Two kids, two barking dogs '“Â my wife deserves a medal '“Â Kieran HowardÂ
Never did I think three hours could feel like three days '“Â until last week that was. Kerrie 'nipped' out to do the weekly shop and run some errands.Â
Â It'd normally take her an hour or so, but I confidently suggested she take her time to escape crying babies and whinging toddlers for a bit.Â I'd come to regret that brave proposal some 180 minutes later. Her absence from the household left me home alone with and in sole charge of the two boys.
A week on,Â I'm still recovering physically and mentally.Â Taking charge of one can be a challenge. Looking after two is like trying to crack a safe with a 20-digit code.
I now see where she's coming from when she messages me at work to tell me things aren't quite going according to plan.
I don't think you can even have a plan as far as kids are concerned.Â
Â In my defence, it's always a little difficult to fully appreciate the struggles when I'm not the one who's on my tod, desperately battling to preserve my sanity as I attempt to keep two under-threes on the right side of happy. I honestly don't know how she does it five days a week.
If she's not honoured by the Queen at some point in the near future, there should be some serious questions raised.Â
Forget MBEs,they need PBEs (Parent of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).
She'd fully merit one for services to raising Louie and Lennie.Â
My relatively brief time without Kerrie by my side included a six-week-old who was intent on producing things from his bottom which I wouldn't inflict upon my worst enemy.
It comprised of two dogs who were doing their level best to make the next-door neighbour's cat their next meal.
And it involved a toddler who continually refuses to acknowledge any instruction given to him, unless it's something food-related and benefits him.Â
I spent a large chunk of the three hours trying to prevent Louie from climbing in the toilet and repeatedly reminding him that the television isn't a large Etch A Sketch.Â Â
He occasionally likes to put pen to screen. We do try and deter him though.Â In hindsight, I possibly shouldn't also have arranged for a Sky engineer to visit halfway through my solo parenting experience.
He entered our house to the sound of a screaming hungry baby, a tired and whiny two-year-old, two dogs whose barks implied they wanted to eat his arms and a defeated, sighing adult.Â
I have to say, he took absolutely no time at all in replacing our satellite dish.Â For the life of me, I can't think why he was so speedy.
Back to the dark ages
What exactly did we all do before the internet?
I felt like I'd had part of me surgically removed when our broadband went down two weeks ago. If you were also affected by the 24-hour fault, you know where I'm coming from.Â The situation was soÂ bad people actually had to text message each other.Â My phone and tablet became completely redundant, not least because I'd already used up all my mobile data for the month as well. The gadgets suddenly became little more than expensive paperweights and door stops. And, with zero online access to anything capable of occupying Louie over breakfast, I bravely took him along to Gosport's The Wendy House. It was my first visit there and I returned home feeling like I needed a two-week all-inclusive stay in the Bahamas. Don't get me wrong though, it's a wonderful family-oriented venue. Put simply, it's a cafe for adults who have young kids in tow.Â There's loads of toys, books and games for the children to enjoy while parents attempt to finish a cup of tea while it's still hot. Those without children are also welcome, but I wouldn't recommend it without first purchasing some paracetamol. Anyhow, Louie loved it, Lennie slept through it and I got some cake out of it, so I will return. Â