I am a David Coleman fan. I really like his calm and sensible approach to raising a family and his theories on family life. Being a family man himself, he knows what he is talking about (I hope!) and approaches the job and all it throws at us in a lovely, calming way. Youse lot can just smell the “but” can’t ye? Well, here it is. (Adopts whiney voice for effect) But David, it’s easy for you to talk; you’re not surrounded by the little terrorists 24/7. I try, David. Honest to God I do, but (there it is again) they just won’t listen to me. Everything he advised me to do through the pages of his books, I nodded my head at in total agreement. Where I fall down on the job is pretty much at the first hurdle; when it comes to applying what I’ve just read. A quick mental message to my own lovely mother here - I now get where you were coming from when you used to snarl at us from under your breath “anything for a quiet life.” It’s just easier somehow to give in. Yes, I know, David, but not in the long run. Tell you what; book me in now, well in advance for Teens in the Wild. I’ll see you in approximately 8 years’ time and you can say “I told you so,” to my face. I may as well confess here that I have already failed miserably in trying not to pigeonhole my kids, another one of David’s “don’ts”. I have often introduced Screecher Creature No. 4 as “the good one” due to his placid nature. According to David, if you label your kids they tend to grow up essentially believing their own hype. So, Clever Clogs knows she’s intelligent but believes that she’s Plain Jane. The pretty one is aware that she is attractive but feels she is not the sharpest tool in the box. Well, David, again you have my full permission to rub my face in it when we meet up on 2020 in the West of Ireland somewhere because we have already tarred one of ours with the contrary brush. This one is worse than several bags of cats. Out of all our Screecher Creatures, his waking up at night is the one I dread the most. He is stuck halfway between sleep and wakey wakey. Confused and annoyed he likes to vent his frustration by roaring. Loudly. He will inform me that he hates me and he hates me looking at him. But when I leave the room he is enraged at being left alone. If things don’t go his way, he can turn on a dime faster than you can say Jack Sprat. He will switch from spontaneous hugs and squeezes to full on vitriol. Doors are there just for him to slam. His beloved collection of books are missiles to be hurled across the room. His skinny little four year old body (oh, oh. Have I inadvertently on purpose revealed his identity?) shakes with ill-concealed temper and exasperation. And when it’s all over, he hauls his exhausted, skinny little four year old body to bed where he sleeps off the tantrum for a couple of hours. If he remembers all the drama when he wakens, he doesn’t let on. The thumb goes in and he plonks himself down in front of The Pink Panther or whatever cartoon his brothers are watching. But on the plus side of things, when it comes to body image we, as a family, cannot be faulted. None of us are very body conscious, and I think that’s a good attitude to have. After all, we’re all naked underneath our clothes. But I would like to drive one point home to the Screecher Creatures and that is how important privacy is. It’s been several years since I visited a bathroom, any bathroom, without my entourage. When I need real privacy, I have to bolt for the loo when their backs are turned. One day, after my walk, not only was Mister Husband sitting on the closed toilet seat with the baby on his lap waiting for me to return from collecting a towel and some clean clothes, but the other three had dragged in chairs, lined them up and made themselves comfortable. It was like the front row at the cinema! I didn’t care how urgently any of them wanted or needed to talk to me, I sent them all packing. I bet Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t encounter such paltry problems in her perfect, idealistic homestead. Her tip for last week was “women who want a happy home should give up work and care for their families full time” [sic]. It’s a pity money talks because it comes out with some dreadful crap at times. Anyway, I wasn’t entirely happy with myself today. I went to the shops without my will power and there, parading itself in all its gorgeousness, was a tin of chocolate Kimberly’s for a measly five euro. Sure, I couldn’t leave them there. They came home with and again, sure I couldn’t leave them in the tin. Aye, Run Fat Bitch, Run and all her good intentions, ran straight out the window. I’d say the lads got one biscuit each out of the tin. Would you reckon I have a problem if there is a compulsion to hide all evidence of my binge? The empty tin was stuffed in under the recycling stuff so Mister Husband wouldn’t see it and tell me that I was only fooling myself. So, instead of standing in front of the bathroom mirror in the morning, as is recommended by the writer of RFBR, shouting “you fat bitch!” at myself, I cut out the letters in bubble writing and pasted them to the press door in the kitchen. (See picture on this post) It’s supposed to be a visual reminder of the two stone I have already lost (couldn’t resist sticking that in there!!!) But now the Screecher Creatures keep asking me what it says! I’m in another quandary. I am well aware that if the Screecher Creatures were Little Misses, such a sign would never be made. But I did make it and it’s up on my kitchen press for all to see. Mister Husband told them straight out what it says, and now Screecher Creature No. 1 wants to know what a bitch is. Oh hell.