I remember when we first got this book for X – he wasn’t quite two and we’d got him loads of books for Christmas from The Works. 5 Minutes Peace was in there, and I took an instant dislike to it.
The gist is that Mrs Large wants 5 minutes peace from her 3 little children, so she decides she’s going to have a bath while they eat their breakfast.
Within minutes, each of the children come into the bathroom with such demands as “reading” and “playing the flute” and then the little one brings up a load of toys. How sweet! How on earth could Mrs Large flip her lid 30 seconds later and abandon her three little darlings in the bath? “I’m going downstairs, because I want 5 minutes peace from you lot!”
Back then I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to say that to my child. Sure, I used to moan at Hubs that I needed half an hour to myself or I was going to go mad – but to actually brazenly say it to X? No. Never…
Other than the pure irresponsibility of leaving children alone in water, I now get it. I 100% get it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve begged for 5 minutes about 20 times today.
X is now perfectly capable of entertaining himself – he’ll happily take himself off to his room, or the playroom, and find something fun to do if I’m writing. Granted, I do seem to spend a LOT of time working at the moment, what with this blog, the local arts website I run and my job as Marketing Manager for my theatre group, but I still make time to play, and we get out for at least a bit of a walk every day.
But this last month, X has taken to not waiting for an answer to a question. Conversations now go like this:
X: Mummy, I’m still hungry. Can I have a biscuit?”
Me: Ok, sweethea-
X: Mummy can I have a biscuit?
Me: Yes, darling, let me just-
X: (louder) Mummy, I’m still hungry!
Me: I know, I’m just putting the laptop down…
X: (wailing) PLEAAAAAAAASE MUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMY
Me: (literally standing there with a biscuit in my hand) X?
X: I WANT A BISCUIT!!! MUMMY I’M STILL HUNGRY!!!!
Me: (exasperated look) X!
X: (inconsolable on the floor) *inaudible wailing*
Me: (sits back down with laptop to attempt to remember what I was going to write)
X: (flops on sofa next to me) *sniffs* Mummy, can I play on your laptop? Can I do some letters? Please Mummy? Can I have that biscuit now please Mummy? Mummy?
So I’m sorry, Mrs Large. While we disagree on how to handle children around water, I totally feel your need for 5 minutes peace…