Money? A round world trip? A diamond ring?
None of the above.
It’s time alone. On my own. Just me, no one else in sight.
Every minute of every day, I have someone feeding from me, holding onto me, wanting to be picked up. Asking a question, whinging, fighting, crying or wanting to be fed.
I crave silence. To read a book. To go shopping without dragging kids behind me while trying not to lose one of them. I love being alone – but it never happens.
The girls latest trick after becoming besotted with Annie is to hide behind doors and jump out at me belting out “little girls little girls everywhere I turn, I can see them.” I feel Miss Hannigan’s pain.
While I’ve always craved alone time, it became apparent recently someone else in this house does too. Miss 6 came to me with her homework. There was a section of it to fill out – “what do you do on your own with your mum.” I’d had a particularly harrowing day. She was wanting help with it.
“That is easy, the answer is nothing” I said. “Do you want help spelling that?”
Cue meltdown. One which I didn’t want to listen to at 8pm at night.
Fine, I thought. “Then lie, say we go to high teas together, go to mother and daughter music lessons once a week, and do bikram yoga.”
The meltdown continued, amping up rapidly, with her informing me that she couldn’t possibly lie, lying was wrong, that we don’t do any of those things, then questioning why not.
By this point it was 823pm, and my patience had run thin.
“Listen” I said, with the tone that implies you’re not going to anyway – “you have 2 choices. 1. You write nothing, which is the truth. Or 2 – you lie and write down what I’ve told you. Add cooking classes for good measure”
That’s when I became unstuck.
“Don’t you think I want some time on my own? Don’t you think I’d like to do things just with you? Go out on an outing without you kids behind me screaming? But we don’t, we can’t and it won’t happen. There will always be too many people in everything we do. Even when you grow up your older brother will start breeding and bringing kids home. So we will ALWAYS have too many people around.”
As I looked over and thought that therapy might be in order for both of us, she smiled.
“Mum, the next time you have a baby can it be triplets?”