Preferably Bombay Sapphire but I’m about 3 miles past the fussy stage.
You might guess, and rightly so, that the behaviours have been continuing. And boy have they!
It started well this morning – M decided to get up very early (i.e. she crept in for a cuddle then snuck back to her bed and then sneakily crept downstairs) and make her own breakfast. This could have been a disaster as she has to stand on a stool to reach the toaster but she made a decent job of toast and butter, and remembered to fetch herself a drink (I am SO glad my youngest two drink water by default).
I was lulled into a false sense of calm by this show of independence and was therefore not prepared for the onslaught of tantrums and meltdowns that followed. Luckily I had an appointment several miles away and E, my eldest, was earmarked to babysit, so with instructions that M and her brother were not to have TV, DVDs or the computer (seriously way too much screen time so far this week) I left, confidently assuming they would be racing around the garden in the gorgeous sunshine for ages.
How wrong I was. I got home to find that E had fed them their lunch – which appears to have been the only OK part of the whole day – and had given up on trying to get them outside. I thought “Huh, she just needs to be a bit more authoritative, I’ll get them out playing something in no time.” Yeah, well I nearly gave up too! Between the Olympic standard whining of B, and M’s absolute point blank refusal to engage with anything I said at all, I was losing the will to live. In the end I resorted to what I think of as my Army Voice (think sergeant major from a nightmare) and literally ordered them out by blocking the way back in.
It is astounding how many times a child can dream up an excuse to come back inside. I won’t list them all as some of you might want to sleep in the next year, but suffice to say the only way to keep them outside was for me to join them.
The good news is the lawn is now mowed and looks half decent. Extra good news is that the kids were outside for a total of about 2 1/2 hours – some much needed vitamin D in this oft dark corner of the planet. Astonishing news is that I managed to persuade M to help rake up some of the grass, and a very good job she did too, even though somehow *cough* the rake got broken off the handle. I was too hot and tired to investigate this breakage and am giving her the benefit of the doubt. Here’s a wee picture of her using the plastic rake part that still worked well enough to clear up the very last bit of grass.
The latter part of the day went slightly better, especially as I gave M her usual Friday night cheese pizza for tea. Melatonin was my friend again (seriously no idea how I am going to be brave enough to give her a week off at some point!) and they are both asleep.
Please let tomorrow be a better day!