Saturday nights are a pretty standard affair. The usual bedtime routine is followed by a small frisson of excitement that it’s Saturday night. Not a school night, not a Sunday night and all the jobs which could have been done on Friday night in order to make Sunday night a nice chilled out affair. No, this is Saturday night and by God, children or not, we’re going to enjoy.
First up is how quickly the children decide to go to sleep. If it’s a short affair then we gain an extra 45-hour of extra time. Not to be sniffed at. If it’s a long ass, drawn out affair then you might as well go to bed now. If you have anything to eat it’s too late and will give you indigestion, if you decide to have a drink you’ll only manage ‘3 fingers’ before you have to hit the hay. Don’t bother, just pass Go, collect £200 and go to bed.
Tonight was an example of a fabulous bedtime. Both kids have been full on physical activities all day. E pooped, S practically asleep before her head hit the pillow. Bliss.
T cooked lovely dinner, just started to watch a film and then it started. The illness rattle of E. He started coughing, screaming, raging. He’s fought a cold off for the last few days. So now he’s in our bed, where his 2 feet are resting on my squidgy belly and all of a sudden it sounds like I’ve taken up with Darth Vader. T will now make me a cup of tea, my g+t abandoned in the living room, along with the film on Netflix.
Saturday night is not exactly about keeping it real anymore. It’s about comforting when they’re ill, soothing when they’re screaming and always, always watching a film in at least 8-10 sittings.
Many words strike fear into the hearts of parents but none hold as much fear, or eye rolling, as Comic Relief, Sports Relief and finally World Book Day.
I’m grateful that S loves reading-books, magazines, the Argos catalogue etc. She likes to read on the loo, upside down on the sofa and in bed when she should be asleep. She’s as happy reading about My Little Pony as she trawling through a book about Scotland (no idea where this Celtic obsession has come from but there you are). So, when we had the letter/email (both go missing) from school announcing that they would be taking part in World Book Day we assumed she’d probably go for something like Harry Potter or Gangsta Granny. Both of which she’s never read but watched a few times on Netflix. We’d already got a Harry Potter costume (rip off cape with a dodgy Hogwarts badge on), a plastic wand which was recently extracted from one of E’s orifices and a black eyeliner from the relics of my makeup bag. Job done. Donation ready. Time for more Netflix/iPad/iPlayer, delete where applicable.
So when S cut out a picture of what she wanted to be dressed as we tried many different angles (read:bribes) to try and change her mind. This costume would involve planning, a trip to Hobbycraft (burn your cash on arrival) and chuffing paint and mess everywhere.
She was determined and who were we to try and change her mind? Well I’ll tell you who we are: tired 98% of the time, short tempered from trying to run a business together, raise a family together and exhausted from juggling too many dirty plates at one time. It didn’t matter.
With the freezing weather ensuring that we were going to be homebound for a few days it meant that Google went into over drive. I couldn’t remember how to make papier-mâché masks etc but we got there in the end. I say we, I mean T. The kitchen is splattered with paint, E trawls around the house with masking tape attached to most appendages and I don’t think her wellies will every be fit for purpose again.
Today she rocked up at school looking amazing, all thanks to her Dad, creative director and chief stickererererer T. I couldn’t have been more proud of them both.
Part of me wanted to revel in the comedy of having to take part in something like World Book Day but instead I was filled with pride and excitement that S wanted to stand out from the crowd. I was in awe of her confidence and happy that she imagined herself as a warrior. I’ll unleash my inner warrior if anyone again tries to persuade her to change her mind from the easy option to the right option. Even if that person is me.
Go get ’em kid.
This morning S rocked into our room bright-eyed, fluffy-tailed and tried to get into bed for a cuddle. This made a total of 4 people in a standard UK sized double-bed. E was once again in our bed and once he sensed her presence in the room he decided that he was going to, quite literally, kick off. The serenity of a Sunday morning had been shattered by the foot of a 2/3year old being planted in my eye socket and S complaining that she was cold. Husband barely moved. I’m going to buy a defibrillator and hide it under the bed. ‘I’ll take them downstairs, shall I?’. I accepted husband’s silence as a ‘yes’. Weekends are, on the whole, much more laid back affairs. There isn’t the panic of ironing a school top, trying to get the kids to eat at the kitchen table, checking emails all before 8am. It’s a different vibe. I like it.
That said, the mornings usually do follow a format – E will want milk, S will want Netflix, E will want a biscuit, S will want pancakes etc. It’s a case of low level one-upmanship. As a treat this morning I thought I’d whip out a new option from my culinary breakfast arsenal-french toast. Knowing that E would turn his nose up to this I asked him if he’d like scrambled eggs – that got a big fat yes. Then husband came downstairs (finally) and asked if there was any chance of cheese on toast? Channeling my inner Nigella and trying to ‘pay it forward’ I graciously obliged.
Before you can say ‘what were you thinking?’ I’d made the french toast for S, insisting that he had some banana with it (which she turned her nose up at), once E saw S french toast he flatly refused to eat his scrambled egg and wanted the same. I then made his but used Christmas cutters so that he didn’t need to eat the crusts and it would be more ‘fun’. On presenting him with his new breakfast he prodded it, poked it, tasted it and spat it out. Now on breakfast option #3 I yielded and offered Coco Pops. They’re currently going soggy, halfway between the bowl and the table. Like a trail of flattened ants. Husband’s cheese on toast was a triumph but by this time I, and the kitchen looked like a contestant on an early round of Masterchef just without any sexual harassment from Gregggggg Wallace.
I’m pleased that my husband is the chef in the house. I specialise in brown/being food and on the whole, it’s usually inedible. This is why he get’s more of a lie-in than I do. Later on he’ll be cooking a roast and it will be delicious. For now I’ll just pick up the scrambled egg which has been trodden into the carpet and go back to my barely-warm- enough-to-drink-cup-of-tea. Sunday’s are not what they used to be.