It's been a busy week and it's only Tuesday. My week really starts on a Saturday when all the kids are off school and nursery. Then they have to be driven to football training and swimming lessons. I have my favoured short cuts and fast routes and after 14 years of to-ing and fro-ing them around London, I am acquiring something approaching the Knowledge.
This Saturday the eldest two had some friends over. That brought the kid-count up to nine. The youngest doesn't have sleepovers yet but very much enjoys annoying (she'd say) and hanging out with (he'd say) his teenage big sister and her friends. After dinner the older ones went off to hang out. Fifteen minutes later, one of the girls came down with a sore shoulder and asked if I could help. When you Google "shoulder pain treatment" it suggests either a heat-pack or an ice pack. But which? We went for ice and it seemed to help.
My middle boy (11) had issues with a game of Fifa 16, which I had to rectify. Computer games are a whole new level of confusion. When I played computer games, I would start loading Chuckie Egg on the BBC Computer, go downstairs for tea and it would be ready to play by the time we had finished dinner. Times have changed.
Then it was Lego with the littlest one (four). I have never been a Lego fan. Never played with it as a child and I cannot stand 'assemble your own' furniture. I always get something wrong in step two which means the chest of drawers I am expecting is more of a problem than a storage solution. I now have not one but two little boys who love Lego and who need me to put together this tiny Ikea furniture with building blocks that look remarkably similar. If you think Lego is small and fiddly wait until your little darlings get into Kinder eggs. Those can only be put together with teeny tiny fingers.
One of the girls had brought a waffle machine so they set about making them for the assembled masses. Then disaster struck: "Mummy the waffle machine is broken! Can you fix it?" I got the screwdriver out, mumbling about the fact that nowhere on my CV does it mention any skills as an electrician but we plugged away and fixed it.
This was Saturday evening. I'd been a taxi driver, a chef, a waitress, a nurse, a gamer and a handyman by this point. I'm by no means an expert but it does make me think that some of the stuff they teach you in ante natal classes are absolutely pointless. Yes it's good to know what options are available to you but by the time you are in labour, that baby is coming. If you are at home, you'll have a midwife, if you are in the hospital there are loads of experts about.
If you are home alone with nine kids assessing the severity of a shoulder injury, surely some kind of first aid course would have been more useful? Or maybe a driving skills course to enable you to put on mascara at 30 miles an hour whilst driving the kids to school and turning the sound down on the radio news because they don't seem to mind how horrific the language is they use to describe brutal crimes at 8am.
Other classes I'd take in the run up to the birth? Stain removal. The first three years tend to be about removing stains. Stains from carpets, curtains, clothes, duvet covers... We were once at a lovely dinner party and my youngest found a tin of black paint under the stairs and decided to re-do the colour scheme of the vacuum cleaner. Our hosts were remarkably chilled about it.
Then there is the washing thing. With five people in the house, each week I have the EC clothes mountain to wash. That's another part of parenting I didn't know about. What a drag the basic housework involved is - and that's with all the modern conveniences of dishwashers, washing machines and microwaves. The sneaking veg into pasta sauces and cooking for ages in the full knowledge than when you put it down in front of your diner, it will be met with: "I don't like that". Which is always nice.
Then there is the brainpower involved with constant judgement calls. Yes you can go to the park. No you can't have another biscuit. Yes you can phone your friend. No you can't watch that. I don't care if all your friends are watching it...etc etc. It does feel a little like you are the CEO of a massive organisation. Although, it's an organisation with the lippiest employees known to man, who you'd do anything for and who love you with the biggest hearts, provided you give them food that rots their teeth.
I'm just keen to know what a head-hunter would say about my transferable skills.Suggest a correction