Every mother in the country, perhaps the world, knows what I’m talking about here. The Metaphorical Five.
The answer automatically given when any question or request is given by a little person at just the wrong time for you to follow through immediately.
Can I call for Lucy? Umm, dinner in five so after that maybe.
Can I have a juice? Ahh, yeah just gimme five to finish chopping this onion.
Are we there yet? Eh, about five minutes more.
And of course the threatening ‘If your not in that door/up that stairs/lying down asleep in five minutes…’
But the reality is it’s never actually five minutes, is it? It’s chopping the onion then quickly filling the steamer, throwing a few potatoes in, wiping down the counter, checking on the roast in the oven and then the reminder comes…Mom you said five minutes, that was ages ago!
I spotted a half a chance to get a semi decent shower yesterday, it wasn’t going to be a behind locked door shower, it wasn’t going to be a leisurely shower with many foamy, aromatic gels and potions, it wasn’t even going to be child free. I was bringing Spence in with me so he could play in the water on the shower floor and I could wash my hair (and tidy up the bottles and bits and pieces while in there, what mother takes a shower and doesn’t feel the need to kill two birds with that stone and tidy said shower?)…The older kids were playing a computer game happily with a friend. They had asked if their friend could have a turn at bottle feeding the lamb so I took out my Metaphorical Five.
‘Just let me have a quick shower here and she can feed Lambie in five minutes’.
So, there I was doing great, hair washed and had even hit a few spots with a quick exfoliation and managed a rough, scatty half a leg shave…when the door bursts open ,in files my daughter followed by my other son followed by the neighbors kid. I’m in the shower for God’s sake! What’s happening? And Lily announces.
‘I checked the clock. Your five minutes are up’!!
Are you kidding me? They’ve timed me? It’s a shower, its a half a semi shower even and I’m being timed? It’s basic hygiene, it’s not meant to be a treat! It’s a shower!
The five minutes, they’re a metaphor. It’s my pause button!
‘Get out get out get out!! I didn’t actually mean five. Get outtttttt……..!!!’
That’s when I decided, it’s time to teach my child about
The Metaphorical Five.