There always comes a point during my weekend – usually on a Saturday morning around eleven o'clock – when a feeling of panic starts rising in my body like a tsunami. I survey debris strewn across the kitchen from breakfast and realise, with sinking inevitability, that by the time I've cleared it up, lunch will have to be served.
The children are still in pyjamas, glued, in various rooms around the house, to one type of screen or another. I know it will take an effort of gargantuan proportion to drag them from their virtual worlds, into clothes and out of the house doing Something Constructive.The dogs need a walk but it's pouring with rain and for the life of me I can't find the rain cover for the baby's pushchair. They trail behind me, around the house, ever hopeful - but right at this very minute it's just another chore that needs doing.
The weekend stretches ahead as does my never-ending mental list of stuff that needs to be got through and just then the husband walks past, clutching TV pages and announcing he'll be taking 'time out' at such and such to watch the Grand Prix and a live rugby match.
This is when it occurs to me that if a camera was put in our house to record just how hard, on occasion, family life can be, it would send out the strongest birth control message to schools. 'Watch this girls and think twice about getting pregnant because what you are witnessing here is the death of the weekend...'
What could be a better contraception? Then I look at my husband, feet up on the coffee table, and it occurs to me that, perhaps, I'm looking at it right now. The camera should definitely zoom in on his mug of tea, the way his hand rests, ready over the remote. He sits, calm and still, in the eye of the storm, seemingly oblivious to the chaos raging around him..
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