Why Mum should always be in charge of den building

September 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 8 Comments
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Our niece and nephew bowled through the door on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago excited to have to come see Nunkie and Aunty Cat for the weekend and to celebrate Bear’s fourth birthday.  Nunkie being a family name for Uncle, by the way.

‘Can we sleep in the loft, can we can we can we can we?!’ were some of the first words out of their mouths.  We planned to stow all children up there out-of-the-way anyway – not as baron as it sounds – it is a converted loft – my old office and currently awaiting transformation into a guest bedroom.  Win win.

‘We could have a den up there!’ was the suggestion from 8-year-old nephew, which was met with much oohing and aahing and slightly despairing looks from Bear wondering if he was going to be packed off to his own room at 7pm to face missing out on the action.

So husband was tasked with building them a den to camp out in for the night whilst I continued making up party bags for Bear’s big party the following day.  Still lots to do, but all coming together nicely.

The next morning I get my lie in – a much savoured moment of rest until around 9am and something I don’t mind being ruthless to protect, especially being 5 months pregnant at that stage.  That hazy sleep post 7am is the best; turn over to the cold side of the pillow and drift back off.

However I am woken pre 9am to a worrying clattering sound coming from the loft.  I decide to ignore it and stay put, what’s the worst that can have happened?  And brother-in-law appears to be on the case so I drift back off.

Until I hear sister-in-law being summoned moments later.  And then husband is requested to attend the scene.  It could be worse than I first imagined.  But nothing terminal I imagine.  I hang on.

Then I hear the words a mother should never hear on the  busy morning of her son’s birthday party.  The shenanigans involve a tin of paint.

Yep, a tin of paint.  A whole tin of white emulsion, stored carefully out of harms way in the corner of the room has somehow been stumbled upon and is now pooling across the floorboards and seeping through the gaps.  Wooden floor as opposed to carpet being a small mercy.

So I shoot out of bed too quickly to compose myself and decide on objective, compassionate mother and instead rage-mother emerges, bed head and all.

I shout up to the small loft room to the now four people gathered above my head that all should come down so I can assess the damage.  No reply.  I raise my voice a little more.  Still no reply.  So I bellow like the wolf trying to blow the little pig’s house down – ‘EVERYBODY OUT NOW!’.

Down comes a sobbing ghost like 8-year-old nephew coated in white paint, carefully transferred to the bathroom by his nervous looking dad.

I arrive upstairs to survey the scene and make a plan.  Husband looks like a rabbit in the headlights and opens his palms to beg for some compassion.

I have none – especially when I realise this.

Husband made the den as instructed.  He chose to build it with a) bags and boxes of brand new baby clothes, blankets and other lovingly chosen items, b) bed linen and c) tins of paint.  Tins of paint as weights to hold the covers in place.

And as a result husband is instructed to leave the house with all three children with immediate effect or suffer the wrath of a hormonal pregnant woman facing her treasured collection of baby goodies coated in white paint.

And so, the clean up operation began.

And husband gave the place a wide berth for a little while.  Sensible chap.


Image courtesy of A Beach Cottage.   I was not in the mood for documenting events via the medium of photography.


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  1. Oh no! I am sorry for laughing, I would have went mad too, but so funny that the children were not to blame.

    • It’s hilarious now; at the time my heart was racing with annoyance!!!!!

  2. Ooops…!

  3. This has got to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, so so funny. But catastrophically awful at the time, I am sure! And all those baby things, nooo!
    Camilla 😉

    • Luckily the clothes in the bags were unspoilt, husband was lucky! He really would have been for it otherwise!

  4. woops x

  5. Holy poop. I also realised Mum should be in charge of dressing 5 year old on a hot day. Came home to find hubby had helpfully taken son for a play in the park in 25degree sunshine dressed in winter-warmth tracksuit trousers and a long sleeved top. OMG

  6. Go Mama! X

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