In the FDMTG household we are suffering from a severe case of Mummy Attention Deficit (MAD). It's a little like the altogether more serious ADD, but in this case the attention deficit is from mummy, not child, hence the acronym. If you are worried this might affect your own offspring I have compiled a list of symptoms:
You may find that every time you are not in the same room as your child, plaintive cries of 'Mummy, where are you', start to ring around the house within moments of your disappearance.
If you sit down with your children you will find they crawl onto your lap and refuse to get off unless bribed with copious amounts of chocolate.
If you have help to assist you in looking after your children then you will note that every time a child related chore arises, for example fetching cold drinks, making tea, taking shoes off, supervising piano lessons only you will be allowed to complete it. No matter how hard your nanny/grandma/daddy tries to intervene only mummy will do. Any substitute will be met by bloodcurdling screams and physical resistance.
Should you attempt to shut yourself into your office to make a phone call/do some work/write your blog, you will instantly be interrupted by small people demanding to sit on your lap and 'stay widge you', one of my mini MAD sufferers told me, when asked how long he intended to remain stuck by my side as I attempted to meet a deadline, that he was staying put 'until you are skellington mummy.'
Any attempt to leave the house alone will be nipped in the bud, so no matter how boring your errand you will find your small MAD afflicted children demanding to accompany you. No quick pop to the shops or indulgent pamper at the nail bar, every trip to the outside world must be supervised.
To be fair to my poor, ailing boys I have brought all this trouble on myself by returning to work, albeit part time and from home, which has meant I am no longer at their beck and call all day, every day.
Though I note with interest on strange feature of this disease. If I am upstairs in my office, attempting to appear professional it seems to result in a real upsurge in symptoms, however should I be occupied in the kitchen making their tea or folding their clothes, strangely it goes into instant remission and they can suddenly cope without me for a moment or two. It seems housework is allowed, but work, work is not. A most curious facet to this little know complaint.
The only known cure for MAD is to replace the deficient mother with some kind of reliable entertainment device. I find that I can clear up all the symptoms of this troubling malaise by giving in to the constant demands for computer play or DVD watching. A few seconds in front of their chosen screens and all thoughts of mummy are forgotten in a haze of colourful pixels.
I wonder should I contact the Lancet with my findings?