Picture the scene. It’s 7pm. Your child is running around the house, screaming his or her little socks off. Clothes are being swung around the head and they are teasing their sibling every time they run past.
It is late in the day, you have just returned from work, the lunches still need to be made, dinner to be cleaned up, showers taken, books read and lights out.
The whole exercise is a few hours and you just want to get it done. You have already had enough for the day.
The screaming lunatic running around your home has other ideas. You can tell they are in one of their moods. You feel your stress levels rising.
Tonight you tell yourself you are going to be calm. There will be no shouting. You think of the mindfulness apps you have downloaded. You take yourself to your happy place and zone out for a few seconds. Refocused, you come back to the moment and calmly tell the child to stop running around and to step into the shower.
You receive no acknowledgement except the sound of a manic laugh. His partner-in-crime is now also jumping up and down on the couch.
You think of watermelon smoothies in Thailand and massages on the beach. And you repeat yourself. This time more forcefully.
There is still no response. So you target the sensible one.
After several exhausting attempts you have separated them. One is on their way to the shower while the other is still acting like the devil. You see clothes strewn on the floor.
Anger levels spike. You picture Bill Bixby sitting back against his car at night, panting hard, the rain lashing down on him. You are holding back your inner hulk. With every fibre of your being, you hold that green monster back. You try again.
“If you don’t stop running around the house I am going to put you outside.”
“Ok” comes the reply. You hope he means it but you hold little hope. You smile and say, “Thank you.”
The little [email protected]*er then starts doing the same thing again.
You snap. He is taking the piss. He is laughing at your incompetence. Your weakness. Running around in total defiance. You’ve had it. You want to shove your mindfulness app up Apple’s arse. You are mindful this child is going to spend the night outside.
You make a beeline straight for him. Arms outstretched for the grab. But he dodges you and heads round the other side of the kitchen island bench. It’s all a game to him now.
The manic laugh continues. You go one way. He goes the other.
The other child, now out the shower, gets involved. He tries to block one of the sides.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” half-laughs the naughty one but his fate is sealed.
You catch him and drag him to the front door.