This morning, I was juggling my handbag, a carrier bag, my jacket and about ten books and a folder for my children to return from parents day. We are walking towards the car, the kids get in and I’m still performing my juggling act quite well. As I’m about to get into the car and try to settle everything I’m carrying, I hear ‘mummy’ for the umpteenth time this morning. Internally I screamed a blood curdling shriek; like one of those that reverberate in the Grand Canyon. Outwardly, I said ‘Right! I am going to start charging you for each time you call my name’.
Both Children: What do you mean?
Me: I’m going to charge you £5 for each time you call my name
Son: But we only have £6
Me: Then that means you only get to call me once today
Daughter: If we give you the money, will we get it back?
Daughter: Ooooo (whine). Muuuummmmmmy!!! That’s not fair! (she protests)
Me: Do you think it’s fair that you call on me two thousand times a day and I don’t get anything back? Don’t you think I deserve to be paid for being a mother? (Juvenile? I know)
Son: Well I have £11 so you can have £5 and we’ll save £6. (he says smugly)
Me: Fine. So that’s one mummy for today and no more.
Daughter: Mummy – (I interrupt).
Me: Ah. That’ll cost you £5 and I’m not counting the other three times you called my name before this conversation. You don’t have enough money to call me again.
Son: Mummy –(I interrupt again).
Me: I don’t think you guys can afford me. I’ll be happy to charge you £1 for each mummy so with £11 you can only call on me eleven times today.
Son: But how are we going to get more money if you don’t give it back?
Me: I suppose you’ll have to get a job then.
Me; Start doing proper chores round the house and we’ll pay you. Your aunty and I were washing my dad’s car when we were six sand eight.
Daughter: ooooo-kaaaaay. We will do chores. (she says reluctantly)
Me: In the past ten minutes, you have called my name like ten times. If I had to collect money from you, you wouldn’t have any left.
Son: So you never really wanted to take our money?
Me: Maybe, maybe not.