Every day is like a series of little mountains that need to be conquered. No sooner do I reach the summit of one, then I must start to climb the next. Sometimes I am forced to abseil down one mid-climb to go and conquer another one. Then, later, I re-discover the un-conquered mountain and have to conquer it all over again.
You might think the mountains sound more like molehills. They almost certainly are. But I am a pessimist, so please forgive me.
So what are these mountains? Breakfast to make, breakfast to clear away, homework to do, lunch boxes to unpack, dishwasher to empty and endless, endless washing. Dirty washing in the machine. Damp washing on the clothes horse and then the radiator. Dry washing to put away. It is relentless and never ending. Mountain after mountain after mountain.
The most mountainous time of all is after school. Who knew three children wore so many clothes and could drop them so comprehensively around the house? With Cubs, Beavers, Rainbows and dancing, there are often two uniforms dropped on the floor – the school uniform followed by the Beavers/ Cubs/ Rainbows/ dance gear.
It all has to be picked up and sorted – into the wash (and should that be machine or washing basket?) or ready to wear again. No matter how many times I tell the kids the simple rule that socks always, but ALWAYS go in the wash, they still appear all over the carpet.
I lay the clothes out ready for the next day – carefully attaching the pupil council badges to the boys’ school jumpers. Just one more miniature mountain for me to climb.
And that’s just the regular stuff. In addition to the regular stuff, I get a few curveball mountains chucked in. Just last night I had to deal with:
Toothpaste which fell out of the bathroom cabinet and into the toilet. The one that doesn’t flush.
A toothbrush with toothpaste on dropped on the bathroom floor.
A little girl who urgently needed her nails cutting.
An unplugged baby monitor (which can clearly only be unplugged ‘accidentally on purpose’).
And my absolute personal favourite:
‘I need a poo, but the upstairs toilet is very wet’. So, yes, I had to go and dry the upstairs toilet, which was wet due to my sons’ over-enthusiastic showering, so my daughter could use it.
And then they go to bed, once I’ve conquered the hairbrushing and story-reading mountains. I am left with the dishwasher and recycling mountains.
And just when I think every mountain has been conquered and I really can relax, watch telly or have a shower I notice two pairs of glasses that haven’t been cleaned, a school letter that needs signing and a toothbrush that needs recharging.
Then I recharge myself ready for another day of mountaineering.