Escapology For HouseWives.

By Alison February 15, 2006 13 Comments 4 Min Read


Your life is a comedy zone.

This is how it happens. You  are having a  lovely, mopey  morning, after a  scrumptiously romantic evening. You are a little bit tired. Still in your nightie, with maybe just a teeny smudge of last nights mascara under your eyes.

The  baby  is  giddy with irrational glee because the gas man is coming. Snot is running down his face and you haven’t got round to dressing him yet, but you take time out for cuddles and tea in between chopping up veg for the soup and baking a heart shaped cherry cake because it is Wednesday and that is what you do on Wednesdays. Nightie or no nightie.

You hear the tumble dryer stop spinning so you open the door to your tiny little laundry room, and reach across to pull the towels out, when  behind  you, you hear a little voice say "Bye Mummy"  and see the door into the kitchen slam closed. And that’s it. You are locked in laundry heaven. And yes it smells deliciously fresh in there, but now your two year old has got the run of the house and who knows what he is going to do…

You panic. You bang in a crazy fashion on the living room window in an  effort to prevent your son drawing on  your precious farmhouse table, then almost sink to your knees in grief as you watch him apply that ball point pen to the walls instead. You consider going out the back door, through the yard, down the passage, through your next door neighbours garden and out down the side of your terraced  little cottages, past the church, and around , to your front door. But your feet are bare. and you are in your nightie and who knows what the old dears going to the parish luncheon club would make of that.

By now the little monster in your living room has  got  a  bag of potatoes and is practising his basketball skills throwing potatoes at the mirror above your fireplace. You are close to hysteria, foreseeing glass and blood and God knows what all over your nice new Laura Ashley rug. So you tap on the  window again.  Your son looks up, then drags a chair across the room so he can press a wet kiss onto your screechy lips, through the glass. The child who never kisses you. You try in best calm mommy sotto voice to tell him how to open the window so you can try to squeeze through the window, and get into the living room. You try not to think about how that might look to any passing bin men, but it is pointless anyway because your son has selective deafness and when you say "Open. The. Window. Finley!" , he hears, "I’m going to tell you a Thomas Story" and gets himself settled in the armchair ready for mommy to entertain him.

You think about crying. There are potatoes everywhere. You watch your celiac ridden son go into the kitchen and fetch the wheat sodden cherry cake, then climb on top of his little vintage desk ,a squashed bit of cake dangerously close to his lips as he shouts at the top of his voice "I’m stuck, I’m stuck"   Because he is, but not half as damn well stuck as you. So you try to send a telepathic help message to your Mum. And as usual she comes up trumps.

There is a man standing in your living room. A beautiful man. A man with a beer belly and a beard. And you love him, and hell, who cares who he is, and what he is here for. You bang on the window like a mad woman, and this lovely, lovely stranger , steps over the potatoes and the upturned chair, picks your son out of his desk and comes into the kitchen, and lets you out of your almond scented prison.

You want to hug him like a long lost friend. But you don’t because maybe he has got a gun hidden in that there beer belly. And anyway what sort of crazy person let’s themselves into other peoples houses? You try to look stern and scary. But you are not even scaring your babba, who is jumping up and down in demented excitement, because "Look Mummy, it is the gasmans. Yey, it’s the gasmans. I show you where the gas is Mr Man. I show you…"

You shake a little bit. Then you switch on the  kettle and resolve to tell your grandchildren about the day the gasman saved your life. 


  1. Kristy says:

    You crack me up!
    Been there done that but my involved a 3 year old,a baby and a neighbours cleaner!

  2. Mindy says:

    Oh Alison…that is soo funny!! I'm sorry …but you really had me laughing! Hope you have a restful day!
    Hugs dear..

  3. Meredith says:

    I'm so glad for the gas man!! Of course, you know we've all done this (I am thinking of a time the fire department came to unlock my darling baby girl from my car….I had locked her inside when my mind was foggy with a new pregnancy). Lovely!
    Hang in there dear.

  4. Gina C. says:

    Oh, you had me laughing out loud! Thanks for the humor today!

  5. Suzie says:

    Oh Lordy Alison, you certainly have a way with words! I'm sure you couldn't see the funny side of it at the time, but you made me laugh…
    Don't you just love toddlers???

  6. Janeygirl says:

    What a stunning little boy! He is going to have to beat the girls off with a stick when he is a few years older….

  7. June says:

    I laughed so hard that tears actually rolled down my cheeks. Reminds of the time I was 9 months pregnant living in still-divided Berlin, W. Germany in a pre-war German apartment (my husband was in the U.S. Air Force). I was in a very narrow and deep German tub, turned to get the soap and got stuck sideways, no way out, couldn't even reach the blasted soap due to a humongous belly. Banged on the walls until someone called the military police who broke in our apartment and got me out. Talk about the most embarrassing day of my life! I guess I need to tell my son that story.

  8. Savannah says:

    Oh, what a beautiful morning, huh? I've called my mom and my best friends to read this to them. They are all HUGE Finley fans! Love ya! G.

  9. ms*robyn says:

    Alison – this would make a great tv show! I can just see it now…those church ladies in their floral dresses, hats, gloves & shoes and here comes the vintage housekeeper trotting down the side path in all her vintage glory! how funny …..been there done it too…but it is a little scary at the time being separated from your toddler by a locked door.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Dear, I don't know whether to laugh or cry! Thanks heavens you were rescued!

  11. julie says:

    Oh Alison…What adventures! I agree with Ms*Robyn, this would make a great television series…

  12. VintageJess says:

    Oh Alison! I have tears running down my face from laughing so hard. Thanks for sharing. And give that ornery little bugger a big hug from all of your housekeepers!

  13. Nancy says:

    Ah, funny stuff! Love that Finley to pieces…..but do tell. What exactly was that gasman's reaction to the disheveled, breathless, nightie gowned Alison?! Bet you made HIS day as well! (I miss being a Mommy…..once they turn 21 you are a "MOM"…generally spelled "A-T-M".)

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