Our ef­forts at do­ing stuff ‘as a fam­ily’ has come to an abrupt end

New Ross Standard - - LIFESTYLE -

THE Youngest is go­ing through this phase of want­ing to do stuff ‘as a fam­ily.’

I don’t know why. Maybe she thinks we’re get­ting divorced be­cause I threw a shoe at Him­self for for­get­ting to put the bins out and she wants to make the most of the time we have left.

Ini­tially I was touched. I’m not any­more. Af­ter a week of en­forced prox­im­ity with my Near­est and Dear­est I’ve come to the con­clu­sion, we all need our own space and the sooner we get back to us all ba­si­cally ig­nor­ing each other, the bet­ter.

Ev­ery night last week she in­sisted we watch ‘I’m a Celebrity’ to­gether in bed. Sounds cute. It wasn’t. All four of us crammed to­gether and the dog, into a bed that is only made for two. For some rea­son when the four of us are squashed to­gether on a couch or in bed, the kids take this as the ideal op­por­tu­nity to…..fart.

‘Je­sus Mary and Joseph! Who just farted?’ Him­self bel­lowed. Cue: Hys­ter­i­cal gig­gles. Just as you calm them down, the wrig­gling starts and it’s an el­bow in your face and a kick in the shin. And the talking! My God my chil­dren talk a lot, es­pe­cially when you don’t want them to although I sup­pose I prob­a­bly have to take full blame for that one.

Apart from the TV watch­ing, she has in­sisted that we make and eat din­ner to­gether each night. This al­most never hap­pens and now I can un­der­stand why. We lit­er­ally can­not sit at the ta­ble for five min­utes with­out hav­ing an ar­gu­ment.

The last straw came when she made us put the Christ­mas tree up to­gether. This is nor­mally my job be­cause ob­vi­ously I want it to look nice and let’s face it if I leave it to them they’d only make a balls of it!

So there we all are, Christ­mas mu­sic blar­ing, putting up the tree. I go to find an ex­ten­sion lead and come back to find all the red baubles on one side and all the gold ones on the other. The fairy on the top looks leg­less and they’ve only put lights on the front.

I con­fess I lost the plot. ‘ This whole ‘ let’s do it as a fam­ily’ busi­ness is not work­ing! I’m sick of the whole lot of you.’ They look mo­men­tar­ily taken aback but then slightly re­lieved. ‘I’m fed up talking to ye, and cosy­ing up with ye and pre­tend­ing that I want to spend 24 hours a day with ye. I DON’T! So can we just get back to nor­mal PLEASE!’

They nod ea­gerly and head for their re­spec­tive safe havens – bed­room, play­room and in front of the telly. The house set­tles back into com­fort­able si­lence.

Long may it last.

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