Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Mummy Reports 5

My Mummy has now been my Mummy for nearly ten months.   It's time I updated my ratings of her performance as a Mummy.

Availability: 2/10
Mummy has actually started to LEAVE me in places.  As in, for SEVERAL HOURS.  Regularly.  On purpose.  With OTHER PEOPLE.
It's not that I actually mind when it happens.  Mostly, the other people are very nice and have decent toys.  It's the sheer AUDACITY of it that I object to.

Food: 4/10
Unbelievably, Mummy has started to cut things out of my diet.  Just when I thought she was getting somewhere, too.  I haven't tasted cheese for weeks, and the vegetable count is suspiciously high.

Physical Care: 2/10
Our bathroom is starting to look like an extension of the kitchen.  This is because Mummy keeps putting food in my bath.  First it was porridge oats, which made the water all slippy and milky.  Now she's dunking Rooibos tea-bags in there.  Despite this, she still won't let me drink the bathwater.  What's all that about?!

Environment: 8/10
I can stand up!  By myself, without holding on, look, no hands! 
It's a wobbly, short-lived stand, but still!  Everything looks different from up here.  The carpet looks slightly cleaner, and the table top looks slightly grubbier.  I like a bit of variation in my view.

Entertainment Value: 10/10
I've worked out a new way to wind Mummy up.  All I have to do is repeat a word or a sound that she says, and then never say it again.  The results are hilarious to watch.  "Jeremy!  Did you say duck?!  Say it again!  Duck!  Duck!  Duckduckduck! Duck?"  She goes on for hours.  She finds all the ducks in the house, pulls duck faces, makes duck noises - it's classic entertainment, really.  Tomorrow I'm going to say Penguin and see if I can make her waddle.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Sucky Saturday

In general, for a Rev's wife with children, Saturdays tend to suck.

It's not just because TheRev works at the weekend, though of course he does. Nor is it just because he works harder on a Saturday than most other days, preparing for Sunday.; though of course that is true too.  I can accept that a clergy family simply needs to get used to having Daddy home on a different day.

The thing that really makes Saturday so much more sucky than other days is it doesn't afford the same distractions that the other days do.  During the week, I can fill our time with toddler groups, meeting up with people, leaving at least one child at the childminder, errands, shopping and visiting local attractions.  On Saturdays, however, everybody else is having their family time, so there's no-one to go and see; no regular groups are on; shops and local attractions are crowded and sometimes doubly expensive.  So, while everybody else is having fun and relaxing, The Rev's Family tend to have a stay at home day, performing mundane tasks and failing to do any housework that actually shows. The children go mad from containment and over-exposure to their exhausted mother, while I attempt to prepare songs, puppet sketches, performance poetry and visual aids for Sunday, all the time entertaining and feeding the children and clearing up the mess that they are constantly creating.

(Of course, once children are at school, perhaps this is what Saturday is like for everybody?  Except that in plenty of other families, there are two parents, or at least an extra adult somewhere, freed from work and present to deal with the extra demands of the weekend.)

I have a bad cold at the moment too, so I had a feeling that today would turn out to be a train wreck before it even started.  However, there's a technique that I have learned as a parent that keeps me sane.  It's called perspective.

I could easily say that we did nothing and achieved nothing all day and that it was miserable, and from my perspective, that would be true.  After all, we began the day with four back-to-back episodes of Show Me Show Me and we never left the house.  But from the children's perspective, today wasn't so bad.

We had a singing session with Nicky, my puppet, and all the musical instruments.  Abigail made lots of cups of tea in her kitchen.  Jeremy practised standing up by himself, even managing to stand and wave a flag at the same time.  Abigail did some of her Bob The Builder activity magazine and drew her very first person with arms and legs sticking out of the face.
(Just to be clear about this achievement, I drew the round shape under the helmet and she added eyes, mouth, hair, arms, legs and a chin.  She was very particular about the chin.)

We ran round and round the kitchen table for no apparent reason. We danced to loud music.  We built towers and knocked them over.  We tidied away all the toys in the playroom and then got them all out again.  We started to tidy the airing cupboard and got distracted by using old curtains as cloaks and wearing half a shape sorter ball as a crown and then trying to walk without the crown falling off.

My children are fun to be with.  Even though it was Saturday and the pre-child me would have crawled back under the duvet - today was an OK day.

All the same - I'm glad I have a week to recover before next Saturday.