Earlier this afternoon, I was giving Cherub #1 and Cherub #2 lunch. Nothing fancy, just some homemade soup (which Darling Wife made yesterday) with bread sticks and houmous. Any parent will know just how messy two little tykes can get when they ‘consume’ such things, but I figured that as they are bathing with Mummy tonight, I can afford to let them redecorate themselves.
As it was, they didn’t make that much mess at all. I will admit to being pleasantly surprised that I didn’t need to wash the floor, or wipe the table, or steam clean the walls and ceiling. Cherub #1 wasn’t really that hungry so he left his soup pretty much untouched, his spoon sitting forlornly, partially submerged in the bright orange goop.
Although I didn’t need to clean the kitchen, I did need to contend with the whingeing from Spawn #2 regarding the leftover bread sticks that she wanted to claim. Not usually a problem, but she had already scoffed her share of crumpets, banana, cucumber and cherry tomatoes at their children’s group about an hour earlier, so I didn’t want her to gorge herself silly on bread sticks. So she changed tactics and demanded a drink instead.
“Good”, I thought. She needed to keep up her fluids and a weak juice would help. But then I clocked her hands. They were covered in soup, houmous, and bits of soggy bread stick. I mean, honestly, she looked like the bloke who gets doused in toxic waste in the original Robocop!
I needed to wipe her hands before I gave her the cup, so I left the room to get the baby wipes from the lounge. Now, our lounge and kitchen are immediately next to each other, separated by a wall, but you can see into our lounge from the kitchen table. I could only have been out of the kitchen for, oh let’s see, the amount of time it takes the average person to say “Tantrum”.
Then Spawn #2 began screaming, a high-pitched, blood curdling scream that only a one year-old girl can. Never mind the fact that I was still in the house. Never mind that I was talking to her the WHOLE TIME. I left the room, and that was enough. And it annoyed me. It frustrated me that I could not just leave the room for 10 seconds to get a packet of wipes.
I grabbed up the wipes and stomped back to the kitchen to deal with the little banshee.
As I entered the room, I pulled a wipe out and threw the packet onto the table in frustration. The wipe hit Cherub #1’s spoon. The spoon took flight. And orange Butternut Squash soup splattered everywhere. EVERYWHERE. It was all across the table, on the floor, up the walls, and even on the ceiling. In true bloke style, I turned to Spawn #2, fully intending to utter those immortal words, “Now look what you made me do!”
Then I noticed that I had managed to get the soup all over her too. I don’t know what was worse; the fact that in my mood I had managed to make more mess than two young children, or the look that Cherub #2 was giving me, as if to say “Now what did you do that for?”.
The room was silent. I took a deep breath and, in my head, counted to ten. And as I was just about to turn towards the cupboard for the anti-bacterial wipes, a small voice piped up from behind me.
Cherub #1: Uh oh. (Pause) Daddy made the wall orange!
Well, yes. Yes I did.