A Chancer that is. Mister Husband is, to borrow a much loved Irish phrase, a cute hoor. But I know him and his tactics well. He is a big fan of pester power, believing that if he persists long enough, he will wear me down. He is subtle in his approach and most times probably not even aware that he is doing it, but I am. He has taken a leaf out of one of my sister’s book. She too is a big fan of dropping a small hint and letting the other person think it was their idea in the first place. It’s not only vehicles that have blind spots, ya know. I have to check mine constantly for Mister Husband. Then, when I’m busy looking over my shoulders, the big Jolly Phonics * steps right off the kerb and in front of me. If I can just go off tangent here for a little bit. It’s all relevant, I promise, so hang on in there. I don’t think it’s necessary to draw your attention to the fact that we’ve got four kids. But I’ll repeat myself for the purpose of this post. Mister Husband and I have four Screecher Creatures, all boys, under 6. So you can appreciate how things can become hectic every now and again. Time has a different meaning altogether when you’re a parent. It’s a popular concept that everyone has the same 24 hours in their day. But I’m here to tell you that is Bull Shittttt. It might be true if we all get up at the same time every day but not all of us do. Not all of us fit in the same amount of work in that day either. When you’ve been up since 4am after a very broken night’s sleep, you know very well that 24 hours is a helluva lot longer than the average working person’s day. There’s a lot of slagging at my breast feeding group on a Tuesday morning about me going again or going for the girl. Indeed, Screecher Creature No. 1’s Priomhoide (School Principal to you and me!) very tongue in cheekily called me selfish last week when I said I wouldn’t be sending another Dooley (or at least a nee Dubhlaoich) member to her school. See, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for me now and for once it is not a train. I am running towards it, Sound of Music style, with my arms outstretched in greeting. Screecher Creature No. 2 will be starting school in September. Screecher Creature No. 3 will go to crèche a couple of mornings a week (hopefully) and then it will be just me and Screecher Creature No. 4. The nappy situation changed at Christmas. For the first time in four years, there is only one nappy wearer in our house. Already that person is fast approaching his first birthday. It’s all getting so much easier for me. I’ve got a nice exercise programme in hand, a bit of time to myself in the evenings to write down all the thoughts that occupy my brain during the day and scramble desperately to out shout the boys. I feel the world is my oyster. I can see the beginnings of a social life again. The future is so bright; I just might have to start wearing shades. And then Mister Husband stepped off the path and in front of my car which had been cruising along, a la Driving Miss Daisy. The cute hoor cherry picked his moment. I love the maternity documentary on Channel 4 called One Born Every Minute. It is fascinating, scary, heart-warming, educational and makes for desperately, desperately compelling viewing. I come away from it feeling just the tiniest bit broody and I swear, Mister Husband can smell it. Would you not have another one? Mister Husband flung his curve ball at me. I told him, quite honestly, that I would have two more in the morning, but I really don’t want to be pregnant ever again. Then he feked a truism at me; pregnancy only lasts 9 months. I looked at him through squinty eyes. What you talkin’ bout Willis? Ultimately, sez he in his cute hoor fashion, ultimately it’s up to you, it being your body but………….. I swear I could hear the car tyres screeching to a halt. He just kept on firing those curveballs at me. There’s a hole in the family. Oh, is there now, I asked him, still all warm and clucky from watching One Born Every Minute. And what do you expect me to do about it. He’s smooth, I’ll give him that. But I plugged in my smooth bullshit-ometer years ago and I let him talk. He mentioned he knew how appealing stopping at four is. He spoke of the recovery process afterwards, both mentally and physically and what a pain it is. He agreed that I’d have to go back to night feeds again (go back? I’m still doing them! But Mister Husband sleeps through them all. I rest my case!) And how I’m enjoying my “me time” again now that things are getting easier. Employing Super Nanny tactics is what he was doing. Ever notice the way Super Nanny compliments the knackered parents and soft soaps them before she pounces and goes in for the kill to tell them what a balls they’re making of family life? Mister Husband is a bit like that. He reminds you of the positives first so you’re all nice and compliant and less likely to kick up about the crap stuff. Buttering me up before hitting me with the million dollar question: would you not have one more? Look at how easy Brendan (aka Screecher Creature no. 4) is, how could you look at him and not want another one? Like I said, I’d have two more if I didn’t have to get pregnant first. One born every minute? This also applies to fools and I like to flatter myself that I am not one of those either!
*Jolly Phonics is our euphemism for Big Bollix.