The last few days have been stressful to say the least mainly because I am not very good at dealing with situations which are out of my control and this of course is exactly what happens when one has 6 children to stay the night at one time. Let’s just say that Halloween was very halloweeny for me this year, read……. scary as hell! A few weeks ago my daughter asked if she could have a friend to stay over for the event, namely a child who lives so far out of town that there isn’t a neighbour within 5 miles to go trick or treating with or at, so how could I refuse? Then one friend became two, became three and finally just to make it an even number…..four. My son also asked the same question a few days prior as his birthday happens to fall on the next day, one friend became two and so I ultimately I ended up with 6, totalling eight children in two tiny bedrooms on a night when husband was invited last minute to go and watch Chelsea V Man U in London. Hmmmmmmmm.
At the start of my marathon 12 hours the boys were easy to deal with, give them a game or two to play and they’re off but the girls, oh Lordy Lord what a difference the sex and age makes! Screaming and intense excitement rippled through the house whilst the teenagers dressed up in mascara and one’seeeez (all in one, animal print pyjamas) ready to go trick or treating and after what seemed like hours of mass hysteria they finally left, curfewed for 8.30pm, peace at last? Oh no, don’t be silly Ellie….. by then of course it’s a green light for the 9 year old boys to play cops and robbers up and down the stairs, blasting each other to smitherines in their imaginary battles…….more yelling and screaming interspersed with supper (they can’t just not eat because it’s halloween!) and of course the dozens of trick or treaters who piled intermittently in to the front lobby every 15 minutes loading up their orange buckets with sweets..
The girls arrived safely back and revved up with a Willy Wonka factory’s worth of sweets began the tough task of texting, tweeting, facebooking and tagging their latest pics in daughter’s bedroom, the little boys are once again quietly esconsed in another game of something or other, so a momentary quiet patch maybe?? No, no, no, NO, silly Ellie, that’s when the boys in the school year above daughter’s turn up; tens of them outside in gladiatorial groups braying for female company; yes once again I have pubescent girls running up and down stairs screeching the hoolie about this boy and that boy and leaning out of first floor windows yelling I love you and do you love me? It’s 10.30pm by now and I’m in to the £4.99 Sauvignon, my nerves are frayed but I am still as cool as a cucumber on the outside, honest.
With the 9yr olds in bed, chatting away about headless murderers, I feel satisfied at least that I have kept them alive the entire evening and with not even one visit to A & E they are safe and nearly asleep; I feel my job as locum parent is done but to my dismay the girls now want to watch the horror flick daughter has rented for the evening……..it’s halloween, how can I refuse? On goes the film, it’s bloody scary and they scream and scream for two hours, more sweets, more popcorn, more juice…..MORE WINE!!!!!
12 midnight and the girls go up to bed, well to daughter’s bedroom, never to bed oh NO! I follow them soon after having cleaned up the place for the tenth time, turned off all the lights, cleared away the highly decorated lobby and pumpkins to stop any mid-night callers braying for the females encore (the same boys have now asked the girls to go mid-night trick or treating but for the first time all day I have put my foot down). Oh, you are so mean Mummy! YES YES YES…..blah blah blah, I DON’T REALLY CARE! Time to lay my weary head upon a very delicious pillow; the sound of young snoring emanates from my son’s bedroom and I am hoping that it won’t now be long before the same noise finds its way out of my daughter’s room.
Knock! knock, knock…it’s 3.30am and someone is knocking on the wall at my head end (daughter’s room end!) ” Yes?” I say pathetically, hardly able to keep my eyes open ” We can’t get out of the room, the door lock has jammed ” comes the answer, oh, bloody hell!!! Up I get and stumble down the corridor to daughter’s bedroom, she is right, the door is well and truly jammed, someone wants to go for wee badly!!! I bruise my hands trying to get the door open for over half an hour; typically there are no screws on the handle so I can’t just remove it as I would have hoped (note to change door handle at daylight) then suddenly and very unexpectedly a click from within the handle sounds out and the door opens with ease…neither of us had a hand on the handle at that moment. Who am I to question the playful, pain in the arse ghost who has just done that?
Off I go to bed once more having instructing the girls absolutely NOT to close the door (by the way they are still awake laughing and chatting as if it’s 3.30 in the afternoon!) I fall back into a deep sleep.
Knock, knock, knock………….by this time it is 4.30am, ” YES??!!’ I say, now quite beside myself with exhaustion ” The door has jammed again, the wind blew it closed…” the wind? Up I get to do the same thing all over again except that this time my hand is even more painful with my efforts to un-jam the lock. Finally it became apparent that I was going to have to call out the fire brigade, I walked away from the door disheartened and resigned to never going back to sleep again and wondering whether this was a 999 call that I had to make or a simple landline call to the fire station and then of course what was their number?? As I walked away I heard the sound of a by now familiar gentle click, having not been touching the handle when it clicked my daughter turned the door handle from inside the bedroom and Bob’s your uncle the door opened easily…..hmmmm, I have never lived in haunted house before but there is always first time.
P.S Tenth birthday celebrations started at 6.30am the next morning….