Auntie of Five....a guide to survival!
Ok, before I get started...just to avoid causing undue offence to my other siblings, I am actually in total an auntie of 8; and stepmother to a dog. But that just confuses the issue. Five of them are the collected issue of Mummy of five; which is what this blog is all about. Confused? Round here that’s normal J
One of the things which amuses me most about my sister is how everyone who reads this blog believes she is a cool, calm, collected domestic and maternal goddess! Ok, I admit she regularly achieves the impossible; anyone who has seen Kerrie dressed can testify to that; and quite often manages to pull miracles out of the bag most unexpectedly – like managing to come up with brilliant birthday presents for the kids friends the night before a party when a scuffed, screwed-up invitation gets proudly handed over from inside someone’s lunchbox...but domestic goddess??? You need to know what goes on behind the scenes.
Here are my top tips for survival in the house of Bodil:
1. Never expect to be able to have a phone conversation with H. All phone conversations go something like this: “so if you’re coming over on Saturday we could...Kerrie stop climbing on the banister...Chlo, can you get Kerrie down, I’m on the phone...what was I saying, oh yeah we could go down to the village...no Jay you can’t have a biscuit, I’m cooking dinner...hang on Sal I just need to get in the oven...ok we could go down the village and grab a drink in N......Lish, Lucy does not want to wear the tiara...Chloe can you get the knives and forks... James stop crying you can’t have a biscuit, I’m putting the dinner out...here, talk to your Auntie Sal for a minute.” You get the idea.
2. Don’t bother calling round for the conversation instead. Exactly the same happens except you are likely to be expected to feed the baby/strangle one of the kids at the same time!
3. Be prepared to either dehydrate or make your own brew. If it was possible to recoup the cost of all the kettles my poor sister has boiled over the years without having the benefit of actually getting to have the brew they were intended to make, she’d be living in Buck House!
4. Never have the audacity to turn over the TV. And I mean it! It doesn’t matter if the room is empty and has been for half an hour. Turning over the TV means an instant influx of outraged children all shouting ‘I was watching that!’ And if they don’t do it, Daddy will! Not sure when H last got to watch TV without recording it and playing it back at 3am? I suspect it was somewhere around August 2000!
5. Do not believe the following statement: ‘Come round after 8pm – the kids will all be in bed’ With five children, even with one of those regular miracles that occur meaning the younger four were all in bed by that point, they won’t stay there. One of them is guaranteed to either have a tummy ache or a nightmare – that is if they’re not just killing each other as an interesting alternative to actually sleeping, that is. A rough translation of ‘I had a bad dream’ is as follows: ‘I heard Auntie Sal downstairs so I thought if I came down I’d get to stay down longer and she’ll put me back to bed because mummy will be busy blowing a gasket!’ For a rough translation of ‘I have tummy ache’ and ‘the girls were being mean to me’, please refer to the above!
6. Be prepared to multitask to extremes. Five children require a lot of attention, so individual attention is at a premium. Consequently the second you get in the door, all of them want you for something. And no, none of those things will wait. Don’t worry H; we’ll skype at midnight...if Lucy isn’t awake wanting a feed, that is!
7. If you can't stand the heat...run screaming! Good luck with this last one. If you can get away with a child hanging off each leg and another one bolting the front door and wrapping themselves around in the door curtain to prevent your leaving, then you're a better man than me!!! **************************
This was a completely unpaid (unless you count the cup of tea that she didn't get to drink!) guest post from my sister, Auntie of five who decided to stop by here and spill the beans on life in the madhouse!