First a wedding dress, then a maternity dress, now I'm just trying to fit into ANY dress.

Tag Archives: hostage negotiations

I SAW a post on social media recently about someone doing up their CV for a job interview and it got me thinking.

It’s been a long time since I applied for a job or had an interview and I think since I’ve become a mother my skill set has changed.

It used to be all typing and office skills and teaching voluntary adult literacy classes – now it’s getting vomit out of the carpet and ‘Mom hacks’ for entertaining a toddler on a rainy day.

Mom hack number one, stop calling them fucking hacks you gobshites, they’re TIPS. Hacks, me hoop.


I think the number one skill I’ve picked up over the past three years is hostage negotiation.

Being a stay at home parent to a toddler is a bit like being in a hostage situation. With you as the hostage.

You have to ask permission to go to the bathroom and IF it’s granted it’s always conditional – to whit, you may never wee alone and you have to wee fast. I SAID FAST.

You have to prepare meals for a belligerent dictator who may deign to eat it or who equally may refuse to even taste it because you cut it into squares instead of triangles. Even though he said squares. But he can’t be expected to know that you’d follow through on his instructions, he’s under a lot of pressure right now. Jeez!

Leaving the place of capture – or ‘the home’ as some hostages refer to it – takes intense negotiations. You have to give a choice between this jacket or this jacket, these shoes or these shoes. Bribery may even be involved as you desperately beg for your freedom.

Earlier this week I was involved in a seriously delicate piece of negotiation about going out to play in the garden – I was almost feverish with the cabin fever after several days of rain, but The Beast was perfectly fine in his playroom thank you very much and he decided we weren’t going anywhere.

Eventually I had to agree to putting up two toy tents  on the windiest day of the year in order to secure my freedom resulting in at least one neighbourhood child being brained by a flying wigwam. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d have to type.

Wigwam 1

Wigwam 2








Paradoxically after such a rigmarole to get out of the house, even further negotiations are often required to get back into the house.

Look around any playground and you’ll see dozens of half-washed, hollow eyed, wrecked looking parents desperately pleading with their captors to just get. in. the. fucking. buggy.

‘If you get in the buggy I’ll let you watch ten minutes of Paw Patrol when we get home!’ they’ll wheedle in a high pitched voice, terrified.

‘It’s time to go now! Hold my hand now and you can have these chocolate buttons,’ they’ll beg, eyes darting around, hoping someone, anyone, is about to jump out of the bushes to rescue them.

Bedtime is another flashpoint – no matter how much notice they get there’s always last ditch negotiations about the timing.

Just five more minutes. Just one more drink. Just 873 more stories. No, not THOSE stories. THOSE ones. Read them slower. NOT THAT SLOW.

Beware, if you do bedtime wrong, you’ll wake up at 2am to find them looming over you intoning ‘it puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again’.

Still, at least hostage negotiation is a skill for the old CV, right? If I ever get five fucking minutes to myself to apply for a job in the future, it’s SOMETHING to put on there, right? I mean at the moment there could be work for me over in the EU with the whole Brexit thing (See how I stay current? See?) I’m sure I could sort them all out. I negotiated The Great ‘Six Chocolate Buns in Six Minutes Is Quite Enough’ Showdown 2016 with aplomb so I did so I’m sure negotiating the fifth biggest economy’s exit from the European Union would be a doddle.

My other skills include ‘Secret Cheese Eating’ ‘Watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians Out Of The Corner Of One Eye While Doing Arts And Crafts At The Same Time’ ‘Faking Knowing The Names Of All The Monster Machines’ and my speciality ‘Pretending To Be Awake While Actually Being In A Coma’.

And I got an A in Home Economics in my Junior Cert. (Actually I didn’t, I got a B, but Lying Through My Teeth is another of my special skills.)

Hey, it’s a competitive market out there, may the best hostage win.