Yesterday I gobbled a handful of my husband’s secret stash of Maltesers from the top shelf in the pantry. He’d strategically placed them up high so they’d be out of our little boys’ reach – but he clearly didn’t factor in his chocoholic wife who is able to reach them.
Smiling to myself that I’d gotten away with stealing them without anyone noticing, I went to find my little monkeys in the backyard.
The conversation went like this.
Mr Four: “Mummy, I can smell Easter eggs.”
Me: “No, you can’t. It’s not Easter.”
Mr Four: “I smell chocolate. I do!”
Mr Two: “Nocolate!” I want nocolate!”
Mr Four: “No, I WANT CHOCOLATE, not you! Mummy?”
Gone are the days when you could indulge in snacking on chocolate like it’s popcorn. Nowadays, eating a square of the naughty stuff is a covert operation, usually involving hiding behind the pantry door and hoping you don’t get caught by your little ones.
This has made me think. What other things have my boys taken from me (beyond sleep, the luxury of peeing by myself and sharing my bed with my husband, instead of a wriggly child)?
1. Biscuits with tea
I used to love dipping a Milk Arrowroot biscuit into my tea, but these days I’m lucky to get a bite, or finish my cuppa while it’s still hot for that matter. Whenever my boys see me sit down with my favourite, ‘I love you mummy’ mug, they are at me to have “just a bite” of my biscuit. Now the logical thing would be to get three bikkies, I know, but my mummy guilt over sugar means I’m forced to share the one with them.
2. TV shows I want to watch
Every so often I manage to get hold of the TV remote. It’s usually when my boys seem happily playing with their train set and not squabbling for a change. I justify this indulgence by telling myself I’ll fold the mountain of washing while I watch some trashy TV. Then, as soon as my toddler hears that it’s been switched on, he climbs up on my lap and asks for “Peppa Piggy? Peppa, Mummy?!”.
3. Tampons and pads
Ok, this is a weird one I know, but my boys love playing with my tampons, especially if they can tip them out of the box all over the floor and transport them around the house in a dump truck. Oh and if I happen to come home from the shops with a pack of multi-coloured sanitary pads – look out! They will think it’s Christmas.
4. Dinner – actually any food that’s on MY plate
My toddler kicks up at his dinner placed in front of him every. Single. Night. Sigh. I’ve tried novelty plates and cutlery, cooking healthy versions of kid-friendly meals and even the ‘no dessert until you’ve eaten your dinner’ threat, but for some reason, if the EXACT SAME MEAL is served up on my plate, my tot stands next to me like a baby bird with his mouth open pleading with me to feed him. Now because this a guaranteed way to get a few veggies into him, I oblige. And then have to get up for seconds.
5. A birthday celebration for me
I threw myself a birthday party last year, and invited all my friends and their kids. I don’t usually celebrate my own birthday but my eldest son who has ASD was invited to one and I wanted to teach him about what happens at parties before he went to it. It was also a good excuse to get together with some mum friends. There was a cake, but it was decorated for the kids and I didn’t blow out the candles. There was also a present, but I didn’t open it. I don’t really need to say who did!
6. Sunglasses and glasses
I wear glasses but these days I get them from Specsavers instead of going for an expensive designer pair. Why? Because I have a four and a two-year-old and I’ve already had to replace them three times in two years because they got broken or hidden in my toddler’s secret stash (and yet to be found). The arms of my sunnies also have teeth marks on them …
7. My decor style
Once upon a time, I had a styled home with a throw rug that picked up the shade of the vase on the bookshelf perfectly. Nowadays I’m putting off buying a new couch and having nice flooring put down until my little house demolishers are older. My decor style now is ‘frazzled mum who attempts to clean up for visitors but that’s about it’.
8. My phone
My phone is off limits to pudgy little hands, except when we are at the doctors, or anywhere I need to buy some quiet time and show them YouTube videos of diggers. That and when it rings and a little someone wants to say ‘hello!’. Okay, maybe it’s not really off limits at all.
9. Shoes, slippers, gum boots
Is there anything cuter than your baby shuffling around in a pair of Daddy’s giant shoes? Or his mummy’s gumboots or Uggs? Quick! Snap a photo. This is one thing I’m always happy to see they’ve claimed.