Verity Lush is a 36-year-old mum-of-two who lives in Portsmouth.
She is a tutor in philosophy, English and maths and has written a book for newly-qualified teachers, plus textbooks and articles for teaching magazines and supplements. Follow her on Twitter @lushnessblog
Empty nest syndrome: something that women, apparently, suffer from once their kids have all left home.
For me, that day is at least 13 years in the future. And when it comes and my dear little children have set up their own homes and chosen soft furnishings with care, I intend to be there – armed with Weetabix, Marmite, jam and other sundries.
On my feet I shall be sporting Wellington boots. I’ll have worn these previously to a wood and, if possible, have trampled through a vast quantity of dog poo on the pavement.
Around my waist there will a utility belt and strapped into it I will be carrying my arsenal of permanent markers, superglue and several Biros.
Upon entry to the humble abode, I shall make my way to the living room: on a scooter. I’ll ride down the wooden floor whilst dragging the brake across it, holding one Marmite-smeared hand on the wall as I go.
As soon as I spot a sofa, I shall disembark and land, with a flourish, upon it. There, I shall bounce in the manner of a rubber ball.
My poo-smeared wellies will embed themselves in the upholstery and, once destroyed, I’ll make my way to the kitchen.
I’ll take some milk from the fridge, swig it from the bottle, and then pour some on my Weetabix.
Once it’s mushy, I’ll pop some goggles on my face and proceed to use a large spoon of the wooden variety to take ladles full and splatter it across the cupboards.
Then I’ll work some glue behind the handles so it gets them where they least expect it.
By this point, upstairs will be beckoning. My dirty hands and I will smear our way up the walls, and I’ll sprinkle great handfuls of fluorescent loom bands as I go.
Loom bands in the carpet, loom bands tucked in the underwear drawers, loom bands in the beds. Yay.
If the timing is right, I may even do a huge poo in their toilet and leave it unflushed for their friends to find.
And then for my piece de resistance. From my backpack I shall remove five alarm clocks, each ready to go off on the hour every hour from midnight onwards.
I shall deposit these in the most discreet places I can think of and leave knowing that my work there is done.
Welcome to my world, girls, welcome to my world.