“All Mrs Large wants is five minutes’ peace from her energetic children, but chaos follows her all the way from the kitchen to the bathroom and back again…”
As a child my mother read this book to me, perhaps I never grasped the subtlety of her hints of desperation for five minutes’ peace, or perhaps I found the story so amusing because I often found myself plonked in the bath beside my mum, because I just assumed she would want the company.
Oh, how I despair with that child that I was, and how I empathise with Mrs Large (and my mum), because today, and often other days, I too am Mrs Large, in every sense of the word.
From Monday to Wednesday I spread myself between work and ‘being mum’, from Thursday until present I spread myself between a set of temperamental twins (the runs and their incisors breaking through are proving to be a lot to contend with), keeping the house in some order, and ensuring my pregnant body doesn’t give out on me again. The twins’ sleeping patterns are a little mucked up due to their current states, and any time I attempt to have a little ‘me time’, I am called upon in one way or another.
Today we woke at 07:30, an acceptable hour on a Saturday, one which I was most pleased with, and I was very much looking forward to my one hour alone spent at a pregnancy yoga class. But unfortunately, this did not transpire…
Despite having Paddy around and both of us trying to content a twin each, they wanted different things and leaving the house in a suitable state of dress (yes, even pulling on yoga sweats was a mission this morning) was not possible. I bit the bullet, stayed in my pjs and cuddled an unsettled set of tots on the sofa. Not having had my little hour alone, I was feeling a tad sorry for myself, but right then and there, that is where I needed to be, and who was I to argue?
When Bonnie and Isla had exercised all of downstairs’ sources of entertainment, we ventured upstairs to see what we could find. Bonnie waddled to a little corner in their bedroom that contains a large collection of books, I threw down cushions and set Isla on my knee and waited for Bonnie to choose a book. Lo and behold, Bonnie plonked herself on my other knee and we began to read Jill Murphy’s ‘Five Minutes’ Peace’.
*DING DING DING* The words rung true. Poor Mrs Large, my poor mother, poor poor me… What’s a mum to do to get five minutes’ peace? All Mrs Large wanted was five minutes’ peace, she didn’t want an hour out of the house to stretch and strain her body in to yoga poses, I can’t recall my own mum ever leaving the house for anything recreational. Am I asking for too much?
When we take on this role as ‘mum’, we put everyone before ourselves, but this can sometimes prove to be frustrating and difficult, because even though we are now ‘mothers’, we are still the same people, and often it’s nice to reconnect with that person who’s still in there, without any distractions. Easier said than done, I know…
From now on, everytime I am handed ‘Five Minutes’ Peace’ to read to my little brood, I will internally salute Mrs Large (my own mum, and all of the other mums out there) and hope that every now and then they get their five minutes of peace, and that Mrs Large finally got that bath without Lester wanting to play her a tune on his recorder.
I can think of nothing worse…