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Mum's the word: Fairies, genies and robots: a mother's Christmas wish list

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Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

Seeing as my kids have come up with a list of such unrealistic expectations from Santa (a chocolate factory, for starters) I wonder if anyone would mind if I added a couple of equally fantastical requests to our Christmas list.

First up, there's a robot hoover, the kind that will follow my almost-six-year-around and erase his trail of destruction. If Hansel and Gretel Complex isn't a thing it should be. Anyone who manages to leave a trail of food in his wake, even when he's not eating, deserves a syndrome or disorder or complex named in his honour.

In truth, I rarely feel like honouring his eating habits. The child doesn't even need to be on the move to create a record-breaking food mess. His chair often contains a quarter of his dinner, carelessly 'lost' while eating. I'm not sure why I persist in serving couscous or rice: They may taste good but it hardly seems worth the pain of seeing my kitchen floor looking like a snowstorm has just blazed through it.

Remember he's just six - not six months - and is well able to find his mouth where sausages or pizza are concerned.

Serve up anything more wholesome - like salmon, peas or peppers, for example - and he's likely to tip them onto his lap with a sleight of hand to rival Derren Brown. Not one to lose sleep over messy trousers, he knows his personal food dump will eventually fall onto the seat or floor when he stands up. No use crying over spilt milk, eh?

My next request is a little selfish, but I'm not convinced altruism has much of a place in Santa letters. I'm looking for a Mary Poppins figure, the kind that shows up when necessary and disappears with a click of my fingers.

Maybe that's a genie I'm after? Ideally I'd like her for just an hour per evening so my husband and I could hit the gym and train together.

Currently he trains at 6.30am, me at 6.30pm. It works but requires military style routine to pull off. Life would be so much simpler if we could roll the two into one, although, when pushed, I admit that a nanny doesn't come top of my Christmas wish list.

That honour falls to the Laundry Fairy, required to address the crisis that's been a feature of 2014 in our home. Aside from a child wetting enough bed sheets to reach from here all the way to the North Pole and back, I just can't seem to get on top of the family's washing.

My bedroom is my secret shame: behind the closed door you'll find several mountains of freshly washed clothes that have yet to be sorted and hung. Each week it's like Groundhog Day. No matter how much time I put into hanging up clothes the piles seem to double and return.

To an outsider it looks like I'm intent on recreating the great mountain ranges of the world on my bedroom floor. This simply isn't true!

I dream of enough hours in my day to wash, iron and hang daily. The chances of this happening are as likely as me winning the World's Best Mum award.

So if a Live-in Laundry Fairy isn't an option, Santa, I'd be willing to accept a little utility room. With a door I could shut.

So I could start building the great mountain ranges of the world somewhere else in my house...


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