These are they:

terrible twoThe rascals are driving me up the wall. I learned a useful phrase in French this week: j’en ai marre. That means, basically, I’m fed up. Needless to say, I won’t forget that one.

Need a break. Time to get a babysitter and escape for half a day before I lose it.

They’re not even particularly difficult kids. They sleep all night and nap every day. They play happily together on occasion. They make an unholy mess of the place, but usually that means they’re feeding themselves and eating a decent meal.

I’m glad I wasn’t born a hundred years earlier. I think, perhaps, I’m just not cut out for women’s work. Can’t hardly believe I just wrote that. But you know what I mean…

Not that I’m ever overly motivated to clean, but knowing it’ll get dirtied-up again tout suite is a quick way to rid myself of all shreds of that meagre motivation.

Luuk and I have taken the sabbath (well, not technically, I suppose, today’s Sunday) and made it unholy, cleaning the house. It remains far from immaculate. However, our storage space in the basement is full, and the kids room has toys in it. The lounge, hallelujah, has a lot fewer toys in it. Perhaps this will put off my onset-madness. The odd clean and clear surface could help build the illusion that I’m in control. Not that I need to be in actual control. But I am fond of the illusion, on occasion.

Luuk has a business trip to Milan next week and another in September, probably. I want to tag along on the second. How wonderful would that be? I’d have loads of time to myself while he was working, but still have someone to eat dinner with. Sounds idyllic. Doesn’t hurt that I’d be in Milan.

Doesn’t hurt that I wouldn’t be required to use my sturdy ‘No!’ a thousand times a day and have it interpreted as, ‘Keep on going; let’s see what happens.’

They’re darlings and I dearly love them. But I need a break. And in order for that to be in Milan, with Luuk, I need someone to look after the kids for three days and nights, possibly during the week, and probably while Louis is still getting into rhythm of going to Maternelle and Elena is still finding her feet at the halte garderie. But there must be a way!

We are all going on holiday together in August, and that will be fantastic: two weeks of sight seeing-variety holiday in Florence, Rome and Naples, and then eight days of sun in Ischia. Surely, even with kids to feed and wash and entertain, that will be relaxing.

But it’s not quite the same as being really alone, having no responsibility, just for a breather. And it’s been a long time since I had more than half a day of that. So I’m on the hunt. I seek ways and means and plans for solitude.