Sensible folk that we are, Mrs G and I have three kids. Three is a good number: sufficient to continue the human race, so we've done our bit; but not so many that we have to drive a ghastly people mover1, or sell body parts to buy food in embarrassing bulk quantities.
Poor Mrs G. No time to dress
Poor Mrs G. No time to dress
Yet we have a reasonable chance of engendering a pop star, prime minister, or oil magnate, who will keep us comfortable in our dotage. No. 1 son is now studying advanced mating habits, sleep deprivation and liver abuse at university (or 'yoony'), while the other two are working towards it. Job done.
My parents weren't so smart. I am one of seven. My childhood memories are mostly of being slapped around and told what to do by older siblings, and passing the favour on down the chain. We had to book the bathroom days ahead. My Mum couldn't remember our names, and still can't. Leaving home to go to university felt like moving on to somewhere quieter and less crowded. They didn't realise I'd left until I 'phoned home for a chat, and money.
Well, little bro' BalancedPaul is currently convalescing at home, and, kind souls that we are, we offered to host his four for a long (long!) weekend. But in a perfect storm, No. 1 son decided to grace us with his presence, since all his clothes needed washing, and MiniGrump came home from her cosmically expensive school trip to Thailand, all jetlag and jungle tales.
So we now have the 'seven kids for the weekend' badge. Blimey. I apologise for not blogging or visiting much recently, but at least now you know why.
Luckily BP's kids are a bunch of fun, with good manners and generally excellent hygiene, considering their age. The two youngest, Emma and Olivia, are twins, and sometimes leave pithy comments here. The last was 'mighty beautiful livvy the livvya livster said... bet i can do a better pose then her right every one oh please say yes and i bet you will'.
Can't argue with that.
But it's still been a stressful couple of days. I have sawed through a lock, unblocked a (very) blocked toilet, fixed two computers, driven about a thousand miles, averted several punch-ups2, switched off every light in the house at least four times, hunted endlessly for tiny electronic toys, and washedupandwashedupandwashedup, while Mrs G cookedandcookedandcookedandcooked.
Back to two teen twiglets now. Are we relieved? No. Missing 'em.
But here's what brings me up short. We've managed this for a weekend and we feel like heroes. My folks did this day in, day out, for umpteen years, without killing, maiming or losing any of us, even once. Next time I see my Mum I shall bring her flowers and a decent box of chocolates. With a big card, with my name in it, to save her the trouble of remembering it.
1 - Although we do anyway
2 - Between Mrs G and me