Do you have one? When I was younger I used to love climbing onto the roof of a summers evening and watching the sun go down behind the hills. I would stay put long after it had gone to bed and just watch the scenery, the swallows swooping and the cars driving past. When I got chilly I would climb down and go inside. I still love long journeys where I can sit perfectly still and just look out the window. It helps of course that the Screecher Creatures are strapped into their seats and physically cannot get near me. Sometimes I need that time to recharge my batteries and enjoy my own space, both physically and mentally before the pulling and dragging out of me begins again. Bus and train trips were always enjoyed too for the sole reason of just being able to “blank out” and let my thoughts wander. The shower can be another little place of respite. But these days I have a new, a more sophisticated happy place. It looks magnificent and I am sure it is, especially as I have let my imagination run amuck and redesigned it to my liking. I have never physically set foot in it. Never been past the impressive front gates. This nirvana does actually geographically exist; it is not just a fantastic figment of my imagination. It is a hotel on a sprawling estate on the outskirts that is Kilkenny City. And I go there on a regular basis albeit in my head. But in my hand I have an overnight bag containing a comfy pajama’s and a couple of books. Rattling around in the bottom is some night cream, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a halfway decent ensemble to wear to dinner in the evenings and fek all else in there. In this little day dream, I check myself in for a two night stay after having a look at their room service and pampering options. The only person I intend to speak to is the lady who will expertly and magically massage my tired and aching feet, and this will be just to say “thank you so much for that. It was wonderful.” I will retire to bed on the first night at approximately nine o’clock after a light evening meal, to read one of my books. When I open my eyes the following morning, late room service will be outside my door, and not any child of mine demanding that the telly be turned on, his breakfast be made or his bum wiped. I plan to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, one that is not shared with small boys of various ages or interrupted by a crying baby. Indeed, it is a breakfast that will not get smeared onto my clothes. I will shower in perfect peace and quiet. No-one will come crashing through the door roaring, “what you doing in there, mammy?” Throwing on some clothes without having to first wrestle them from a child will be lovely and then I might go for a nice walk around the perfectly manicured grounds. Or I might not. I might just make my way into Kilkenny city for a few hours of uninterrupted shopping. By taxi of course. The only time I will be under pressure will be in the early afternoon, anxious to get back to the hotel for my facial and manicure. I might (ok, who am I kidding? I will definitely) allow myself a couple of minutes to think about my children and then, content in the knowledge that they are being well looked after and not missing me at all, swiftly return to my afternoon tea. Absolute bliss. The power of daydreaming. At this point, reality usually comes crashing down. An older Screecher Creature is sneakily standing on the leg of the baby’s trousers, pinning him to the floor so he cannot move. The baby’s screams of frustration and rage make his big brother break out in an evil little smile. My roars of what I won’t do to the older fella if he doesn’t leave his little brother alone, join in the noise levels. I just hope that social services are not outside my door. The sharp, almost painful, memory of the realisation that I would do great harm to, or even kill, anyone who dares hurt this, my precious child, is still crystal clear in my mind. That day though, it seems, I am the one who wants to kill him! One day, I will get to my dream haven. For the moment, however, I will settle for Mister Husband taking the Awesome Foursome to the pool, the cinema, the park, their grandparents’ house so I can have the place to myself for an hour. I will brave out the child who is the not so careful 3 year old owner of a feked up Circadian rhythm, try to rest assured in the knowledge that he will have grown out of it by the time he is 21. Adding here, I am also living in hope that he will have moved out and into a place of his own by the time he is 18. My house on an average day? A Screecher Creature will be walking around with one of his daddy's fags stuck behind his ear. As long as he doesn't light up I don't care. Another Screecher will most likely be drawing on the floor. That god awful bitch Peppa Pig will be holding the fort on the box and I will be trying to make sense of the whole thing. Kids rock but jayzus you'd need an extra 5 hours tacked onto the end of your day just for yourself! Have a nice weekend.