The list we are circulating: pyjamas, moisturiser, a capacious new handbag to fill with nappies, sticker books and crushed-up bits of rice cake. But what do mums of small children really want for Christmas? Well, that’s easy…
1. Obviously, a time machine
What would I do if I had the ability to travel back in time? Visit my old self and give her a prescription for the Pill. Just kidding! I’d give her the Pill and condoms, you can’t be too careful. (Social Services: if you’re reading this, I am of course still kidding because my kids are amazing. Time machine inventors: if you’re reading this, please get in touch because I just need like five minutes to myself without having to book it a week in advance, deal with anyone screaming, or worry about what is happening while I am gone.)
2. A new body
One that still fits into normal clothes and doesn’t leak fluids of any kind.
3. A new metabolism
To maintain the new body. I recently alleged that after I stopped giving a s*** about my weight I only gained 1lb; sadly it turns out that this rule does not apply to the festival of booze and sugar that is December in the Western world. *Undoes top button*
4. Clothing in hi-tech fabrics
For example snot-wicking tops (I regularly sport a baby-snot corsage on my shoulder at the moment), shapewear that doesn't make you feel as if your internal organs are being rearranged, or an invisibility coat for when you bump into that guy at nursery that you thought was called Steve but it turns out is called Eamonn and now hates you because you called him Steve for six months. Just me? Oh.
5. A nanny
Ideally the one Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin got when they advertised for a classically trained musician who also spoke Latin and Greek, sailed and enjoyed art history; but I’d settle for the one my friend Sally is about to fire after she came back one day to find the dog covered in paint and one of the kids missing some teeth.
6. For everyone to just behave themselves for, like, half a day
What is the actual problem with brushing teeth and hair, putting on shoes, eating vegetables, going to bed, sharing toys and allowing other people to have a conversation? Why is it that every time I try to bring one of those things about in my house, someone starts screaming, throws themselves on the floor dramatically and declares that I WANT MY DADDY?
7. To sleep in
Occasionally I do get sent back to bed when my husband is feeling benevolent, or a kindly relative is staying. I’m not knocking that, but just imagine what it would be like to actually SLEEP late. Until, say, *thinks big* 7.45am.
8. Time-saving beauty products
Take two bottles into the shower? In fact, take a shower? Not me. With a high likelihood that someone will actually die while I take five minutes to stand under running water, I just want to spray on a multitasking product and go. Note to Batiste: there is a huge gap in the market for a dry shampoo that doubles as a soap, moisturiser and manicure.
9. An undersubscribed primary school with an outstanding Ofsted rating and an extremely stable staff structure, just around the corner
“We were so lucky that Hadrian got a clarinet scholarship to St Brainiac’s School for Lifelong Success. Where have you looked at? Oh yes, the High Rise Academy for Girls, I know the one… Can you go private?”
10. Lots and lots of gin
In more realistic ideas, there is always gin. Lots of gin. And I’d feel wrong about mentioning this without suggesting that you also buy the mums in your life Hurrah for Gin , £3.99, by Katie Kirby. Merry Christmas, everyone.