Friday, 30 March 2012

In praise of single parents: when working from home gets messy


Although I am working from home I do have to fit my work in around looking after our two young children. There are also times when my wife has to travel for her work leaving me home alone with Thing One and Thing Two. This is usually not a problem but on her latest three day trip things started to get a bit hairy.

It started on the first day after I was propelled out of the front door by the sheer determination of the constant babble coming out of Thing Two’s mouth. We were off to the shops and no longer had I started to swing the front door shut I realised that I didn’t have my keys.
I darted back to stop the door but was fractionally late, my despairing fingers meeting unyielding wood. I was locked out with a two year old and my wife was just taking off from Heathrow bound for Jordan.

Thing Two turned to me and said “Come on Daddy! What are you waiting for?”

“I’ve locked us out of the house.”

“Oh dear. Silly Daddy. Let’s go to the shops.”

“We can’t. The car keys are with the door key.”

“Why did you do that Daddy?”

Luckily I had my phone on me and I Googled the number of our letting agency. They were supremely uninterested in my plight but did give me our landlords number. However, no-one was answering the phone.

Fortunately, a nerve racking 30 minutes later when I was imagining my landlords away for a week on holiday I got hold of them on their mobile and we were rescued within the hour.

Now Thing 2 never lets me leave the house without asking if I have my key.


The next morning I was getting Thing 1 ready for school and Thing 2 ready for and I was ahead of time. I decided on the luxury of a shower. I explained to the Things that they had to entertain themselves for five minutes and nipped into the shower.

I had just got wet when Thing 1 announced he needed a poo and proceeded to stink out the bathroom. Not a huge problem, unless he flushes the loo and scalds me, but the chances of that happening were slim.

However, Thing 2 started screaming and announced that she needed a poo.
Covered in soap I slipped out of the shower, checked that Thing 1 had cleaned himself properly, put Thing 2 on the loo and rinsed myself off.

I turned off the shower to find that Thing 2 had pulled off the rest of the toilet roll and put it down the toilet. She had also wriggled off the loo and was walking around the bathroom with a hefty lump of the brown stuff threatening to fall from her hind cheeks.

The spare loo rolls were in the ‘workshop’ in the garden so I had to run outside, wet and naked in the cold morning air, to grab some loo rolls and clean her up before she escaped to sit on her bed or worse, my bed.

I would like to thank my neighbours for their help in contacting our landlord and also apologise if my impromptu streak put any of them off their breakfast.

I now have full admiration for any single parents out there. There are times when two pairs of hands are considerably more than a ‘nice-to-have’.

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