Slummy Single Mummy

Jo Middleton is a freelance writer and mother of two girls, aged 17 and 10, who enjoy relentlessly winding each other up in high-pitched voices. Jo writes the award-winning blog Slummy Single Mummy and likes to escape from real life with wine, biscuits and TV reruns of Miss Marple mysteries.

Childish behaviour

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on Monday, 03 December 2012
“It would be really useful if you could hang that washing out.”

Pause with an edge of sulkiness.

“But I hate hanging out the washing! It’s like my worst thing.”

“Well if you don’t want to do that, you could clean all the toilets? That’s what I’m about to do.”

“Fine,” cue slightly shouty voice and meaningful banging of tea cup, “I’ll hang out the washing then.”

It’s 9pm and someone is clearly over-tired. That someone though isn’t either of my children. It’s me.

I don’t know what happens to me after about 8pm. It’s like that Kevin the teenager sketch – my arms almost visibly lengthen and a scowl forms on my brow. Heaven forbid anyone ask me a sensible question. If they do, they had better beware.

Although I can hear myself sounding like a stroppy teenager, there is something strangely liberating about acting like a child. Perhaps it’s that normally, as grown-ups, we try so hard to be reasonable, to be in control of our emotions, that letting out that cross inner child once in a while feels so good. Just for a couple of minutes, I am thinking only of myself and what I want to do, rather than things I need to do for other people.

I grab the washing basket, give my partner a mildly filthy look and head upstairs, barely concealing a smile. Perhaps while I’m up there I’ll find some crayons and a nice blank wall…
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