Friday 21 December
It was the last day of school and my first 2 babies were dressed up to the nines to go to their school party. But they’re too young to wear pretty dresses and sparkly shoes! They’re only… oh. Six and 4. Already! I think they were ready to leave faster, with less fuss, and with less nagging from me than I’ve ever experienced. If only every day were Party Day… The Boss got up early, despite still feeling very duff*, and made us all sausages for breakfast. I think his cunning plan was to fill them up with a decent breakfast so that the mid-morning sugar onslaught of the party would have something to sit on.
*He took a day off work sick with a sore throat, joint aches, sweats, fever, and spent it in bed or on the sofa, exhausted. Then he was sent home from work, and the GP told him to take a week off. The poor man was sleeping 10 hrs at night, and dozing for 8-10 hrs during the day. Glandular fever was the suspicion, but his blood test didn’t really confirm or deny. He’s still not 100%, 3 weeks later, but at least he can form a coherent thought and join it to another one, now.
I made the girls’ hair as fancy as I could (Midi Minx is currently loving the rainbow bobbles in a halo look and Maxi is happy so long as there are sparkles in there somewhere), then checked the weather. Stormy. Pants! So by the time I’d found the girls’ waterproof trousers and dragged out the big old buggy and fought with the plastic raincover that’s as big as a king-size duvet, we’re all running late. And I’m not sure I’ll manage to ship 3 wee girls and 5 boxes of cupcakes to school, vaguely in one piece, and hopefully dry (ish). I got ridiculously stressed leaving little Mini in the buggy outside the school, while I spent maybe 6 minutes wrestling her sisters out of wellies, rustling trousers, and enormous parkas, cramming them into sparkly shoes and stacking cupcake boxes onto little arms, kissing 2 shiny little faces, and going back for a second hug and kiss (how can I resist…?) I do feel torn, needing to be with my toddler yet wanting to take my time unhurriedly sorting out my elder little girls.
Cupcakes… I just don’t do presents to school-teachers because I struggle to do Christmas presents even to my entire large family, never mind friends. But Maxi and Midi’s teachers are absolutely exceptional. My girls love them, and are clearly loved in return. The 2 classroom assistants are pretty wonderful too. One in particular has cleaned and plastered Maxi’s skinned knees more often than I have, I think. So last night me and The Boss stayed up baking and wrapping and boxing. I didn’t take photos of the finished product, which is a shame, because I was really proud of how they looked: I did a batch each of Nigella Lawson’s espresso and cappuccino cupcakes, added a wee thank you note, and The Boss made little cardboard boxes to hold them, wrapped in paper covered with children dressed as Nativity characters. Twee? Yeah. Tasty? Gosh, yes! There were 2 cupcakes left that me, The Boss and Mini shared the next day – droooool! I hope they liked them and didn’t think, “Oh God, not more food and chocolate… ”
I legged it back up the hill in the driving rain with Mini then whizzed round tidying up before it was time to walk back down again (still raining and windy) to watch Santa giving out presents to 3 school-years of hyperactive, very excited, very noisy children.
On the looooong walk back up again, against the rain I let Mini have a bit of fun in the puddles. Well, why not? This time we had 2 hours before we had to be back walking down that bloody hill again (still in the rain. But with a wee bit of sleet, just for variety’s sake), so it didn’t matter if she got wet.
I think I must have gotten hypothermia and it addled my brain. After lunch I thought, well, Midi’s school-made card made me cry (little angel with her hand-prints as wings, her best 4 year old handwriting inside wishing her family a happy Christmas, and an “I love you” that made me bubble), so why don’t I let Mini make one? A completely out-of-character, trilling, sepia-toned, Oh I’m Such A Good Mummy moment. One day I’ll learn. We got out the paints…
I sploshed some bright green paint in a big plate and found some card. I held Mini’s hands in the paint and giggled about the squelching and the oozing, then pressed them on the card. Cool – good antlers! Then I discovered that it’s generally a good idea to have plenty of wipes and paper towels waiting *before* you begin – you turn your back on a painted 2 year old at your peril. I practised shrugging off the mess (I was going to paint that wall green anyway next year. Just maybe not quite such a bright, radioactive shade…). I added some red onto the now-slopped-over plate and made a good brown to do a reindeer face. Squealing with delight, Mini stamped on it. Then on the card. Then on the floor. And me. Caught the edge of the plate (splot). And kicked the cat. Yep, the white cat… With the pristine, thick, white fur. While Killer Cat drew us evils, I dead-armed Mini upstairs to the bath and got busy with some soap.
Soap must have fumes that killed my remaining brain-cells – when I got down I thought how amazing the antlers might look with glitter on them. Aye, glitter! You know me and my Hate-Hate relationship with glitter… I thought, “Och, it’ll be fine. I’m a grown-up. I have manual dexterity. I’ll just shake a tiny bit over the wet paint. Tap-tap. Oh, a wee bit more. Tappity-tap. Just a… HOLY CRAP the lid’s flown off!!” And the whoosh of blue glitter enveloped me and Mini like the gases from an erupting volcano. Mini sniggered. The cat tutted and rolled her eyes. Sod it! I’ll just let the cat outside to fester in peace, shut the kitchen door, and leave the mess for a few hours. And a few coffees and glasses of wine later. And so I did 🙂