I found a box of old film scripts yesterday, leftovers from a previous life. It got me thinking… What would the script of a real mum’s life look like? Well, here’s my version:
SCENE 1: ‘Would you like a snack?’
INT: UNTIDY COTTAGE – DAY.
Mum enters the room. Her long brown hair is disheveled. She has a wary look on her face. It’s 3:10pm.
Mum’s P.O.V – There is a pile of discarded school bags and shoes by the door. They will stay there until tomorrow. Lying next to them is a small tree’s worth of pencil drawings. They will be thrown away, but only when the kids are in bed. Mum has learnt her lesson.
She approaches a pale grey sofa and flicks her hair nervously. Her two children are sat on the sofa watching her. The youngest, pretty, dark blonde pigtails, looks crazy-mad. The eldest, pretty, long brown ponytail, is glaring daggers at her.
The scene is fraught with tension.
Mummeeee. I’m hun-gerrrrr-ry!
Are you darling? How was your day?
Mum knows it’s all about cajoling and survival. She glances at the clock on the kitchen wall. Her face falls a little.
I’m not going to tell you ANYTHING until you bring me my snack.
(dissolves into tears as if receiving the worst insult of her life)
Bread stick or cracker?
Emily stops crying immediately.
Crackers please… And don’t forget the butter.
The youngest child suddenly starts wailing. She jumps up from the sofa and starts stamping her tiny foot.
But I don’t WANT crackers or breadstick. I wanted pitta bread!
We don’t have pitta bread, Jess. Mummy didn’t have time to go shopping this morning. She was too busy making your stupid bastard costume for World Book Day.
Mummy! You shouldn’t swear. I’m telling Daddy.
I want some raisins.
Mum takes an audible breath, so deep and so long it could incinerate the entire length of a cigarette. (Which she wishes she had right now. She might even consider selling one of the kids for it.)
We don’t have any raisins, Jess…
We do have some dried mango though.
Jess considers this for a moment before a triumphant smile creeps across her face.
Ok. But I want to watch Paw Patrol as well.
Emily dissolves into hysterical tears again
But mummy I HATE Paw Patrol! I wanted Sofia… Jess always chooses.
You don’t love me anymore. You prefer Jess to me!
Mum makes a tactical retreat towards the kitchen door. The kids are too busy facing up to each other to notice. Mum sighs again. She hasn’t the courage to announce what she’s cooking for dinner tonight. She fears the fallout will be of nuclear proportions.
Mum heads towards the fridge, de-corks a bottle left over from weekend and takes a slug. She glances at the kitchen clock again.
CUT TO BLACK