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Whenever I asked my own mother what she wanted for her birthday she always used to say the same thing year after year; “peace and quiet”. Now, living in a small Swedish village, she is at last surrounded by more peace and quiet than you can shake a stick at. But as a child I couldn’t think of anything more soul destroying. Why on earth would my mum desire something so useless and boring? As I got older I still didn’t get it. In fact, it’s not something you naturally understand as you get older (like some things in life). Because you only really kapish once you’re a mother yourself. And by then it’s too late. Because all your chances for peace and quiet have gone, forever. Well, at least 18 years.

The bottom line is children have a way of invading your aural universe 24/7. First of all there’s that constant jabbering (they’re either talking to you, talking to a toy, or, er, talking for the sake of it – usually repeating a phrase endlessly – internalising their thoughts is not something toddlers do). Added to that, their toys plink, plonk, judder, thump and bump, or even talk as well – Dora The Explorer’s squeaky Americana is a particular ‘delight’. And kids don’t stop moving (unless you glue them in front of CBeebies) so there’s a constant ambience of feet tripping, containers being opened and emptied, doors slamming and loo seats crashing. And at regular intervals the screeeeech of a child who’s either fallen down, fallen off, banged into or trapped their limbs. And I only have one (for now).

Your only chance of some relief from this constant ‘on’ volume is when they sleep. Which is why you spend your whole day craving for that moment when your offspring is/are finally asleep and you can collapse on the sofa shellshocked. Wine often helps at this stage. Until your partner sticks on Eastenders so you can have Peggy and her brood jabbering on at you instead. Sigh. Still it makes you appreciate the smaller things in life. It’s a rare but eagerly relished morning when I’m blessed with an extra cup of tea in bed while dad is downstairs fighting with the little one over whether to have Shreddies or Weetabix for breakfast (“Nothing!!! I just wanna watch TEEEEVEEEEE”) . On playdates I see the potential aural onslaught of two or three kids, plus a baby, where such cups of tea would be pure fantasy. And I realise that my mum, who reared four of us, deserves every nanosecond of peace and quiet she enjoys now.

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This blog is currently dedicated to stuff new mummies like. As opposed to stuff mummies of teenagers like. That's because we don't have teenagers yet. Give us a few years though. We're told it goes pretty quickly...

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