Janet Christie: Is it too good to be true? Probably

Pic Lisa Ferguson 25/08/2015''New Magazine byline pics - Janet Christie
Pic Lisa Ferguson 25/08/2015''New Magazine byline pics - Janet Christie
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Hmmm, wonder what the neighbours are having for tea, I’m thinking as I trudge up the stairs, because it smells amazing.

I push open our front door and the aroma builds as I follow my nose. Strange. Have I slipped through a portal into a parallel life?

But when I arrive in the kitchen, that’s definitely Middle Child, spatula in hand, cooking, and Eldest Child is filling the dishwasher.

What’s going on? I don’t remember having a shouty meltdown about dishes, cooking, jobs, rooms, clutter, and the need for them to GET OFF THEIR BACKSIDES AND SORT IT OUT NOW! recently.

“I’m just making omelettes with spring onions, peppers, carrots and garlic, with a side salad of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and dressing,” says Middle. “Sorry I didn’t have any fresh herbs. And I thought we could have fish tomorrow – I’ll get some when I skate past.”

“Er, good,” I say.

“He’s cooking, so I’m doing the dishes,” says Eldest, wearing a dishtowel over one shoulder.

“Good,” I say again, fearful of bursting this bubble of domestic bliss.

“Peanut butter!” says Middle. “Why would someone leave out the jar without the lid on it?” he exclaims, disgusted, like someone who hadn’t spent decades of his life leaving lids off jars left out. He summons Youngest Child, who is instructed to put it away. She rolls her eyes as she leaves. That’s more like it.

“Is it possible that all my years of nagging are starting to take effect?” I ask the boys as a cup of tea is placed before me at the table.

“I don’t remember any years of nagging,” says Middle.

“Naw, neither do I,” says Eldest.

What a cheek! I’ve nagged relentlessly for years. It’s my job as a parent. What do they mean they don’t remember? This is rubbish. I’ll go and get Youngest for her tea so I can moan about her room while I work out what’s going on.

Whatever they’ve done this time, it must be really, really bad.