An alternative Mother's Day wish list
Ahead of Mother's Day this Sunday in the UK, my Instagram feed seems to be peppered with gift ideas for grateful kids (or, let's be honest, their bankrolling fathers). Bespoke jewellery from boutique brands, scented candles that cost the same as a week of daycare fees, stunning bouquets so large you won't see the delivery person behind them at the front door – you name it, social media is flaunting it. No matter what the occasion, my husband has always suffered from the curse of the last minute present buyer: leave it so late to think of anything you panic and simply throw money at the problem (hence when I opened some very expensive jewellery on our wedding morning, it was erroneously accompanied by the receipt that proved he'd been out making the purchase just the previous afternoon – less than 24 hours before the ceremony – when I was tearing my hair out thinking he'd had a car accident as he was so late back from completing last minute wedmin. Boys!). So, given he’s probably going to be the agent of my daughter’s gratitude for a few years yet, I thought I'd give him a helping hand with a few alternative suggestions to mark the day – no last minute shopping dash required, no exorbitant price tag in sight. You are welcome, my darling.
- Top of my list (at least it was this morning, as I was heaving over my 29-week bump to reach the bathroom floor) – I would really, REALLY love it if you could put your dirty clothes in the laundry bag instead of leaving them littered in various corners of the bedroom. Literally ten seconds effort would bring me (and my dubious pelvic floor) such joy.
- I would also love you to learn how to empty the nappy bin. It's been over a year and a half now, so I think it's time. It may surprise you to know that the term 'diaper genie' is actually the name of the product, not a pseudonym for me. And this would also be a gift for your darling daughter, whose room needs no longer smell of stale shit because the damn thing is overflowing.
- It would be great if you could try to no longer leave half-finished glasses of water and (worse) half-empty cans of coke within easy reach of the toddler. Her current 'helpful' phase is not conducive to cleanly transporting open vessels from room to room, and it's unlikely to be you who has to clear up the mess.
- Speaking of drinks, perhaps you could acquaint yourself with the purpose of a coaster and, I don't know, use one of the half dozen within an arm's reach of the coffee table from time to time?
- I appreciate you stacking the dishwasher at the end of the evening; I'd love you even more if you finished the job and actually switched it on.
- Ditto emptying it the one morning a week you are on breakfast duty. A weekend lie-in is a glorious treat, but spending half an hour clearing up after cereal-mageddon has hit the kitchen kind of takes the edge off.
- I love that you try your hardest to make it back to do bathtime every evening (genuinely no sarcasm here – I really do, and I know it's not easy); I'd love it even more if you emptied the bath and hung up the damp towels afterwards.
- Finally – and, granted, this one's a bit of an ask – could you look in to retuning the frequency of your hearing so that, on occasion, it is you not me who does the trudge downstairs to deal with the screaming teething toddler at 3am? I know I'm already up with pregnancy bladder / insomnia several times a night, but that added jaunt kind of adds insult to injury.
I realise this is an extensive wish-list. I'm not greedy – I don't expect all of the above to be miraculously remedied come Sunday. The good news is, US Mother's Day is coming up in May, and I know how much you appreciate the importance of celebrating her dual heritage, so there'll be another occasion to mark in a couple of months. We're all (ok, mainly me) winners here.
(CAVEAT: please note, I really do think you're a wonderful husband and father. You work incredibly hard to look after us and I know how lucky we are to have you. There's no one else on earth I'd want to write this list for, believe me. I also know you can't, nor is it worth trying to, change a man. I'm just saying you really shouldn’t underestimate how much these 'enhancements' would improve my daily happiness. Happy wife, happy life, right?!)