HAVE you ever sat through a Strictly Come Dancing night?
Watched the can can until you no longer can?
Gawped at the elasticity of amateur dancers and clapped your way through some catchy cha cha cha?
I must confide that I never have, but The Good Woman and her entourage know all about it.
For the past four months all I've been hearing about is Strictly and it's danced me to the end of love and beyond.
Oh yes I was warned by the father-in-law about how much time it would entail, but little did I know, until last week when the whole thing came to a head and I was left holding the children, literally, for a week!
It's amazing how time doesn't fly when you're not the one having fun. Being the mother and father to two hyperactive children for a week by duress makes you feel like a trapped rat in a cage.
You return to that sleepless, hazy place that once was your life when you first encountered your own children as babies, only this time they can destroy your house, iPad, peace of mind and climb into the sweet press.
Monday set the tone for the week as The Whirlwind Princess battled the black army of sleep to stay up way past her bed time, despite my hollow words of protestation. It was war of the telly on Tuesday as I wanted to watch something, but was outvoted by my offspring.
By Wednesday night I had cracked.
I had sacrificed that evening's Wednesday night indoor soccer and couldn't even watch a Champions League match on the telly. Cooped up in the house, I felt the freshly coloured walls close in on me. The dinner I made was critiqued leaving me feeling a) like a useless parent and worse still b) like a bad cook.
I had forgone my weekly run and here every few minutes images were popping up on Facebook of The Good Woman looking like a cabaret dancer on the QE2 to taunt me.
'She looks like a parrot,' The little Princess said, whch gave me a laugh.
Between wilful bed wetting, an ever increasing list of demands, house work, home work, Lego, playing football, school runs, swimming lessons, dance lessons, dinner making, clothes washing and hanging, children swinging, gardening and disciplining, ha ha, I was truly exhausted by Thursday morning, when The Little Fella gave me a laugh which made it all worthwhile.
Having woken from a night of cries in the dark, cries of 'Daddy, get in here', I awoke again to find him in the bed with my iPad.
I stuffed my face back into the pillow, pretending it was a nightmare, only to re-emerge to find The Little Fella on my Facebook page. I let him play a game, before letting him know that he would have to wait until after school before he could play another. As I hid the accursed thing well under the bed, he lay across me, dramatically saying, in the tiniest, cutest voice, 'Daddy, you've broken my heart,' holding his throat with both little hands,
Two guesses where he gets the dramatics from! I survived the five days (she had an after-party on Friday!) and cycled and ran all weekend, for sanity.