I’m reading a book about D-Day. I’m at the point where the Allies have made it off the Normandy beaches but keep getting ambushed by pesky Nazis lurking in the hedgerows.
I know exactly how they feel. There I was, looking forward to a well-earned week’s holiday from work when the Missus sprung an ambush of her own.
She may as well have been crouched down in a bramble bush brandishing a bazooka.
For some reason I have yet to fathom, she’s kept the same dentist she had growing up on the wrong side of the Pennines, necessitating a journey over every time she has tooth trouble or for a check-up.
We went across there the other weekend so she and the twins could stay a few days at her mum’s and keep her appointment at the dentist’s on the Tuesday, the plan being I’d pick them all up after I’d finished work.
Except she’d already rearranged the appointment and forgotten about it. Meaning it was a completely wasted trip.
Sure enough, on the Tuesday of my week off she announces that there’s been a cancellation and she’s going to catch the train over again.
So there I was. In sole charge of the twins for pretty much a whole day.
Remember when your teacher was off ill and the school got in a supply teacher, and you proceeded to get away with murder?
Well, it was like that. Only soundtracked by the theme tune from Rastamouse, playing unwatched on the TV in the background.
The pair of them are into everything. The house, I’ve decided, is a death trap. Especially dangerous is the stuff you never dreamed could be dangerous at all.
The Missus phoned from the dentist’s waiting room to check on us. “Everything’s fine,” I said, turning round just in time to find our son standing on top of a stool, from which he proceeded to tumble head-first on to the floor. “Bit busy now, love, ring you back in a bit.”
As well as taking liberties, the twins also developed a nasty habit of taking things and hiding them. Fine when it was one of their soft toys or books, less so when it was my mobile phone or the TV remote control.
I quickly realised why mothers are so keen to sign up to every half-baked baby group going.
Your home becomes a lunatic asylum that’s been taken over by the inmates.
Strapping them into the pram and then letting them loose in a church hall somewhere gives you a merciful breather that just stops you from tipping over the edge.
So we went to a local play group and then, when we got back, the pair of them had a short nap.
This was when I decided to prove to the Missus how easy this all was and proceeded to stack the dishwasher and clean the bathroom.
“Very impressed!” was her astonished verdict when she finally got home and checked they had both survived the experience.
It was only later, when the twins were in bed and we settled down to watch TV, that a few cracks began to show.
That’s right, the remote control was still nowhere to be found.