12th October, 2013
Sometimes it feels like Maxi Minx spends her days lurching from one tearful drama to another. She seems to go off the deep end about the littlest thing. And I seem to have less patience with her incessant chattering and daydreaming than a bag of Very Intolerant Things on National Impatient Day. So it’s lovely when we get a bit of undemanding time together.
Example: last night she was still reading at 10pm. As usual. (She gets 7-9 hours sleep a night, at age 7, but doesn’t seem to need any more.) Her sisters were snoring loudly. Me and The Boss were already in bed, laptop on a table at the foot of it, iPlayer at the ready, fleecy jammies on, about to open a bag of tortilla crisps and jar of salsa. Maxi came in to ask some silly question or another. Instead of growling at her to go to sleep, on a whim I pulled back the covers and told her to hop in, between her parents. With a giggle, she snuggled down and watched The Great British Year with us: 3 nerds in a row, oohing and aahing at the owls and the frost crystals. She committed the heinous crimes of dripping salsa on the bedclothes and getting crumbs on the sheet, though!
This morning (12 Oct) she yanked out her top left outer incisor. She could think of nothing but what she’d spend her shiny gold coin on; I could think of nothing but how she could now close her lips behind her 2 front teeth like a rabbit. Luckily she found that funny, too…
Today I woke up feeling really down. Not due to anything specific, really. I’m worried about our house not selling. I’m worried about what we’ll do when my savings are gone. I hate that my skin crawls when I touch so many things in this house every day – I can’t clean everything, and I wish I wasn’t so fussy and prissy about grease and grime! I hate the smell of stale tobacco smoke that I can’t shift from one room and the cupboard in the kitchen. I hate the stink of cat food and cat poo that I smell every morning. Logically I should have woken up happy that we’re all together: the kids are now home for 16 days all day with me, and it’s the weekend. Also, The Boss has a week off soon, his first time off since Christmas. So why feel so miserable? Grumpy auld trout, that I am…
The Boss did his best to help by pouring coffee into me and helping me take down the muckiest of the curtains to wash. He reckoned he could replace the cord you have to pull to open them, so I nipped into town to get 10m of cord to replace the greasy, filthy slime-string that was already there, and did a short job to earn some pin money (well, it’ll fund Mini’s snacks at nursery for the next half-term, so pin money all adds up!).
I still wasn’t feeling great but was looking forward to getting outdoors in the autumn sunshine with the family. They didn’t fancy it, though. So while The Boss painted with the girls, I made some cheese scones, some girdle scones*, a plum cake and a milk loaf. For a lovely hour, the house smelled of the delicious spice of the cake. Mmmm! Well, I had to make a cake, because it would have been criminal to put the oven on just for 8 minutes to make scones (plus a half hour to heat to temperature). And another thing: why is it called plum cake when there are no plums in it…?
*girdle scones: no, it’s not a typo. I didn’t mean to say griddle scones. You make them by blitzing 200g self-raising flour, a teaspoon of salt and 25g of butter in a food processor. Add enough full fat milk to make an elastic dough. Divide into 2 balls. Roll out thinly. Cut into quarters. ‘Fry’ on a hot, dry, non-stick frying pan for 3 mins either side. They’ll puff up a little. Cool in a tea towel. Eat as they are. Even better if you fry them in butter for breakfast the next day and eat with fried eggs and bacon and a gallon of coffee. That’ll be our Sunday breakfast, then…
While I was keying in the results of my little job, Midi and Mini watched a DVD beside me, cuddled up together like a pair of puppies, and Maxi headed off to the beach with The Boss. So that’ll be everyone happy, then!
My beautiful eldest, who will be exactly 7 and a half years old tomorrow, returned with roses in her creamy cheeks. Her Daddy even looked a bit happier, too. He told me that they had the most wonderful time, playing on the beach at *Maxi’s* pace; she didn’t have anyone nagging her to hurry up, catch up, put down that bit of driftwood, follow your sisters, etc. She could just be. Just what she needed, I think.
Last night on the way to bed, I found this little picture that Maxi had drawn me. I like bumble bees very much and my favourite is a black one with a red bum. I point it out every time I see one, and long ago told the girls its magnificent Latin name. Maxi actually remembered! I love this drawing, because she made it just for me 😀