Welcome to my house where the hugs are always warm but the milk is never cold. Where children appear from around every corner and behind every door. Yes it smells like toast and fresh laundry. If you clear the clothes off that chair you can sit down. The dog will lick you the whole time.
No the children won’t leave you alone. Yes they will keep staring at you like you are an alien. You will be shown every new thing that they have received in the past month and you will nod enthusiastically and say ‘Wow!’ at appropriate moments. You may get hit by a football. You will be used as a climbing frame. And yes they will most likely go through your coat pockets for change.
Be careful that wonky press door doesn’t land on you, mind you don’t fall over the crawling baby and watch that floor, the boards are loose. Don’t leave anything down, it will most likely be eaten. Yes that wet patch is pee.
You will not go to the bathroom alone. There’s no lock on the door anyway so there’s nowhere to hide.
We will chat over the noise of the constant background chaos. I will shriek at a moment’s notice – calling random children’s names. There might be biscuits but you will be lucky to get to eat a whole one. I can still talk while untangling wrestling children and doing quantum physics homework.
You will get lots of kisses goodbye and baby dribbles. You will not go home clean. Your hearing will return shortly. The shock will wear off after a while. You can take that child with you if you like. We will all stand and wave at you as you leave, like a travelling circus.
You will relax that evening in the glorious echo of silence and calm that is your home and thank god for life’s little pleasures. I will fall exhausted into bed beside warm baby curls and the smell of bubble bath and thank god for mine 🙂
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