The Groundhog Misery Triad

“Have kids,” they said.

“It’ll change your life,” they said.

After another evening where my drought-stricken reserves of joy were sucked clean out of my dessicated marrow I can confirm they were right.

Yes, yes before you start piling in with wisdom I know there are elements of having children that are amazing and wonderful and rewarding. Like those days when you come from work and they’re not at home because your wife has taken them somewhere.

Don’t get me wrong – I do love the little shits otherwise not all of us would still be alive – but after approaching six years of what can best be described as the bath-supper-bed triad of misery I could do with some time off.

A decade or so should suffice.

Let me give you an example of a typical evening conversation from a grown up’s perspective.

“Rhys. Arwen. Can you please come and brush your teeth.”

“It’s nearly bedtime can you please come and brush your teeth.”

“Arwen, put the cat down and please come and brush your teeth.”

“Please put the cat down. Arwen, put the cat down…put it down…PUT IT DOWN…PUTTHECATDOWNANDCOMEANDBRUSHYOURTEETH.”

“No, I’m putting the toothpaste on. Where’s your toothbrush? No I don’t know where it is. Go and find it please. Leave the cat alone and go and find your toothbrush.”


“Big boy, don’t make me call you again because I’m running out of patience.”

“No Arwen, I’m putting the toothpaste on. Because it’s nearly empty and you can’t get it out by yourself that’s why.”


“Fine Arwen, sit on the floor and sulk but there’s no story tonight. I don’t care if you want one, there’s no story.”


“Big guy, for once can you be a good example to your sister and just brush your teeth.”


“Just BRUSH.”

“Get back in the bathroom.”

“That’s not brushing it’s just chewing.”

“Fine. Then your teeth can go brown and fall out. I don’t care.”


“Arwen, that’s enough screaming.”

“Rhys, if you whisper to your sister again and tell her to scream you are going to get a hiding. You don’t whisper as quietly as you think, that’s why. Yes it’s like a smack on the bum, just lots of them.”




“Fine. No stories for anyone tonight. And no more treats. Ever.”

“I don’t care. I’m sick of this nonsense. I’ve asked you nicely and it gets me nowhere. ARWENLILY BRUSH YOUR TEETH OR YOUR DUMMIES ARE GOING IN THE BIN.”

“Rhys, just give me the toothbrush and go for a wee.”

“Go for a wee.”

“Go for a wee.”



I’m probably overreacting.

I mean it’s not like we had to cajole them both through every tortured mouthful of supper for what seemed like a dozen lifetimes before we got to the whole tooth-brushing phase.

And it’s not like an hour after they’d had the fourteen bedtime cuddles (and yes they had a bloody story each) there was still enough drama to keep sending them up the passage.

Current top excuses for a parental-lounge visit over supper include:-

He/She’s in my room

I’ve lost my dummy

I can’t find little pup

My fan isn’t working

I want some water

The cat was keeping me awake

There’s a bee in my room

There’s a lion in my room

I just wanted…umm…I just…I really love you dad

At least it’s Saturday tomorrow where I can wake up refreshed just before dawn after a night of sleeping in one hour bursts because of cuddle visits and then try and get them both to eat some oats before we can go hang out at a school sports day by 7.30am.

And people ask why I go running.


Header image: By Thegreenj – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

8 thoughts on “The Groundhog Misery Triad

    • Yeah…especially my little girl’s one which tastes like bubblegum 🙂 They are busy eating oats like angels as I reply to your comment just to spite me! Thanks for reading


  1. Sadly, a lot of this is extremely familiar to me, so I do empathise with the groundhog day nature of caring for small children..! The additional aspect of this I find particularly frustrating is their inability to spit the toothpaste INTO THE SINK and not down their pyjamas or onto the floor…. Love the Welsh names too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooh…the inability to spit, I hear you!! There is so much love and joy amongst the madness but it’s not always easy to be the grown up. Will gift wrap my blog for them in a decade or so 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting (and empathizing!) and I’m glad you like the names 🙂


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