“So what’ve you been up to?”
How many times have you had this conversation in the past three weeks?
“Hi! Welcome back! How was your summer?”
“Great, thanks! How about yours?”
“Oh, you know, kids’ve only just gone back, so just getting it together again. You know how it is when they’ve been off all summer. No time for anything.”
“Yeah.” Pause, scratch around for something else to say. “So, what’ve you been up to?”
WHAT HAVE I BEEN UP TO?
I’ve just told you the kids have been off for three months so what are you expecting? A spot of salmon-fishing in the Scottish highlands, followed by a month-long charity trek in the Himalayas? Oh and I redecorated the house, wrote a novel and took up capoeira in my spare time?
What do you want me to say?
“Well, I spent about three hours a day for three months pushing Thomas the Tank Engine around the floor while shouting at DD not to irritate DS. I cooked more fish fingers than you’ve had hot dinners, screamed at the children at least once a day, wished we’d booked that holiday in Mauritius instead of spending four weeks in England, forgot to do DD’s school reading list, left buying her school shoes till the queues in Clarks were really long, neglected to take up the hem on her new school uniform, ironed labels into all her clothes but forgot about buying a new pencil case. I haven’t had my hair colour, eyebrows or waxing done since late June but I did buy an iPad and use it as a baby-sitter, let the children watch too much TV, grow extra grey hairs, fail to do any exercise whatsoever, drink far too much wine and put on 2kgs.”
Well, you did ask.