Good Things and Grumblings. Standard.

False Economy

Buying nice clothes for your firstborn, under the assumption that two children will get the use of them. Either you save them for best, which means they never get worn and you don't get your money's worth, or you let your eldest wear them to nursery and accept that they're going to come home covered in sparkly black and red evidently-not-that-washable-after-all paint. But at least she had fun constructing an enormous, walk-in castle (it's genuinely pretty awesome).

Pinterest Mom Attempt

Thinking that we wouldn't make it along to the fireworks last night, I mixed up some glow in the dark bubbles. Yes, that's right: GLOW IN THE DARK BUBBLES. Equal parts glow in the dark washable paint and bubble mix, the recipe said.

Is there anything three year olds would love more (at that moment in time, when there's no strawberry ice cream to be had and you're not at soft play) than glow in the dark bubbles?

There is not.

Yeah, they didn't work. I had a very glowy yoghurt pot and some sludgy bubble mix.

Good thing, then, that my other half borrowed his parents' car and took the three year old to see the fireworks after all. Apparently she shrieked and bounced and yelled "PINK!!!!!" a lot. I'm sorry I had to miss it.

Baby Christmas Gift Ideas, Courtesy of My Eleven Month Old

Her current favourite playthings are:

  • Two sheets of white A4 paper.
  • Any hair accessory that is firmly attached to somebody's head.
  • The cats' tails.
  • Her dad's pyjamas.
  • Snack wrappers.
  • A plate.
You're welcome.

Reluctant Return to Routine

Nursery has been back in session for a week and a half now. My three year old is still loving it - she has a little posse of pals and she gets to spend three hours a day covering her clothes in paint, grass stains and some mysterious other red mark which has yet to be identified (raspberries?). She is having THE BEST TIME and was so happy to go back after the holidays.

I'm less keen on this return to routine. It doesn't really work for me.

She's in the afternoon session which, around these parts, means 12:30-15:30. That's great. That suits us a lot better than the morning session would have done. It means she gets to spend time with her dad and I never have to wake small children to put their clothes on.

But I feel like my mornings go: feed children breakfast; put children's clothes on; put own clothes on; feed self breakfast; drink hasty cup of tea; sneak look at Instagram; get caught and allow three year old to send a string of poo emojis to her dad; bung on a load of laundry; prepare lunch; feed children lunch; cajole children into outdoor clothing; nursery run.

I get a break of anywhere between 30 minutes and two and a half hours while the eldest is at nursery and the baby is napping; on short nap days, the baby and I then spend some rather lovely one-on-one time together. I cut the one-on-one time short, we pick up her sister, and the kids spend the next two hours eating all the snacks they can find and bickering about hair clips in front of CBeebies because the eldest is too tired to do anything else. Then their dad gets home and we do speed dinner, pyjamas, stories, bed.

I miss spending lazy time with my kids. I can't remember the last time we all went to the park on a weekday or the three year old and I did crafts or played with her Happyland toys or built a Duplo palace (these days: a Duplo nursery). I much prefer chatting to her over a sheet of stickers than harassing her into her shoes.

I need a plan, but I don't have any idea yet of what that plan could be.

Other Things I Have No Plan For:

  • What to get my nine year old nephew for Christmas.
  • What to get my six year old nephew for Christmas.

Sources of Relief:

  • That the grown ups no longer buy presents for each other (beyond their immediate partners).

Now tell me: How are you?

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