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. Brit mum in California . Reporting from the front line of parenthood & running a Small Business .

The Mommy Orbit

Laura Bonnell

Now, I don't know if this is a parent-wide phenomenon (it certainly seems to be among my friends), but why is it that the rug rats orbit around moms in a way they don't do around dads?! Why can dads pee in peace, step out of the door without being rammed by small people on scooters and do the male equivalent of putting on makeup without having their Clinique jumbo pencil apprehended for an art project? The minute I start to write an email, pick out an outfit or do any other small job, my muklets are on a mission to make it as complicated for me as possible.

 

People often say how nice it must be to work from home. 'Wow', they say, 'you can look after the kids while you work, that's so nice'. Umm, no, it's not quite like that. If I have serious paid work to do, I have to have childcare. We have an office pod at the end of the garden and for the most part the boys know that if Mommy is in there, she is working, and not to be disturbed. But if I leave the door open and unattended they'll both be in there within 0.3 milliseconds. In that time they will have pulled out my fabric shears, have hold of permanent markers and got busy separating a pile of 200 post-it notes!

#mummyfail no 103, just wanted to print out some flyers.... of course that's the perfect time for littlest muklet to open a pot of glitter....

#mummyfail no 103, just wanted to print out some flyers.... of course that's the perfect time for littlest muklet to open a pot of glitter....


I have learned a few tricks over the years, not all of them examples of textbook parenting. Most of the approaches involve bribery. One phone call the other day cost me two Cadburys chocolate rolls, a Peppa Pig chocolate lollipop, and a download of 'Big Hero 6'! I once managed to have a Skype interview with San Francisco whilst my eldest did a poo (and gave me a running commentary) and my youngest had a paddy over his latest Duplo construction. Andrew flushable wipes, wild shushing gesticulations with one hand and 3ft plastic brick tower construction with the other – done and done!


So, I still haven't figured out why this is a female phenomenon, this mommy orbit business. Maybe it's because we’re a bit squashier and more comfy so they want to be attached to us more of the time. Maybe it's because we can handle tinkling, opening a pot of yogurt and playing race cars at the same time, I dunno ...