Ok it’s getting desperate. The Husband has just suggested that I wait another 20 minutes before I put the kids in the bath – to give the hot water a chance to heat up properly. I hadn’t said anything. He could just tell what I was thinking. Ten past 5 on a Sunday afternoon and already I’m counting down the minutes – nay seconds, before I can legitimately get them upstairs. 20 minutes is 20 minutes too long this afternoon, so I’ve absented myself (although I know they’ll find me) to find the strength to get through bath time.
It is mostly my fault (isn’t it always). In a spectacular piece of bad planning this close to the end of term, not only did they both have school discos on Friday night but then swimming on Saturday morning and sleepovers last night. Pink (nearly 6) was elsewhere. Her sleepover partner’s mother said that they went to bed around 8.30 and were up at 5.30, although they stayed in bed till 7.
Blue (8) and his friend were here. They watched Harry Potter and were in bed by 8.30. Silence reigned. At some point in the middle of the night, I became aware of movement and muffled noise. I tried not to listen to hard because I didn’t want to wake up too much, but I managed to ascertain that they were playing Mario on their DSIs. I wouldn’t normally countenance DSIs in bedrooms and certainly not the playing thereof at midnight (or whenever it was – I didn’t look at the clock), but in the end I just couldn’t be bothered getting out of bed. I decided that my stomping in and reading the riot act was unlikely to change anything, and that it was probably best to just let them get on with it. They must have gone back to sleep - I certainly did – but they were up again at 6 creeping around and sneaking downstairs to watch TV.
The consequences of all this of course is that today they are utterly, utterly exhausted, as am I. I have been a good mother and worn my Mother’s Day earrings (thanks, Rainbows) all day (even out in public) and put my other earrings in the clay pot spray painted silver and gold (thanks Cubs). I cried at the lovely book Pink had done at school “A book about you and me” – It goes something like this – “Your eys are blue – like school jumpers. My eys are blue like the sky. Your hair is dark brown like dog fur, my hair is light brown like chocolate” etc. It is the loveliest thing.
The rest of Mother’s Day included church for Pink and I, a dog walk (me and the dog) and moving a reclaimed shed in pieces from our back garden up to the allotment for reconstruction at a later date (all of us). Lots of fresh air to help the children through the day.
4 minutes to go, and the water will be hot. I could probably review the rest of the weekend’s food in that time. A bit hit and miss to be honest. I had to go fridge diving on Friday, not because I hadn’t planned anything but because I couldnt’ be bothered to do what I’d planned. In the end, I whizzed up the leftover chachouka sauce with a little more veg stock and served it with pasta for the kids (lots of carbs before the disco). For the husband and I, a glittering prize at the bottom of the freezer – a tub of Nigella’s south Indian curry sauce (from Kitchen). I made a huge batch ages ago to use a whole pot of the tamarind paste I’d bought (rather than using a small amount and leaving the rest to go mouldy in the fridge), so that made supper easy for us.
On Saturday, we had a Nigella minestrone type soup – macaroni and cannellini beans with stock, greens and cubes of carrot and parsnip – for lunch and for supper, fajitas, chosen by Blue. I love fajitas. To me it’s a sure fire way of getting huge amounts of veg into the kids. Sure, there’s some chicken thrown in (I used a pack of 4 chicken thigh fillets last night, marinaded in the juice of a lime, and a teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander before cooking), but then it’s a red onion and 2 red peppers thinly sliced and fried up first, salsa of tomatoes and spring onions, mashed up avocado and lime juice to make guacamole, coriander leaves – it’s just veg veg veg. How satisfying (sorry if I’m being smug, but it does please me).
Today – a roast for lunch and snack tea. I realised on Saturday morning that I hadn’t actually planned anything for today – not because I was expecting any kind of meal out, I just forgot – this is typical of my 'meal planning’. Fortunately the Husband had managed to find some pork in the freezer. Roast at lunch means snack tea – fried up leftover potatoes, sandwiches, date and walnut loaf. All good – and easy.
And now it’s 5.43 p.m. We’ve made it, the Husband and I. In fact the kids are already in the bath and the Husband is skyping me from upstairs on his iTouch (the wonders of modern technology). Right. (Takes deep breath)... not long now...