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Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

14 April 2011

I Wish my Kids Came with an OFF Switch

This is a regular day at the Rodericks’ residence: Wake up at 6:30 a.m. Brush teeth, eat breakfast, dress up for the day, go out to run errands (post-office, groceries), go to playgroup, have lunch, story-time, afternoon nap-time, park time, dinner, baths, story-time, bed-time for the kids. By the time it’s 9pm, I want to crash, too.

Do you ever wish your kids came with an OFF switch? No, not the permanent kind; just something to turn them off for a couple of hours. I’ll even settle for ten minutes. A chance for you to have some peace and quiet. To be able to hear your own thoughts turn in your head without interruptions.

Sometimes, my husband and I indulge in ‘what ifs’ and ‘remember whens’: What if we’d waited three more years to start a family? Remember when we could lie in bed till 10am on weekends? Remember when we could go on long motorbike rides just for the heck of it? What if we could feed them biscuits for breakfast?

Nobody or nothing prepares you for how your children bulldoze over your lovely, orderly life. Want to watch the 6.30pm news? But Iggle Piggle is on! Want to eat a square of chocolate? You’ll have to eat it on the sly or be forced to divide into three EQUAL parts. Want to read your Tim Winton novel? But it’s finger-painting time – you promised! Even the toilet is not sacrosanct. They there are listening to you tinkle – and commenting on it, too!

It’s the constant chatter and non-stop questions that do my head in:
“Why do you need to pee?” Because my bladder is bursting!
“What’s a bladder?” It’s the organ in your body that collects your pee.“Why do girls have to sit when they pee and boys have to stand?” It is not possible for boys to pee while standing.
“But why not? Is it because boys have a willy?” Yes.
“Why do girls have a nu-nu and boys have a willy?” That’s what makes girls girls and boys boys.
“But WHY??” Because I said so! Now everyone needs to keep QUIET for the next five minutes!
“Can we talk like this?” Caitlyn says in a staged whisper. No, no talking at all.
An entire 33 seconds later... “Is five minutes over now?”

I read somewhere (okay, okay, on the wrapper of a sanitary pad!) that a four-year-old child asks 437 questions a day. Welcome to my world!

All my ‘non-kiddie’ tasks – cooking, exercising, laundry, emailing, cleaning the house, paying bills, doing the dishes, making phone calls, writing this blog, are all squeezed into when they are asleep – out cold, knocked out, comatose.

Interestingly, my husband faces no such problem. He can play on his PS3, have a conference call, eat chips in front of them, have a shower without them banging on the door, even *gasp* relax... How come they allow their dad to do these things without getting under foot? I must find out his secret.

Thank God for the Girls’ Night Out I’m having with some other mums tonight!

What do your kids do that drive you nuts? What do you miss most about your life before children? What do you do in your “Me-time” away from your kids?


  1. ...aaargh! everytime we think "maybe it's time to have a baby", it's posts like this that make us wonder if we're ready yet...but then again, who is right?! *sigh*

  2. When the kids were tiny, learning to talk, I was obsessed with teaching them to say "Mummy" and it was such a thrill when they finally managed it. Now though, it seems like all I hear all day is a chorus of "Mummy, mummy... Mummy, MUMMY??!!" and, of course, "WHY?". I love their energy and enthusiasm, but yes, some days I would give anything for that off switch!

  3. My son told the WHOLE of Woollies "I HAVE A PENIS! Do you have a penis?". I tried to look disinterested, but wanted to die!


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