Recently I watched an episode of the TV series Skins in which one of the teenage characters lost his virginity and announced that being a grown-up was awesome.
This filled me with good cheer for a while as I reflected on the ‘awesome’ nature of life. From having three healthy children and a good husband to owning a house and a car and holding down a decent job. What more could I want?
Sadly I had lulled myself into a false sense of good cheer as last weekend saw the full responsibility of being an adult hit home. There was the endless drudgery of decorating a child’s bedroom, making a fancy dress costume, refereeing a full scale war (about a shoe on the end of a piece of string – who knew it could induce Armageddon-like behaviour) and foraging in the kitchen cupboards to make a wilted bag of salad and stale bag of bagels last the weekend.
Apparently the guinea pigs eat better than we do – and that’s not far from the truth. Their cereal is very appealing and looks far less cardboardy than our own fruit and fibre.
That’s the crux of adulthood, keeping things alive. The poor goldfish, who surveyed the shoe pandemonium through a haze of cloudy water, opened their mouths with a big O of surprise as I lost my temper and screamed unmercilessly that everyone better remove themselves to their bedrooms or face the wrath of a mother coming out of her ‘I’m in love with life’ bubble.
‘It’s covered in paint’ said child two, reminding me I’d banned anyone from entering her bedroom on pain of being stuck to the newly-glossed skirting boards until after Easter.
‘And mine’s full of furniture’ child number three whimpered, already despondent that her space was being used as a dumping ground for her sister’s stuff. ‘What is it with you and bedrooms’ asked my son. ‘You’re always sending me there.’
And I think the answer is it’s where I want to go. To have a bit of personal space and remember all the reasons I love being grown-up. Maybe I should just send myself off to mine and be done with it. After I’ve fed the goldfish that is. And loaded the dishwasher. And taken toilet paper to the child marooned on the downstairs loo.