The Apprentice ‘you’re fired’ finger of a toddler

The Apprentice: just a day in my life with kids

Think BBC’s The Apprentice looks like hard work? It’s got nothing on us! From one NOT fired parent to another, living life one Apprentice episode at a time.

Dear Lord Sugar,

Just to let you know that should I wish to apply for any future series of BBC’s The Apprentice, I won’t need to endure the 10 week rigmarole of the selection process. Because, you see, I’ve experienced an episode of The Apprentice every day for the last three and a half years. It’s called being a parent. And it’s far less pretty than your show, believe me. 

My day also begins with the shrill sound of ringing. The source of this noise is two small humans aged one and three. I leap out of bed and run to silence it in a foggy haze. Once they have my attention, I am expected to feed these mildly irrational candidates cheerios on demand. Whilst simultaneously pouring an unlimited supply of milk and singing merrily.

We trip over ourselves to get ready. Unfortunately there is no miraculous transformation, nor an orderly strut out of the door into a black, clean, car. Instead, we depart looking only marginally less dishevelled than when we woke. Stumbling in a tangle of arms and coats and noise, into a crumb-filled machine on wheels.

But daily wild goose chases? We’re all over those! We can find the missing flopsy wopsy. Locate the nearest toy store with a Marshall pup. Hunt out the source of that faintly offensive whiff. We will smash it. Quite literally on some occasions. 

I always get lumped with the role of project manager. My team are disorderly, bolshy and incredibly hard to ‘manage’. They regularly shout to be heard, ignore the task in hand and wander off with their own agenda. I presume I’m elected as PM due to my three years’ mothering experience. And yet, my team seem intent on undermining me at every given opportunity. 

Throughout our very chaotic days we are silently observed by bystanders (Karen Brady has got nothing on the judgmental-whispering-type-Mums at the park).  So as not to giveaway my utter lack of control, I have mastered a chirpy, high pitched, manner which I use to rally my troops. I am sure this has convinced anyone watching of my parenting ability, although the odd raised eyebrow does not unnoticed.

We struggle to complete tasks on time and in an orderly fashion. In the event that this results in us being on the losing team, I am declared to be well and truly off the sweetie list. In this instance, I sit nursing my cold cup of tea and wonder whether it went wrong with my failure to answer ‘why?’ for the hundredth time today. Or perhaps it was my inability to invite Mickey Mouse for tea? Either way, all the fingers of blame seem to point at me.

At the end of the day, we gather around the boardroom table to disect the day and eat our tea. Sometimes I am advised that the tea smells weird. Often it’s too hot. Or too cold. It might even be entirely the wrong type of tea. On those occasions I feel my heart rate quicken and I wonder; will today be the day that those two immortal words will be uttered? 

But, they haven’t been yet. I am still very much NOT fired. Which means, essentially, I’m hired. Until tomorrow, when episode 1,267 will begin and I endure the selection process all over again. 

Yours sincerely

One NOT fired mother 


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