Is This Normal?

Phillip Schofield (PS):  Good morning and welcome to the show!  We’ve got a great line up for you this morning, but first we’re going to be helping a mum of three to answer the question, ‘Is this normal?’

Holly Willoughby (HW): ‘In a moment we’ll be speaking to the Distressed Housewife.  She has three sons, aged seven and a half, nearly four and two.  Up until this weekend she considered the chaos she endured on a daily basis to be no different to that of any other exhausted mum, but since yesterday she’s started to ask the question, ‘Is this normal?’

PS: ‘Good morning, Distressed Housewife and welcome to the show.’

Distressed Housewife (DH): ‘Good morning, Phil, Holly, thanks for having me.’

HW: ‘So, when did you first start to think that your children’s behaviour might not be ‘normal’?’

DH: ‘Well, Holly, it was yesterday morning and I’d just come downstairs from a lie-in.  Well, if you can call it that!  I’d been in bed listening to the kids screaming and running up and down and my husband yelling at them to be quiet.’

PS: ‘Sounds pretty ‘normal’ so far!’

DH: Ha, ha, Phil, yes it was and it wasn’t unusual for all three boys and the dog to climb on my knee whist I was having my morning coffee.  It was when we went upstairs to get ready that I started to wonder if everything was OK.’

HW: ‘In what way?  Tell us about your eldest son. He’s seven, isn’t he?  What specific things has he done this weekend that have made you think his behaviour is ‘different’ to that of other children the same age?’

DS:  ‘Well, firstly he waited until I crouched down to help my four-year old to get dressed and then farted in my face.  Instead of apologising he just found it funny, especially when I gagged and had to leave the room.  He couldn’t speak for laughing.  Then, when my husband was lying in bed, he gave him a wedgy.  But it wasn’t until he tried to drink a milkshake through his nose that I really started to question things.’

PS: ‘I have to say that does sound a little eccentric but it’s just boys being boys, surely?’

DH:  ‘I know, I know and our seven-year old is probably the most well-adjusted.  But what about our nearly four-year old?  Isn’t it strange to ask to play on Skylanders and drink hot chocolate AT LEAST 400 times a day?  Then there’s the running, up and down the length of the house, laughing hysterically, FOR HOURS.  And that’s not all.  He copies phrases from TV programmes in a very bad Lancashire/American accent and his poos are the same size as his head…’

HW: It’s OK, take a deep breath and try to stay calm.  I know this is upsetting and difficult to talk about, but we’ll try to help as much as we can.  We also have some experts who you can speak to after the show that can put you in touch with people who can give you some professional advice.

DH:  Thank you, I really appreciate that and yes, it does help to talk about it after keeping it bottled up for so long.

PS:  You’re welcome.  Now, what about your two-year old?  Toddlers are always difficult, aren’t they?  I’m sure yours isn’t any different.’

DH: (Taking a deep breath and suppressing a sob) Phil, he gets dirty cups out of the sink, puts them in the microwave and turns it on.  He says goodbye to his willy every time we pull his nappy up.  He kisses the remote control and says, ‘Thasshh niiissh!’.  He puts all his jumpers on in the house when he’s naked from the waist down and looks like some kind of Michelin Man flasher…

(Both presenters gasp involuntarily.)

PS:  (Interrupting gently) Okaay, he does sound very ‘spirited’; maybe he’s just very bright and needs an outlet?

DH:  Please, Phil, let me finish.  Is this the behaviour of some sort of child prodigy?  He puts a blanket over his head and then walks into things and laughs.  He kisses his own knees better.  He puts his toy phone in the washing machine and turns it on.  He spends A LOT of time in the dog’s cage eating her food.  He puts spoons in the bin.  He hides keys and records dodgy programmes on Sky Plus.  He vigorously rubs his face in the dog’s fur and makes noises that a man would if he was rubbing his face in an ample bosom.  He…he…

PS:  (Sounding relieved) I’m so sorry to interrupt mid flow, Distressed Housewife, but unfortunately we’ve run out of time.  Thank you for coming in today and sharing your story with us.

DH:  (In a shaky voice and taking a subtle sip of something out of a hip flask)  You’re welcome.  Thank you for having me.

HW:  Right, so now we’re going to open up the discussion to our lovely viewers and ask them, ‘Is this normal?’  You can ring or text on the usual numbers, lines are open until 12.15pm.  It’s time for a break but coming up, the man whose wife keeps blogging about his every move.  We’ll find out what it’s like to live in fear of having all your deepest, darkest secrets and shortcomings revealed on the World Wide Web…’



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