The Life of Riley


How would you like to live in 5-star luxury 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?  Have a full-time cook, stylist, driver, dresser, and entertainer?  You won’t spend a penny on it and there is little need to show much gratitude, in fact, feel free to criticize at your own discretion. Sound tempting?  Welcome to the life of the under 10s.

They say life is wasted on the young and I have recently started to understand the full implications of this.  It started to occur to me how pampered children are.  They demand attention like a Head of State.

Where’s my personal chef?

Despite cooking a bespoke menu of home cooked delights, perfectly tailored to their latest taste or whim, it is rarely up to the standards of my little men.  A look of distain and displeasure is followed by a tirade of criticism.  There is a pea on my plate!  I don’t like sauce!  I want more sauce! Why does he have more? I only like tube pasta, spiral pasta makes me sick!  If I worked in a restaurant I would call the security and gladly administer a life time ban.

Could you summon the driver?

Like a glorified chauffeur, I drive them from party, to football practice to soft play, all whilst blaring out nursery rhymes of their own choosing. A general commentary of my driving skills is interjected with “are we nearly there yet?”, “how much longer!?” to increasing levels of frustration.  You are expected to entertain them as soon as boredom sets in, including reading them book, despite being the driver.

Can you book an appointment with the Stylist?

Laying out their clothes each morning, freshly laundered and pressed, ready for them to slip on.  Even then, the thought of actually putting their own clothes on themselves can prove too much and is up to their maid, namely me, to pull on, button up and tuck in.  By deploying the Stylist, we avoid any risk of fashion disaster.

Can someone deploy the cleaner to bedroom 2?

As each toy is carefully picked up, shaken and dropped whilst reaching for the next, a time comes when each one of those need to be picked up, put back together, and returned to the box.  Like magical toy fairies, everything is tidied away until the next time. Any mention of tidying their own room is greeted with utter bewilderment and shock.

I am talking, you must listen.

Their needs are always greater than yours and despite being in the middle of a conversation or on the toilet or making a phone call, they still expect you to drop it all for pour them a juice or find a fetch them a toy.

Where is my robe?

At night, I switch on their shower, hand them soap, warm up their towel, help them on with their PJs and read them stories.  Like Lord of the Manor, they are cosseted into sleep like an entitled gentleman.  Shame that within 5 minutes, they are careering round the house like maniacs.

The pleasure of childhood is to be free of responsibility and obligation.  To enjoy a world of pleasure, warmth and happiness.  However, when we are pandering to their every need and they are still not happy, you wonder where the line needs to be drawn.

I think I may need to find a better balance.  A few of their own chores, a responsibility to keep their own room tidy and the trust that they can get ready for bed by themselves.  Although part of me wonders whether I should let them be carefree for as long as possible. After all, unless they get filthy rich, they will be scrubbing those floors before they know it!

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