The Monster Diaries

Friday 21st June

If feels like ages since all three children have been home together but within half an hour of getting home from work, I find myself wondering how long it will be before another one of them goes on a trip!

To be fair Youngest Child was excited that Best Friend From Next Door But One, was home from her school trip and we had only been in the house five minutes before she went off to Best Friends garden, where there are such delights as trampolines and giant swimming pools.

We no longer have children’s playthings in our garden, though for many years it was like a pre-schools outdoor area and a friend once asked how much it would cost to send her daughter here every day. The Husband and I decided to treat ourselves a couple of years ago by creating a grown-up space in the garden where I could relax on the swing seat, with a book and a glass of something chilled and he could keep a nice lawn and some koi carp. Other than the treehouse and the ‘pink shed’ (which is used as a slime making factory), it is a haven of tranquillity.

So, I was most perturbed when I arrived home to find a garden table overturned, my patio doors streaked with water marks and (OMG he will go mad) a broken window in the door of The Husbands workshop/man cave!

“What the hell has happened?” I wonder. I am thinking attempted burglary, squatters in the shed, a giant cat fight (I am not exaggerating we do have a problem with a new neighbour’s feral cat, which, along with trying to kill the long standing members of the cat community, also likes to spray foul smelling bodily fluids all around my doors).

Just then The Husband rang. “Have you seen what he has done to my shed?” he asked. “Well I’ve seen my table and my patio doors!” I declared.

It turns out that nothing more sinister has happened than Middle Child arriving home from holiday mid-morning and having to be left alone with Eldest Child while The Husband went to work. It seems, despite being of an age where they should want to do nothing more than be glued to some kind of technological device, they decided to ‘play in the garden’!

The first game was ‘chase each other round the garden with a water gun’, hence the upturned table and the water marked patio doors (that also explains why Middle Child looks like she just stepped out of the shower fully clothed).

The second game was ‘let’s see how far I can launch this rock from the catapult that my sister brought me back from holiday’, which explains the broken window!

What the hell possessed the girl to buy a catapult for her brother when she knows full well, he has no common sense and a death wish (he has only just narrowly escaped the firing squad after putting a dent in the lawn, where he had been jumping off the treehouse balcony)?

Don’t even get me started on the pile of dirty plates on top of the dishwasher (I was sure I actually tidied up before leaving for work this morning) and the greasy air fryer that someone has, yet again, cooked bacon in (I’m beginning to think it isn’t such a great invention after all). Then there is the huge suitcase in the middle of the hallway that I assume is full of dirty clothes and that Middle Child is obviously assuming will wash itself.

FML! Takeaway and a bottle of wine it is then!

The evening, fortunately, improved all round. After blackmailing the kids with £20 for the chicken shop (I know that’s not great parenting and they really did not deserve it but it’s Friday night, I’ve had a long week and I really, really can’t be arsed to cook) they managed to spend the rest of the evening without trashing the house, breaking anything or killing each other. The Husband rang back and suggested that, as he was working late again, he bring us some dinner back from the very nice fish and chip shop by the station and I also got a surprise delivery.

Being a book nerd, I am a member of a book swapping group where we are paired up with someone once a month and we send each other a surprise book or two. These packages also sometimes contain extra little goodies, such as chocolate and sachets of green tea. The group organisers had recently started a monthly give away and I was the recipient of the first ever selection. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but I was bowled over by the contents of the package. Not only did it contain two books, which were right up my street, it also contained a large tea cup with a selection of teas, a face mask and foot peel (hopefully this will work better than the last one I tried), hot chocolate, candles, body butter, hand cream and a variety of bookish novelties such as fancy paper clips and bookmarks. I was stunned by the generous gift and its arrival was perfectly timed on what had started out as a very stressful evening.

Finally, the thing that really made my evening! Eldest Child tried to redeem himself by emptying the dishwasher and clearing the dirty plates. I couldn’t resist winding him up by announcing that, now he has left school, we need to have another ‘birds and the bees’ conversation to make sure he is fully informed about all eventualities and enquiring if there was anything he would like to ask me. He made a very sharp exit and steered clear of me for the rest of the night. Revenge is sweet!

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