1) There goes the ‘spare’ Mars or Twirl in the four-pack.
2) The bannister is a handy clothes rail for everything you all need to put on tomorrow and the stairs are a perfect shoe rack.
3) Body fluid. So much of it. Bogeys, urine, dribble, poo, sick, blood, ear wax…
4) You can make a Thomas yoghurt by sticking a Thomas plaster on a supermarket budget yoghurt.
5) Turns out that Impulse body spray is not just for teenagers but busy mums too.
6) Even on the third morning, this hoody is ‘fresh on’.
7) High-fiving yourself in the car window reflection when you’ve successfully strapped them all in is totally a thing.
8) You have 17 parenting books stacked up separately from your other books and you definitely will find time to read one before they all leave home.
9) At least once a week, you put something ‘in a safe place’ then lose it. You have no idea where the Christmas cards, wrapping paper or Mummy’s Emergency Dairy Milk are.
10) Goodbye ‘normal’ car, hello huge car with an engine that sounds like an ice cream van. Which is the only time your kids will hear an ice cream van. No change from a tenner when you have four to pay for. “There are choc ices in the freezer” I trot out just like my mum did when I was little.
11) Your ‘new coat’ is three years old.
12) You would trade a kidney for a convincing looking Santa-cam because remember kids, Father Christmas is always watching and he knows all the secrets of our hearts.
13) You’ve considered going for babies five and six purely to use up the full set of IKEA different coloured plates and matching cups.
14) Are they all yours? I thought you were a childminder! What happened – did the telly break? Ah, aiming for a whole football team? Repeat. Daily.
15) What do you mean those clothes don’t ‘go together’? Every child is in clean clothes that fit – what’s the problem?
16) Whenever a child refuses to put their school shoes on, a unicorn dies.
17) He doesn’t like fish fingers but will eat a fish cake, she eats anything, he will have a burger again and he only eats fish fingers!
18) Save time and space by removing drawers and wardrobes. Instead simply make a uniform basket, a sleepwear/underwear basket and one for towels and bedding. Rummage through as required.
19) Everywhere you go, everybody stares. It’s not because they’re rude. More people take up more room, make more noise and are generally more visible.
20) You wander round talking to yourself, even if they’re at school or asleep in the buggy, because you are so used to having someone with you.
21) No this chocolate cake has got jam/alcohol/banana in it and you don’t like/aren’t allowed jam/alcohol/banana.
22) When your mum says Grandad is happy in the care home and looking forward to going to the dementia cafe next week, and you feel jealous and wish you were being taken to the dementia cafe next week because the last time you had a coffee in peace was… Nope, it’s slipped my mind.
23) Unless you want to share that Coca-Cola, drink it from a mug thus duping offspring into mistaking said beverage for coffee.
24) A red school hair bobble ponytail, no socks and a Peppa Pig sticker somewhere is your standard ‘look’ all year round.
25) Pick stuff up, wipe things, serve food, scrape food into bin. For the next 20 years.
26) You do a headcount every time you pull off in the car.
27) You have bought at least two additional washing baskets and if only two are full you class that as being on top of the washing. Less bottomless pit more never-ending revolving door of piles of clothes mountains. Actually, make that seven revolving doors.
28) You last had your eyebrows professionally groomed in 2008. They don’t need doing yet. Don’t be silly.
29) You pity and envy those with one or two kids but have immense solidarity with mums of three or more.
30) What do you mean I need a haircut? I had it done last year. It’s still fine.
31) Thinking of the groomed mummies in their full make up as vacuous is an all bases covered failsafe way of continually feeling great about your simple natural self-care routine, which goes wash sometimes, eat sometimes and sleep occasionally. Don’t try to do more than this. You’ll only end up disappointed.
32) Child one – 13 organised pretty albums of first year photos, themed in something sentimental like Peter Rabbit or Guess How Much I Love You. Child two – two far less organised albums in whatever style was in the sale. Child three – I know he’s nearly four but I have all the baby photos and album in a safe place ready for the day I have time to lovingly arrange them. Child four – the midwife took a photo on her phone and the email accidentally went to my junk box. There are a few on Facebook. They all look the same at that age anyway, don’t they?
33) When they say school starts at 8.50am, they really mean that’s the time you should put your shoes and coat on and start de-icing the car.