Ross O’Carroll- Kelly
‘ You’ve got four children to rear – even though I know we’ve kind of given up on Honor’
It’s nice to know that, after however many years we’ve been married, me and Sorcha still have the capacity to surprise each other. “Sacked?” she goes. “You mean sacked from the estate agency?” I’m there, “Yeah, no, it was a thing called a data breach, which is something we’re all supposed to be taking seriously all of a sudden. I think Lauren will look back one day and hopefully accept that she over- reacted.”
Sorcha, by the way, does the opposite? She goes, “Oh, well, it’s not the end of the world, is it?”
I’m there, “You’re taking this surprisingly well. While you’re in that mood, I’m tempted to also mention that I accidentally broke the head off the Lladro ballerina that your old pair bought you for your graduation and I glued it back on again. And that I’ve been having a flirtationship with a girl who works in Costa and who’s fallen a little bit in love with me and is now sort of stalking me across three social media platforms.”
“The reason I’m not upset, Ross, is that it actually simplifies things?” “Simplifies things? As in?” “I’ve decided to go back to work myself.” “You? Are you talking about opening another clothes shop?”
“No, I’m talking about finally having the career that I wanted before I had the children.”
While this conversation is happening, I should mention, the triplets are running amok in the kitchen. Brian is standing on a chair, trying to put his hand into the toaster; Leo is down on his hands and knees, eating porridge off the floor, because he’s decided he wants to be a dog; and Johnny is shouting, “Fock you, Spongebob!” at the top of his voice, over and over and over again.
Sorcha goes, “You remember a few months ago, I went to that Mount Anville Past Pupils Association Networking Breakfast in the Dylan Hotel?”
I’m there, “Yeah, no, I collected you afterwards. You were mullered – although I’m one to talk!”
“Well, I met an old friend of mine there. Do you remember Salomé Brennan? She was on the Peace and Justice Committee at school. She did Business Studies with German in Trinity and was supposed to go on to do, like, Research Computing in Harvard but she ended up getting mono?” “Er, not really, no.” “Well, she persuaded me to join her economic discussion group on WhatsApp – are you even listening to me, Ross?”
“I’m zoning in and out, Sorcha. There’s an awful lot to take in.”
“Well, basically, what happened is that Salomé now works for LinkedIn and she recommended me for a job there – as a Special Operations Solutions Strategist.”
“Will there be a recap of all of this at the end, Sorcha?”
“Anyway, I went for the interview. Even though I actually thought I was, like, totally unqualified for the job, given that most of my work experience has been in the – like you said – retail sector? But I ended up doing an amazing, amazing interview – and they offered me the job.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, I think I’m finally catching up here. You’re going back to work?” “I stort on Monday.” “This is not me being sexist, but who’s going to look after the kids?” “You are, Ross.” “Are you saying you want me to be one of those, I don’t know, stay- in- bed fathers?” “Stay- at- home fathers – yes, I do.” “But I don’t know the first thing about looking after children.”
There’s suddenly a roar from Brian. He’s managed to burn his fingers on the toaster.
Sorcha goes, “Well, now’s your time to learn, Ross.”
I lift Brian off the chair and I carry him, screaming, over to the sink. I sit him on the draining board, turn on the cold tap and pour water over his fingers. Leo, having finished his porridge, is going, “Woof- woof! Woof- woof!” presumably looking for more.
I’m going, “Shush, Brian. If you stop crying, I’ll bring you to Dundrum for purple ice cream.”
Sorcha’s there, “It’s such an exciting opportunity for me. I’m going to be working proactively with the Senior Management Team to help deliver a cohesive, co- ordinated and highly qualitative customer engagement experience.”
I’m like, “Again, carefully treading the misogyny line here, you’ve got four children to rear – even though I know we’ve kind of given up on Honor.” “Do you watch the news, Ross?” “Not if I can help it, no.” “If you did, you would know that the world has changed. Those gender roles you’re talking about belong in the 1970s. Or maybe the 1870s.”
Suddenly, without any warning, Johnny reaches down and slaps the still barking Leo across the back of the head. Leo yelps, then turns around and sinks his teeth into his brother’s ankle.
I’m there, “Sorcha, please. I genuinely don’t think I can do this. I’ll find another job. I could give the Leinster Branch a ring, see if there’s any jobs going in the coaching set- up – even if it’s just putting the cones out for the academy goys.”
She goes, “Ross, I think Leo has drawn blood there.”
I leave Brian sitting on the draining board and, after a bit of a struggle, in which I almost lose a finger, I manage to unlock Leo’s jaw from Johnny’s leg. By the time I do, Brian has fallen sideways into the sink and now all three of them are screaming.
Honor suddenly arrives downstairs. She’s like, “Oh my God, what is going on? I’m trying to troll Demi Lovato and I can hordly hear myself think.”
I’m like, “Your mother has got a job, Honor. She’s going to be a Something Something Something in LinkedIn.”
Honor’s there, “LinkedIn? Who’s going to be looking after us?”
Sorcha goes, “Your father will be filling the role of homemaker for the foreseeable future.”
And Honor’s like, “Oh my God, we’re all going to be taken into care.”
Yeah, no, my thoughts precisely.