the duvet, plumped the pillows and lay down to await the sweet embrace of sleep.

Clearly, sleep had a headache last night and was no in mood for embrace, sweet or otherwise.

As the time neared 1:30am, I heard a whimper from the children’s room.
Just dreaming? I could only hope, perhaps they would…NO!
Child Unit 1 awoke and staggered into my bedroom, disheveled and bearing an aroma generally associated with the chap who drinks wine outside the local Londis all day.
The poor child had clearly had “an accident”, so I scrubbed her up, popped her into some clean pyjamas and tucked her in between Marital Unit and myself.
Through all of this, Marital Unit continued to snore, a sound akin to a breeze block going through a meat grinder.

Having checked that Child Unit 2 was still sleeping soundly, I returned to my bed.
Rather, I attempted to return to my bed and discovered something quite remarkable.
A small child is fully capable of filling one half of a double bed.
I shimmied her into the middle and made an attempt to get comfortable.
I was punched, prodded, poked, pummeled and at one point kicked in a most tender area.
I rolled from the bed to the floor, clutching my devastated testicles.
With Child Unit 1 now soundly asleep and Marital Unit doing her best strangled walrus impression, I pulled a small blanket over myself and attempted sleep once again.

I soon realised that the blanket was in fact a throw which we had decided against using on the sofa.
This throw, designed to cover a three seater sofa, was incredibly small.
I could keep my upper half warm at the cost of my feet, or have toasty toes but only if I allowed my nipples to freeze.

A stream of quiet expletives spewed from my lips as I writhed and wriggled, desperately trying to find a position in which all of me could escape the cold.
Such were my struggles, that the blanket was tossed to and fro and soon unfolded, revealing it’s actual size.
It had been folded in four the whole time!

After driving my forehead through the bedside cabinet in frustration, I managed to find something resembling comfort and tried, once more, for sleep.

At this point, somewhere in the dark hours around 4am, Child Unit 2 awoke.

He ran, shreaking, into my room, failed to see me on the floor, tripped over my legs and landed knee first on my already delicate nadgers.

Crying with pain, I pleaded with him to return to his room but it was not to be.

Marital Unit’s nighttime symphony continued with gusto, but Child Unit 1 showed signs of waking and to avoid all out armageddon I quickly tucked Child Unit 2 in next to me on my makeshift floor bed and hoped for the best.

Now, Child Unit 2 squirms about more than a jumping bean strapped to the electric chair…
In his quest for comfort, he slowly but surely pushed me under the bed.
Protesting at the amount of pillow space he had been allocated, he soon swiped the pillow out from under me.
I lay, half under the bed, using the sharp edge of the splintered bedside cabinet as a pillow.

I was uncomfortable, I was cold, but I had settled my entire family off to sleep.

Child Unit 2 snuggled next to me, his elbow lovingly cracking two of my ribs.
Child Unit 1 sleeping softly, doubtless soaking my mattress with urine.
And of course, Marital Unit, sleeping the sleep of the just and making a noise which put me in mind of a yak being beaten to death with a trombone.

Slowly, my eyes closed.

And then the bastard alarm went off.