Dear Future Visitors (A Guide to Navigating a Kid-filled House)
I love nothing more than expecting visitors, they’re thin on the ground when you have three boys under 8.
There is nothing more thrilling than the prospect of adult conversation, particularly if my friends are kid-free and can regale me with tales of trips and Tinder. I especially like the phenomenal amount of cleaning I get done 20 minutes prior to their arrival; toilets cleaned, surfaces toy free and even a Yankee candle burning.
I am a ball of stress trying to give the appearance of a well-organised, clean and functioning household. Within 10 minutes of greeting our guests it starts to crumble so I am going to deal with all future visitor’s shock and early departure (a remembered appointment) by sending out a pre-emptive email entitled “What to expect when you call to the Ozdemirs”.
- We will not complete a single conversation, but that does not mean that I am not engaged in your romantic drama of “does he fancy me or not?”... I am wildly interested but middle son needs to show me the house he just crafted in Minecraft before he blows it up with TNT. I’m not pandering but his MAMS will escalate to deafening if not answered swiftly.
- I will promise to make tea a million times but get distracted by my role as a short order cook to the boys… it’s best if you take care of it yourself... and maybe bring cake as all my biscuits have tiny bites taken out of them.
- If you use the toilet there may be a little surprise floating in it… they’re not great at flushing and I will be too distracted with your presence to supervise their B.M.s. I can guarantee a sprinkled seat... I live with 4 men and spend approx 30 minutes a day wiping pee off toilet seats and yes, sometimes the floor.
- In my house you will be guaranteed to sit on a wipe... there is a wipe fairy who places them right under my bum every time I sit down and it is truly amazing how much liquid they contain.
If you turn up with sweets for the kids you have to be prepared for the consequences. My house will suddenly resemble a 90s rave/ WWF Royal Rumble. I will be forced to randomly shout their names and issue ridiculous threats that may involve Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s Child-catcher. The kids know that I can’t unleash my inner 1950s mammy due to guests and self-dignity and so will push boundaries that would make Lady Gaga recoil in horror. I will act like this is all normal (it kinda is) and try to get them to another room where I can convey my disgust through gritted teeth… like Mary from Father Ted.
The kids will wallop each other or one will fall off a chair and you will look at my calm expression with shock and I will explain that this is an extremely regular occurrence and that I know by the cry that it’s not serious.
- You may hear me shout random things like “don’t say nipples to your brother” or “snots are NOT food”... it’s a male house and I am immune to gross stuff. In fact I have started to find it amusing… I may start watching Adam Sandler movies again. Someone is always sick in my house so apologies if you catch something but if I was to put off your visit till we were virus free, it wouldn't happen... one of them is in playschool for christ’s sake! If you make a loaded comment about how I breastfed and yet they’re still always sick, I will stab you in the eye with a Peppa fork.
- There are times when I may have to cancel your visit as I am a) PMSing and on the verge of a nervous breakdown (if you are a very good friend you should arrive that evening with wine and a hug) or b) there’s been a parasitic outbreak in their school and I am de-worming/ de-nitting them... in that case, stay away! fake-ugg
Please future visitors, don’t be put off, I need your company desperately to connect with the old me who is currently hibernating and wakes only on nights out or in your lovely company. Don’t judge me, I’m doing the best I can in the face of my feisty, opinionated little army. If you think you can do better, walk in my fake Uggs for 24 hours...no really, please do?
In return I will share my seasoned wisdom gleaned from my male household... he doesn’t bloody fancy you, if he did he’d let you know; the male mind is far from complicated; energetic and messy, yes but mind-games are not their forte. I feel like I should mention that my house is a home and is a welcoming place, which it is, but I still yearn for a finished conversation and an intact biscuit.
As always, we would love to hear your opinions. Please leave a comment below.