On a recent weekend my eldest and middlest were at Scout and Cub camp respectively. In the persistent, unrelenting rain.

This left youngest home alone. Well obviously home with hubby and I, not actually alone, that would constitute child neglect I am sure, but anyway you know what I mean.

To begin with she and I dropped middlest at Cub Camp, whilst hubby delivered eldest to Scout camp elsewhere, and I couldn’t get her to come home. She had embroiled herself in a soccer game that had started up amongst the Cubs and as regular readers will know this is her passion. And so she was gaily bashing a ball around.

Anyway I finally extracted her and on the short drive home we discussed what fun we would have over the weekend. She had a football game the next morning, her Grandma was coming over to stay to celebrate her birthday and she had a bowling party on the Sunday. Plus she had her parents all to herself.

It took precisely 20 minutes before she was sobbing gently into her bath about missing ‘The Brothers’. This is what she calls them. I tried again to stress the upsides. For instance that she could watch whatever she wanted to watch on TV the next morning and for longer than usual as we needed less time to get ready. Sole control of the remote- what could be better?

At this she relented slightly and admitted that she could probably stand the weekend without eldest but she was feeling the loss of middlest keenly. Apparently I had ‘rushed her off’ at the Cub Camp drop off and she didn’t get to say goodbye properly. I pointed out that middlest would probably not have wanted a hug in front of all his scouting friends. Although that is actually unlikely to be true as middlest will usually accept a hug from anyone, anytime, anywhere.

She was not to be consoled. And so she went to bed sniffing gently.

The next morning I came downstairs and found her sitting forlornly in front of the TV holding the remote control. It is evidently less fun to have ownership of that device when one has not had to fight tooth and nail for it.

She made the most of the day. She enjoyed the football match but wished eldest had been there ‘shouting from the side’. Grandma taught her a new game to play with a tennis ball against the wall of the house but really she wanted to ‘play penalties with middlest’. We went out for Grandma’s birthday meal and I think the mainly adult conversation got her down. The party offered some relief but then she had no one to gloat at upon receipt of a sweet stuffed party bag.

I did warn her as we left to collect middlest that he might be tired and not in the mood to play.

Then he got home and they built that den up there and laid in it to watch TV.

She was happy again.

So although they fight tooth and nail, bicker, physically assault each other and tease each other mercilessly when it comes down to it my kids love each other dearly.

It’s heartening to know that although I busted my pelvic floor having three kids in three and a half years it has paid off. Long may it continue.

Oh and good luck to youngest’s first boyfriend. He will have two tough acts to follow!