The wisdom of the almost four year old

So it’s bad news for so-called ‘Shy Tories’ out there…

Yes, if Charlotte Church finds you you’re toast!

Well as it turns out the Welsh warbler (and part-time protestor) isn’t the only one unhappy with last week’s unexpected General Election result. Mini-me wasn’t thrilled either.

In fact there were tears in the Neat Freak household.

Don’t worry she hasn’t formed an attachment to Ed Miliband – it was more a case of mistaken identity, or rather mistaken explanation.

‘Mummy, I thought Daddy was going to be the winner,’ she wept. ‘You said he was going to be running up and down the country. And… he can run very fast.’

It’s true that hubby can leg it at speed when he wants to – usually to the golf course, pub or telly if his beloved West Ham or on.

(Actually any kind of sport will do. Even obscure ice hockey games – or netball. Don’t ask.)

The ‘running up and down the country’ debacle though was purely down to my complete failure at attempting to explain the voting process to our almost four year old.

She’s a bright one Mini-me, so I thought she might catch on. I painstakingly explained on polling day that Mummy and Daddy had an important job to do.

We, and all the other grown-ups who cared, were going to put a cross on a piece of paper, and the person with the most crosses would get to run the country.


Nah, with hindsight even I think that was a bit of a rubbish effort. In fact I should just have done what a couple of friends did and take their pre-schoolers along to watch them vote.

Politics aside though, Mini-me’s advancing vocabulary, propensity for constant chatter and diva-like love of the spotlight has led to many amusing conversations recently.

And I’m loving the fact that, now she’s a little older and fascinated with anything and everything around her, we can chat away on all manner of topics.

Yes while Blue-eyed boy does his three-legged crawl and gnaws on ‘bedtime bear’, we’ve ‘chewed the fat’ many a time.

And also got our wires crossed many a time.

Take these ‘gems of conversational wizardry’ for example…

  • ‘Mummy, come on! We have to get to Granny and Grandad’s house for the Easter egg hunt. Easter Bunny is going to hide on their roof – he’ll get up there in his helicopter…’
  • ‘Mummy, were you and Daddy sad you didn’t have two babies at the same time like Corinne?’
  • ‘Mummy, did you know you have spots on your face?’
  • ‘NO MUMMY! Don’t put my baby brother in the washing machine!!!’ (This when she’d got the wrong end of the stick over me tossing poor bedtime bear in there…)

Yes… It seems as if we might have some way to go before she becomes the host of her own talk show.

Still, the other half is pleased.

At least a three year old thinks he’d rock at running the country…


Hubby had an exciting announcement to make the other day. Brace yourselves, it’s really worth waiting for this one…

‘I don’t like doing ironing during the week,’ he informed me, during a ‘put-upon partner’ lament about his lack of work shirts and why more hadn’t been washed, hung up and basically draped over the ironing board for him in preparation for some steam-filled action in front of Sunday’s ‘must-watch’ football match.

This week it actually featured his own team too which makes a change. Of course they threw away a two goal lead, causing much muttering and gnashing of teeth, but what do you expect if you support West Ham?!

Don’t worry, I of course calmly explained that no one ‘likes’ ironing – even neat freaks such as myself – regardless of what day of the week it is.

The difference is of course that while men expect a gold medal, or at least some sort of badge of honour and a beer, if they help out with humdrum household tasks at weekends (or whenever) we harassed mums expect (and get) nothing in return for juggling a million different menial tasks a day.

It’s just assumed that when something needs rinsing, washing, fetching or filing we’ll do it. Yes that’s right because we’re female.

It’s the unwritten rule of family life that no one ever tells you. Your body has gone to wrack and ruin pushing out a few children, so now you get to celebrate by washing up for the next two decades!

Take this constantly manic freelance journalist and copywriter for example.

While hubby would never need factor sock washing, hoovering or doing the weekly supermarket shop into his working day, I’m just expected to do it. Yes that’s right, because I’m female.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s great at picking the odd thing up on his way home, but when it comes to all those little ‘invisible’ chores that keep family life ticking over, you guessed it it’s down to you. That’s right, because you’re female.

One of my best mum friends summed up the whole sorry scenario very well this week. Apparently her other half is suffering from a serious case of dishwasher-phobia. You’ve probably come across it – the chronic inability to put anything actually inside the machine, just in its vague vicinity.

Hubby does it with his clothes at night. They don’t get hung up, rather slung over the sofa. Clearly they plan to walk back to the wardrobe by themselves.

Now, as I said, I’m pretty lucky that hubby is a fairly ‘new-age man’ – in the sense that he chips in a lot of the time – but I do still wonder what would happen if I went on strike for a few days.

Would he realise that empty loo rolls need to actually be thrown away, and replaced, for example?

The trouble is that my fear of dirt and chaos means I’d crack within hours of course, which is his psychological warfare weapon.

But I’m still not ironing any bloody shirts…