Friday, 26 February 2010

Sorry Mum. If Only I'd Known

Poor Mrs G. No time to dress
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.

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


  1. Sounds like quite the full weekend. Can't imagine seven for seven minutes much less raising that many.

  2. I had wondered if the ladies with whom you illustrate your accounts form part of your domestic establishment. Now I know. Thank you. Is there a recruiting agency you can recommend?

  3. Well, that all sounded like fun!
    I can remember a family with ten kids, and I often wondered how they all managed, but they were all happy and contented.
    Maybe that really was a case of The more, the merrier!

  4. wow kudos to you and your adventures. I have two kids and dont get their names right of course your mother couldnt.

    Stay safe and see you soon.

  5. If the punch ups get too heavy there is a spot for Mrs in my back yard and a huge garden and no guitars do youi remember her name?

  6. **runs away screaming**

    And you did this without meds?


    Welcome back.

  7. Hats off to your folks...I struggle to cope with two nieces for a weekend, and that's with their parents around to look after them too!

    I'm not definitely not cut out for the parenting thing. Luckily the world is in no danger of being underpopulated in the near future...unless the aliens start their abductions en masse (?)

  8. non stop noise and work for a change. how fun! you're a good brother (and good sister in law for mrs. g) your parents did good.

  9. How sweet. Congratulations. Get only the best of curly wurlys and twiglets for mum.
    Hugs to you,

  10. Barking mad. You hafta be. It's very quiet on here up at Whistler, so you should come join us. There's beer and hot women in lycra.

  11. Is minigrump gonna bring her hubs?? LOL

  12. Thanks Papa UG, nice to know our purpose in life. Also, you may want to keep in mind who is actually going to choose your retirement home.

  13. Hunter ~ It cartainly was!

    Christopher ~ It's quite an old picture...

    Alice ~ Ten? Now that's just perverse

    VL ~ Thank you!

    Anon ~ She never told me, alas. I think it was Deidre

    RefGeek ~ I didn't say we did it without meds...

    Nat ~ Ha! I used to say that. Sigh

    Sarah ~ Yes they did! Mostly

    Robyn ~ And to you, chocolate lady

    Indigo ~ Lycra? I'm on my way

    MiMi ~ Alas, she got an early divorce. Phew

    Mini ~ Not before you go through yoony. Expensive yoony.

  14. After seven for a weekend I think I would be adopting an eighth. Called Smirnoff. Eek. Although at least your full house seemed like a nice, joyous full house, whereas I'm sure mine would be full to the brim with demons because I've heard what goes around comes around. :)

  15. Oh, this makes me smile big. I'm one of SIX kids...and? My mom was a single mom for a lot of my upbringing. So yah - she did this shit all alone! Christ, she's my hero.

    Glad you made it through and yes, your Mum also deserves a spa day. Or weekend.

  16. Damn, I think I need to buy some flowers. (Ma and Pa had 6 of us rug rats!)

    My favorite part: Are we relieved? No. Missing 'em.

    You're a sweet man.

  17. That's some way to spend your time. Big medals all round. And a stiff drink in the local too.

  18. I swear t his is my favorite blog ever. I love you grumpy!

  19. Good for you and Mrs. G, hosting all those folks for a weekend. It's a lot of work, but you did a good thing.

  20. yeah, and 'Today's Mother' needs relief over ONE child.

    I could tell your son all about Sleep Deprivation.

  21. Well done Family Grump! (I love the footnotes by the way, don't think I mentioned that before. They're my favourite)

  22. You've got it all wrong. I sleep more now than I ever though possible.

  23. More photos of poor Mrs G please.

  24. Vege ~ I like the idea of 'a kid called Smirnoff'. heh heh

    MommaK ~ One against six? No fair

    mwbtb ~ Another sixer! This is getting to be a theme

    Mme D ~ Yup. It's on me

    JenJen ~ Likewise! You taught me all I know, after all

    BlissedOG ~ Well thank you. We did didn't we?

    Blase ~ He seems to be doing OK all by himself :(

    Tina ~ Right then, more footnotes. Gotcha

    RT ~ Yes, but only during the day

    IT ~ Coming right up!

  25. And to think I struggle looking after myself. It would be unthinkable to have to haul anyone else's arse out of bed every morning and get them washed, dressed, fed and ready and at their place of education before 9 whilst making it to my own place of employment for same time.

    I can't make up my mind if parents are misguided or heroes, but I do love my childfree life - I just don't have the energy or inclination to consider any other. But then I guess I'm doing my bit too since the world couldn't possibly sustain such numbers if every female who could pro-create, did.

  26. thanks for writing about me !!!!!!!!

  27. As a mother of seven, I surely hope you did deliver on those flowers and chocolates. Oh yeah and definately sign your name....or number.