"If only………."

Bonnie Thorlby .. Aarhus Lhasa Apsos

I do not know how the day's events transpired, but believe me when I tell you that the following is a one off. For those of you who don't know any better, I'm not child friendly... I hacked my way through motherhood. But as no one died or got maimed or disfigured, is in prison, mugged old ladies, or have CCJ's outstanding, maybe I'm being hard on myself. Where was Graham I hear you enquire? Mostly to be found the other side of the world installing or erecting some piece of equipment that HM's Government deemed appropriate.

How I let myself get talked into having five of the six grandkids that Gray and I have been blessed with, I will never know? Both sets of parents, plus an ever bossy Sharon, who’s yet to find out for herself, somehow after a lot of pleading, whining and the ongoing "you know you love me" routine, I agreed.

Individually they are lovely, 'one s**t at a time has always been my motto. Thirty seconds after the adults left, I wish I'd stuck to my resolve.

The dogs, herein referred to, as usual, as "the girls", expressed an overwhelming desire to visit, and stay down, the bottom of the garden. Apsos in the rain? I don't think so?

"I've got an idea" I heard myself shout above the increasing din. Five blank faces stared back at me, longing to hear. "Let's be dogs". With all games there have to be rules. This had to be established spit spot, as George (8), was malevolently eyeing the corner of the sofa to relieve himself.

Hope Louiza, also 8, came back from the kitchen hair dripping wet and said that she had just had a drink, from the dogs bowl. And "Yes Ma, this was going to be cool". Circumventing a rebellion, in the form of abandoning "the game". We sat down to discuss the arising problems.

"Dogs don't speak", observed Jack (4). "No they don't," countered me, desperate. Whereupon the assembled mass started barking at each other! Needless to say, the "girls" joined in, well we all know Apsos, any excuse? In unison, Poppy (4 weeks), added her tuppence worth from the depths of the pram.

Natasha (3), shy, diminutive in stature, no goose ever been booed at, hands on hips, not unlike mother Suzie, opened her mouth and yelled, loudly, Thutttt! uppppp!. Appearing to have more clout than me, let her get on with it. "Thut up, I want to be an Aptho"! Did I mention the lisp?

Using the time it took for two eight year olds, mixed sex, and a four year old boy, to extract the wee wee, yet again, at our Nat's little problem, I had a quick regroup of my flagging thoughts.

Obvious that Lucy (12), grandkid no. 6, had gone about her day clutching the family brain cell. I had to impart, to an ever disappointed George, that eating, drinking and bodily functions we perform as humans. Hope Louiza, her who wears 10 to 12 year old clothes, a big girl, decided to jump, dog like, off the sofa. "Dogth don't cwy," crowed our Nat's, cheering up at the site of Hope Louizas' bleeding knees!

Unlucky to forget that her grandparents favour bare floors to carpet? "I want to be a real dog", imparted the ever rude George, "I'm going to be one of those Rottenthingys", no change there then!

Happy to comply with his request. Jack decided to be a Jack Russell, obvious. Hope Louiza, if only her brain was a big as her behind, forever letting herself in for unpleasant comments, once the latter had ceased, stuck with her resolve to be a Great Dane. Natasha after much thought, from behind a chair, claimed that, "I want to be thurnthing wheely wheely wikkle"!

The proceedings once again interrupted. In the tiny shape of Poppy, but not from the depths of her pram, now, unbeknown to me, nestled in a dog bed in the kitchen, with Coco in situ, thank God for good temperaments. Reminding the assembled 'dogs' that a baby perhaps would be best excused this 'game' until she is old enough to decide what she wants to be. "She's a bitch", states Jack, "Mum said so", "Oh, really!", says I, "But I don't think that's what mum meant". "Oh, yes she did", hammered on Jack, "I was in bed and mum was shouting at Dad "And Dad's having his own room" ............. "Cos mum said, she's not sleeping with him again, ever..." "That's what mum said, honest Ma". "Didn't she George".

George, the Rottenthingy, with about as much intelligence as the made up name suggests, had drifted into one of his self imposed absences. "Ma's talking to you Divvy", shouts Hope Louiza, and making the point by twisting Georgie's ear anticlockwise. Back with the plot, the Rottenthingy takes a swipe at the swiftly moving Great Dane and connects with a Jack Russell.

When the noise had abated to a dull roar, I did what most would have done, some hours ago, grabbed the remote and switch the TV on. "I want to watch a video", demanded the Rottenthingy. Never one to learn the first time I, reasonably as I could, starting with the youngest, wishing to be fair ... ? Suggestions ranged from '101 Dalmatians' to 'Drop Dead Fred', continuing on to 'The Rescuers Down Under', culminating in 'Edward Scissor Hand', morosely requested by the ever present Rottenthingy.

Just as I was about to kid myself that some sort of order had prevailed, and despite himself, the Rottenthingy, was enjoying the video that I chose, the back door flew open and in walked Gray... "It's Pops".. they all screamed in unison. Restarting the whole ball of wax ...!

"Hello", says he. "Had a good day?"

"If only!! *#@@$*…?"