1 – I walk to the kitchen, look in the fridge and think “maybe I’ll cook something different today”. I stop to ponder for a moment, hand on the fridge door as I peer inside – and I experience all kinds of domestic-goddess thoughts. I nearly grab a pinny and recipe book. But then I remember myself, have a little chuckle, and revert to Plan A.
2 – The second I switch on the oven / place pan on hob / start chopping, the children are attracted to me like I’m like the Pied Piper of the kitchen. The toddler starts bleating ‘Can I have my tea now?’ on repeat, whilst the baby attempts to crawl up my leg.
3 – Every time I coax the children back into the lounge, running the risk of burning their dinner in the meantime, they are back by my side within seconds. This repeats several times.
4 – I give up and try and cook with one child attached to my leg and the other building a tower out of blocks behind my right foot.
5 – I knock the tower over. The toddler cries and runs out the kitchen. That solves one problem, at least.
6 – Dinner is ready and I dish it up, carefully counting out peas, potatoes, and fish fingers into equal portions. Also, three bits of fish finger fall into my mouth.
7 – I carry the two plates to the table / high chair, followed by the crawling baby. He looks delighted that his dinner is ready. The toddler takes one look at his plate, announces that he will only be eating pasta today, and returns his attention to the building blocks.
8 – I tell the toddler that he can have some jelly if he clears his plate. He immediately rushes to the table and I experience a horrible sinking feeling when I remember that we finished the jelly yesterday.
9 – I lift the baby into his high chair and take up position alongside him at the table, carefully hiding his yoghurt behind a mug so he doesn’t catch sight of it.
10 – I make the mistake of picking up the mug and accidentally take a swig of cold coffee from that morning. I recoil, he sees the yoghurt, and I spend the next 10 minutes smuggling bits of fish finger into his mouth between spoonfuls of strawberry yoghurt. He doesn’t seem to mind.
11 – Seeing the toddler speed through his plate, I start wondering whether jelly will set in the freezer in three minutes.
12 – I attempt to distract him by turning the television on and finding an episode of Peppa Pig.
13 – The baby tips his plate onto the floor while my back is turned.
14 – While I’m on my hands and knees picking up squashed potato from the floor, the toddler proudly delivers his empty plate, bar the peas, and announces that he is ready for his jelly. I tell him to eat the peas and he can have a yoghurt.
15 – The peas fly.