It's a bright and early Sunday morning and mother breaks first. "So what shall we do this morning?" she asked.
"Dunno, what do you want to do?" I replied.
Silence breaks out.
We're having our usual, dreaded, weekend early-morning discussion about where to take our toddlers during the morning shift. We need to be back home by noon for lunch and naps.
"You choose, you like to do something different at the weekends," she said.
"I don't mind, what do you fancy doing?" I replied.
We're getting nowhere.
To be honest, I find it hard deciding what to do at the weekends. I'm usually mentally and physically shot by Friday afternoon and would prefer it if mother came up with an easy and interesting way to spend the weekend. But there are none, unless you've got a garden and we haven't. I also appreciate that she's also had a long week in her paid working life and hasn't got the energy to make a decision either.
Weekends really aren't what they used to be BC (Before Children). In those days I often enjoyed doing absolutely nothing for two days. Doing nothing isn't an option now. Our children need to be taken outside somewhere, anywhere, before cabin fever sets in and everybody suffers (including our neighbours below).
Then I had a eureka moment. "Let's go to the farm," I suggested.
"Yes, they like the farm," she said. And with that a decision had been made. It was that easy!
"Big push then," I said. "It's nearly 9am and it looks like it might rain later. Let's get moving. You shower, I'll give them breakfast".
"I need to wash my hair," she said. "I won't be long."
Team work. Fabulous.
Twenty minutes later I had achieved the following:
- Cleared away breakfast
- Brushed teeth x2 sets
- Washed faces x2
- Changed nappies x2
- Dressed children x2
- Collected water bottles, snacks and packed bags
- Starting writing this article
Twenty minutes later I could also still hear the sound of the shower thundering away. She's not still washing her hair I wondered as I marched into the bathroom.
I tried not to say anything, but failed. "You're still in the shower," I say. "Obviously," she replied, still washing soap suds from her hair.
Ten minutes later I snapped at mother as we exchanged places in the bathroom (yes, I still had to shower). "That took a while," I said. "I'm done now," she replied. "I just need to dry my hair now and I'm done."
"Whhhhaaattt," I moaned.
Washing your hair should take less than twenty minutes, surely. Especially in a world where twin toddlers are rampant and need the playground. We needed to get outside ASAP.
I have become quite jealous, almost resentful, of people with spare time. It's something I just don't have - and yes, I moan a lot. I'm even rushing to finish this article as I hear our daughter stirring from her lunchtime nap via the baby monitor. Everything is a rush.
What had mother been doing in that shower? Washing each hair one at a time? She was turning shampooing into an Olympic sport. I quietly noted what else could be achieved in under twenty minutes.
- The space shuttle could launch and reach a stable orbit.
- Mo Farah could run 5000 metres (easily).
- Lewis Hamilton could drive 38 miles in an F1 race.
Getting two toddlers ready and out of the flat every morning can be an arduous affair. In fact it is an expedition only rivalled by getting two toddlers out of the flat in the afternoon in terms of relentless effort. That's why I stress about about people taking their time. I'm envious of spare time. That's why Mother really should be taking less than 20 minutes (25 minutes if you include drying) to pamper her hair.
I need to lighten up. I know.
In summary, I'm delighted to announce that the sun shone all that Sunday morning at the farm. Stress levels plummeted when I saw our children running around the farm in their bright boots, feeding the pigs and splashing in puddles. We all enjoyed the morning.
And as for mother's hair. I am glad (but still amazed) she took over 20 minutes to complete the shampooing marathon. But in the end it was time well spent, because, well, she's worth it!