Why I Love The School Holidays

Here I am, with only one day left before Big Girl and Little Girl go back to school after the Christmas holidays. And I am one morose motherfucker. (sneaky Jay and Silent Bob reference there)

I swear I spend most of the time they are in school counting down the days to the holidays. This may make me sound a touch more pathetic than I really am.

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Actually, no.

I am that pathetic.

I just find school makes the days relentlessly bloody boring. Every day is the same, and it’s all a big rush to make sure everything gets done before bedtime.

I am not a fan of rushing. So the last two weeks have been heaven. No obligations (except for the obvious family commitments), no clock-watching, no nuffin.

Here are my favourite (and most trivial) reasons why I love the school holidays:

1. No Early Mornings

My way of ceremonially marking the start of the holidays is to turn off the alarm. And it gives me great pleasure.

I’m sure some people bounce out of bed, bright-eyed and ready to start the day. If this is you, then well done!

But it is not me. I am a dedicated night owl. I have tried my hardest, but I just can’t get to sleep early. So when the alarm goes off I drag myself out of bed with bleary eyes and the kind of headache that tells the story of a thousand sleepless nights. It’s safe to say that I start the day… reluctantly.

The kids aren’t much better. Big Girl in particular is frequently found still rabbiting on to herself when she should have gone to sleep hours before. And the knock on effect is that she categorically does not want to get up in the morning. And she is grumpy and quick to anger into the bargain. Little Girl wasn’t so bad until recently, but she is now following enthusiastically in her sister’s footsteps.

This is a lot smilier than the reality.

This is a lot smilier than the reality.

It sucks.

In the last fortnight, though, we have got into a much better routine. The kids have been getting up at around 9, which has been pretty sweet. A leisurely breakfast has followed, which is infinitely preferable to them shovelling food down their throats without even tasting it on a school day.

Big Girl has been spending the evenings reading in her room, something which is reserved for the weekends in school time. As a literary freak, I am a big fan of this, and I hate that she doesn’t normally have time to do it. And if we’ve wanted to watch a movie together, or if they’ve fancied a bit of playtime after dinner, it’s no problem.

The best bit is that I haven’t had to lie in bed, worrying because I can’t fall asleep and angsting that I’m going to sleep through the alarm. Happy days!

If you have the kind of children who wake up at the crack of dawn no matter what…

Sorry.

2. Pyjama Days

In my opinion, getting dressed is highly overrated. Lounging around in comfy pyjamas is infinitely preferable. No stiff trouser waistbands and no fiddly buttons, perfect!

I may have got a touch carried away with this one, over the Christmas holidays. I noticed, when sorting out the washing, that most of it was pyjamas. Whoops!

It’s been sweet, though.

3. No Uniform-Ironing or Packed Lunch-Making

Now, I may be cheating slightly with this one. Because I don’t actually do either of these jobs. Soon after Squeak was born, I abdicated responsibility for both. I had a sleeping, feeding baby on my knee all evening, so it was entirely reasonable.

But Squeak is now a year old, and she goes to bed at 9pm, at the latest. I could do them now, if I wanted to. I just haven’t quite got around to it. Because they are shitty, boring jobs.

I used to do them though, so it still counts, right?

Yeah, no.

Yeah, no.

It’s a bit daft really, to hate doing this so much. After all, it takes twenty minutes, tops. But I don’t care, it sucks. The lunch isn’t so bad. Apart from the trial of arranging the items so they don’t shake into mush as Big Girl gallops into school, it’s straightfoward.

The problem is, I suck at ironing. My only achievement is to manage to put more creases into a garment than it had before. And the more I try, the worse it gets. I thought that I would get better with practice, but that theory has long been disproved. It is very frustrating that, despite my efforts, the kids still go into school looking like scruffy urchins.

I guess it’s a good thing that Mark does it, really.

That’s not even the main reason why I hate doing it so much.

You see, my optimal activity level in the evening is approximate zero. Nothing. Nada. I have been running round, needs-meeting, damage-controlling and food-preparing. When the evening comes, the only thing I want to do is vegetate. And I resent anything that tries to interrupt that.

4. Time To Play

One of the things that pisses me off the most in school time is the lack of time we have to do anything. The three hours after school are a chaotic rush of homework, dinner, showers and stories. The kids might be able to grab fifteen minutes with their toys before they eat at best.

I hate this. I think kids desperately need time to destress after school. Little Girl spends most of her morning playing and learning without really realising it. But Big Girl does a lot of desk-sitting and writing, and she needs to jump and run around, and have a giggle.DSC_9433

So that’s what we’ve mostly been doing. Sure, we did a few activities, too. We baked some Christmas biscuits and made paper snowflakes (I’d forgotten how fun that was). We also played a few board games.

Just as an aside, I completely underestimated how much more painful Twister would be as an adult. It was like extreme yoga.

Anyway, apart from this, the kids have spent a lot of time just being together. Dressing up and creating imaginary worlds, speeding round the living room on their new scooters and drawing pictures have been at the top of the menu.

It’s been nice to see them with big smiles on their faces, just enjoying each others’ company.

For the purposes of this entry, I’m not going to mention the tugs of war when both want the same toy. Or the moaning and bickering. And definitely not the infrequent physical violence.

It was freaking blissful, okay?

5. No Dragging Squeak On The School Run

I have to admit, I often feel a bit sorry for Squeak. As much as I try and give her attention and quality time, she often has to fit in with what everyone else is doing.

If she could talk, she’d probably tell you it’s crappy being the smallest.

And she’s probably be right.

As you all know because I bang on about it all the bloody time, I have to do three school runs a day. That means Squeak is woken from naps, rushed through lunch and carted up to school and back against her will all day.

I bet you can imagine how impressed she is with that.

This much.

This much.

It’s been nice to work to her schedule a bit during these holidays.

She’s gone to bed when she’s tired and woken when she was done. The fact that this is not usually when she’s had enough sleep is, of course, totally irrelevant.

She’s had plenty of time to eat. Ignore the fact that she spends most of that time throwing the food on the floor, please.

She’s had plenty of time for playing and cuddling. As long as you forget about the eye-poking and the face-slapping and the excessive drooling, this is also a beautiful thing.

All in all, it’s been good for her, even if not for me.

6. No Rain

Local friends, you have to admit the weather has been epically crap this Christmas. It’s been windy, rainy and damn near freezing.

Now in school time, I just have to ignore it. And I seriously hate getting wet.

But in the holidays, it’s cool. If we looked out of the window and it looked miserable outside, we just decided to stay at home. We went out and got some fresh air too, but I don’t think a bit of downtime at home does kids any harm at all.

And I get to stay dry. Which is a win.

7. The Kids Are Happy

All of these things have led to children who are well-rested and relaxed. Our house was about as tantrum-filled as it can get because the girls were exhausted and filled with excitement for Christmas. But a few weeks of fun and laughter (and junk food) have done them the world of good. And I’ve had at least 60% more cuddles, too.

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Bring on Monday. Hurrah.

How long is it til half term again?

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Sibling Relationships: It’s Complicated.

You know, like the Facebook relationship status? Man, I’m so funny.

One of my main reasons for wanting multiple children was so that they always had someone to play with . A companion who always had their back, who knew them better than their friends. There was just one problem with this theory.

Frequently, siblings want to kill each other.

Observe the demonic face in he background.

Observe the demonic face in the background.

I should have known, really. I have a sister myself, who is three years younger than me. I have great memories of playing games and spending time together. But I can also remember the time she pushed me and I nearly rendered myself infertile on a fan. And all of the mean notes I used to send her when we’d had an argument.

Ah, good times.

Overall though, we loved each other and have a close relationship as adults. That is what gets me through when I’m refereeing arguments, detaching kids from other kids’ hair and assisting with game negotiation.

Things can only get better, right?

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A lot of imaginary games are played in our house. Even Squeak has had a costume-related revelation, and often brings me a dress or alien hamster outfit to put on her. Big Girl is the main protagonist, though. She doesn’t really need any participants when she is playing one of her imaginary games. She throws on a costume and proceeds to instruct everyone to do as she decrees. So she will say, “Mum, pretend you’re a witch and I’m a superhero, and you’re trying to beat me, but you can’t because I’ve got super flying powers, and you say, ‘I’m going to put a spell on you and turn you into a frog!'”

Make no mistake, though. This is not an invitation to actually play the game. Big Girl thinks of me more as a vehicle for her ideas. All she wants me to do at this point is repeat my line, verbatim, so she can get on with the real playing. Once I have spoken, she will go off and act out that part. Alone. Then she will come back, and tell me what to say next. Seems like a pretty boring way to do things to me, but hey, what do I know?

Sometimes, this works well when she applies it to games she plays with Little Girl. As she’s only three, she has times when she is fairly easy to mould. She will occasionally follow Big Girl’s instructions to the letter, and they will have a blast in an imaginary world. It’s a beautiful moment.

Note the word ‘moment,’ that I used there. Because more often, this happens:

Big Girl: “Hey LG, pretend you’re a fairy who lost her wings, and you are really really sad, and a monster took them, and I’m the boss fairy, and you come and ask me to help you get your wings back.” (Yes, she’s always that long-winded and no, she doesn’t take a breath.)

Little Girl: “Meow.”

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Big Girl: “No, you’re not a cat, you’re a fairy who’s lost her wings, and…”

Little Girl: “Meow.”

Big Girl: “Muuuuuuum!”

Bliss.

Siblings bicker. That is a fact. You can’t spend most of your life with a person and remember not to sweat the small stuff. I regularly hear such complaints as, “Muuum, Big Girl won’t lick my toe!” or “Little Girl’s wearing my shoes backwards!” It can get a bit repetitive.

The other day, though, Big Girl came to us with an issue that has never come up before. I didn’t think there were many new ones left.

I was wrong.

She came into the kitchen with an irritated look on her face. This is definitely not new at the moment. A long school term plus Christmas excitement has left Big Girl a little… edgy, shall we say.

“Little Girl is being really mean to me right now!” she said grumpily.

“Why, what’s the matter?” Mark asked.

“She told me the shadow of my foot didn’t look like a cashew!”

A bit of a heads up for you: When your kid is pissed off, laughing in her face does not help. Even if it’s really funny.

Another thing siblings love to do is to disagree. Especially if it’s for no reason. If one wants to play catch, then the other will want to play football. If one wants to watch Wreck It Ralph, then the other wants to watch Despicable Me. I think sometimes, kids just fancy an argument. You can tell that neither is particularly attached to their choice. In fact, they might even prefer the other’s idea. But the world will end before they admit it.

Despite all that, there is one thing they will always agree on.

They both want the red crayon. Right now.

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I must mention the ultimate sibling battle. The battle of all battles. The one they spend years preparing for, and spend most of their time fighting.

It is: The Battle For Attention.

They all want to win it. Some of their favourite tactics include:

1. Squeezing onto a parent’s lap if another sibling is having a cuddle.

2. Beginning to speak at the top of their voices as soon as one of their siblings starts to talk.

3. Needing to tell me something ‘urgently important’ as soon as the lights go out for bedtime.

I’m sure there’s more. Many more. Some I haven’t even discovered yet. I juggle my time as best as I can between the three of them, but no matter what attention they’ve had, they always want more.

Squeak is preparing to join the gang now. Not that she has a clue what they’re doing, but she’ll plop herself down in the thick of it anyway. Her main version of ‘joining in’ at the moment is to reach for whatever toy one of her sisters is holding and say, “Der ya go!” over and over again until they give in. Being stubborn as hell, they rarely do, which results in a loud Squeaktrum. Like, the kind of loud people call Environmental Health about.

Her other favourite activities include knocking down towers (the taller the better), and belly-flopping on anyone dumb enough to lie down on the floor.

It’s a laugh a minute!

I have to admit though, when I see them like this:

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It’s all worth it.

When You Give A Child A Camera

So, Christmas has been and gone. We had a great time! On Christmas Eve, we made some melting snowman cookies which I found on Pinterest.

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I think they turned out pretty good, considering the kids did the lion’s share of the work. Of course the kitchen was covered in flour. But frankly, when isn’t it?

Christmas Day was lovely. The kids were delighted with their presents, and thankfully Little Girl forgot all about her request for a sentient puppy/unicorn combo. Phew! We had some good food at my dad’s house, and while he was cooking the girls took their new scooters for a spin around the block. Naturally, I had a go. And I can conclude that riding a scooter is really freaking weird! It felt like my leg was vibrating for about half an hour afterwards. Not to mention the intense fear of hitting a bump in the pavement and flying over the handlebars.

Ah, to be a carefree kid again.

I was very happy this Christmas because:

1. I got a lie in. Yep, the kids didn’t even get up until 8.30am! Seriously, what is up with that?

2. Everybody kept their clothes on. All day. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

3. Nobody puked due to excitement/chocolate consumption.

All in all, a good year.

Squeak gave me a late Christmas present, too. I say present. I mean, shitty thing that is going to destroy my life. Yesterday, she mastered climbing up onto the couch. DSC_9477Yay. She also mastered getting down, but is choosing not to bother with that. It is obviously much more fun to throw herself off the edge and hope I’m there to play catch. Such fun! Guess the new slow cooker is going to come in handy then, because I sure as hell can’t leave Squeak unattended any more.

Anyway, enough about Christmas. Today, I’m going to talk about when Big Girl got her first camera.

In February of this year, Big Girl spent eight days in hospital with a condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. She couldn’t walk or sit up, or do anything for herself at all. When she came home he was a little better, thanks to some intense IV drugs. But she was still pretty much immobile.

For a kid who likes to sit still and play, this wouldn’t have been so bad. But Big Girl is not one of those kids. She dances while drawing, wiggles while eating, and does bunny hops while playing a board game.

For her, it was torture. She was bored, and frustrated that she couldn’t just get down and play. After a bit of discussion, Mark and I decided to buy her an iPod.

I have to admit, I probably wouldn’t have bought her one so young, under normal circumstances. But in the face of fear and sadness, all of my principles flew out of the window. I would have given her both of my kidneys at that point.

So, she got it. We loaded it up with a ton of games, and she finally had something to do from her reclined position on the couch. It also had a camera, which leads me to the point of the story.

A few months after she had got the iPod, I came across the pictures from it in a folder on the computer. I hadn’t seen them before , and I spent ages scrolling through, giggling my ass off.

I’ll start with my fave.

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The sad face. I think. I’m a little sketchy on pretend facial expressions.

It took ages before I could look at this picture without laughing. I can’t even explain what’s so funny about it. It just is.

Then there’s the experimental one.

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Well, it’s experimental if you think eyelash strength is a reasonable thing to research. Big Girl does. Me? I’m not so sure.

Last up are the obligatory funny faces. (Because of course, the others were totally serious.)

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Heh heh heh.

Big Girl is a determined little beast. She pushed herself hard, and gradually learned to crawl and walk again. It was even better the second time.

One of the reasons I was glad when she could move around again was because she could take herself to the toilet. This may sound ridiculous, but have you ever seen a 5 foot nothing woman carry a five year old up the stairs who can’t bend her legs? Picture it for a sec. You can see it was a touch hazardous.

Obviously she wasn’t allowed to take the iPod upstairs with her. Who hasn’t dropped a mobile phone down the toilet at least once in their lives? Um, me. Yes, definitely! Ahem.

I had my suspicions that she wasn’t exactly sticking to this rule. But when questioned, she switched on her Puss in Boots face and protested her innocence.

The conversation went a little like this:

Me: “Big Girl, did you take the iPod up to the toilet?”

BG: “No.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

BG: “No, honestly! I definitely didn’t.”

Me: “What’s this then?”

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BG: “Um…”

That day, Big Girl learned an important lesson. If you’re breaking the rules, it’s probably best to dispose of the photographic evidence before your mother finds it.

I hope you all have a fab New Year’s Eve, however you’re celebrating. Big Girl and Little Girl both insist that they are staying up until midnight.

Let’s just wait and see how that one pans out.

The Ungiveable Christmas Gift

So there’s only a week to go until Christmas. Eek! The kids are about as excited as you would expect. I don’t understand exactly why excitement is expressed as tantrums and strops but hey, who am I to judge?

Either she's excited, or those balloons are about to die.

Either she’s excited, or those bubbles are about to die.

In the last few weeks, Big Girl and Little Girl have been deciding what they would like for Christmas. Now I don’t know about you, but these conversations with me are a lot more controlled than my kids know. They think they’re just discussing what they want Father Christmas to bring them.

They are wrong.

If they were to look back on our chats after they’ve opened their presents, they would realise that manipulation was afoot. Luckily for me, my kids have the memory storage capacity of gnats, so I’m pretty sure I’m safe.

Yeah, manipulation. Because all of the conversations have been about the same few things. That is, the things I have already bought.

I know, a dastardly trick. But at least it prevents them throwing me any crazy curveballs in these last few days.

Almost. There have been a few.

Big Girl has asked Father Christmas to bring her a packet of salt and vinegar crisps. Unusual and fairly last minute, but at least achievable. And, awwww.

Little Girl, on the other hand, has thought up a gift that there is absolutely no chance of getting. It is the ultimate ‘ungiveable Christmas gift.’

She mentioned it the other day, on the way to school. “Mummy,” she said. “For Christmas, I want a puppy and a unicorn.”

This is new. She has been asking for the same things for ages, and not once have these come up. Crap. But they’re not completely weird things. I could probably swing it. Until she carried on talking.

“I want to stick them togeddah, with glue.”

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Whaaa?

But still, doable. Strange, but I’m accustomed to strange by now. Hang on, though. There was more.

“Den I hold them up on my head, and Dora the Explorer will come and magic dem away, and make dem real.”

Shit.

Well, that’s not happening.

So now, my countdown to Christmas will be spent trying to make her forget that she ever requested this. And that’s no easy thing. Because Little Girl remembers everything.

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Sigh.

Merry fricking Christmas, everyone.

The Nativity Play

Ah, one of the staple traditions of the school years. The Nativity play.

I remember mine well. I was always a narrator, because I could read well. Never Mary or an angel, because of course everyone knows that they had blonde hair.

Say what?

Say what?

Really.

But I’m not bitter. Oh no.

Big Girl and Little Girl are currently preparing for their plays. Big Girl is following in my footsteps as one of the narrators. She brought her lines home from school last week, and has been diligently practising them.

She’s creepily good at memorising stuff, so it didn’t take long before the piece of paper was cast aside. But she still needed a little help.

Let me clarify. At first, she sounded like this:

Cute it may have been, but I’m not sure there’s space for a zombie in the Nativity play.

We’re working on it.

Little Girl can’t wait for her play. She knows all of the words to the songs.

Well, sort of.

In a crowd of people, the fact that Santa apparently has ‘shut in da back,’ rather than ‘soot in his sack,’ will be barely noticeable.

As they’re only small folk in her class, they’ve kept it pretty simple. The kids don’t really have any lines. In fact, their main purpose is to put on a costume and look sweet.

Which is a good thing.

Because I can guarantee that once they’re stood in front of an audience, that’s all they’re going to do.

Deer in headlights, anyone?

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I’m hoping Little Girl isn’t one of the kids who spends the whole play sobbing. It’d really ruin the photographs.

I’m not sure exactly who Little Girl is in her play as she keeps changing her mind. Oh well, at least it’ll be a surprise on the day! Choices so far are:

1. Mary.

2. Jofuss.

3. The star.

4. A yellow jelly bean. No, I don’t know why either.

Big Girl’s play is, I believe, a slightly more modern take on the Christmas story. It is entitled ‘A Midwife In Crisis.’ She has been trying to explain the story to me, but I’ll admit to still being a little confused. Much to her exasperation, because to her it makes perfect sense.

For example:

“So, there’s Mary, and Joseph… and Nigel.”

Whaaaaa?

Nigel. You know, Nigel? He’s Steve the donkey’s brother.

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Silly me.

Obviously I am really looking forward to seeing them both. I will be there next week, armed with tissues and snacks to plug Squeak’s mouth shut. And I will cry. Almost certainly.

I am just hoping it is out of happiness, rather than embarrassment.

A woman can hope, right?

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My Christmas Preparations

So, it is December. Already. The girls have started opening their Advent calendars, and are excitedly planning the big day. The only topic of conversation in our house is Christmas. What they want to get, decorations they want to make, what they want to eat…

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Well actually, they are all pretty much from Big Girl. Little Girl has more important things to think about. Such as whether she can make a lake of milk on her plate. Thanks for that.

(FYI, she could make a lake. And she didn’t even spill it! I did, though. All over my goddamn pants.)

Now is the time that I realise I had really better get started on preparing for Christmas. I’m not talking about decorating the tree or putting up lights. No, those are strictly Mark’s jobs.

1. Hiding Advent calendars

I learned from experience with this one. Last year we had the Advent calendars on prominent display. Little Girl couldn’t reach them, and Big Girl was a whole 5 years old. There was no way she would mess with them, right?

Wrong.

From the moment I came downstairs and back into the living room, I knew something was up. It was all too quiet, and the air reeked of guilt.

It didn’t take long to work out what was going on. Instead of the Advent calendars being propped up against the wall, they were scattered across the top of the craft cupboard. And they looked suspiciously dog-eared.

On further inspection, I discovered that they had been ripped open, and almost all of the chocolates had been devoured. Sigh.

The culprit was obvious. Big Girl stared up at me with her enormous bush baby eyes.

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“Did you eat the chocolates, Big Girl?”

“No!” she replied, but I knew better.

It was written all over her face. Literally.

That day, Big Girl learned an important lesson.

Do not lie if the evidence is smeared all over your mouth.

This year, even I can barely reach them. You live and learn, I guess.

2. Helping With Christmas Song Practice

Tis the season of Christmas plays and concerts. Big Girl has brought home a booklet of songs to learn, and is delighting in giving us a performance every night. And Little

Girl is joining in too. Today on the way home from school, she sang, “Jingle bells, jingle bells, all the way… oh I don’t know dat bit.” Still a bit more work needed on that one.

Now, as I mentioned yesterday, I have slight ishoos with singing children. Whinging ishoos. And apparently, it happens even when one of my kids is singing on her own.

So last night, Big Girl stood in the centre of the playroom and sang us each of her songs. Her face was solemn as she focussed hard on remembering the words. She clapped and danced as if her life depended on it. The high notes were tricky but she strained to hit them. She took that shit seriously.

Ah fuck, here we go again. Sniff.

I have <checks> fourteen more days of this.

I’d better start drinking more water.

3. Ninja Removal Of Old Toys

My house is full of toys. And it bugs the crap out of me. I don’t even buy them that much. It’s got to the point where I’m starting to believe they may be breeding.

Although that just makes me imagine a house full of sentient toys. Creepy.

Anyway, so the house is full. Father Christmas is on his way. And that means only one thing.

Even more toys.

And where do they go when the toy boxes are overflowing?

On the floor. Or under my feet, more precisely. Ouch.

You know that'd sting.

You know that’d sting.

So something’s got to go. But I’m no fool. Everyone knows that you can’t sort out toys right in front of the kids. Things that have been long forgotten and are gathering dust at the bottom of a pile are suddenly claimed as the most beloved toy of all. (Do you note that I say a pile, and not the pile? There are a lot of piles in my house.)

That’s not happening. So each evening, I have been methodically working through a section of the playroom, discarding old and broken things and making space for new. The other night, I filled two binbags. One for the bin, one for the charity shop.

That’s just excessive.

I hid them in the cupboard under the stairs. I had visions of Big Girl noticing that something extremely very special was missing, and never forgiving me. A touch dramatic, maybe, but that’s how I roll.

The next day, the kids admired the new, clear space. And showed me their thanks by spreading a fine layer of animal figures over it.

You’re welcome.

And how many things did Big Girl notice were gone?

One. And it was a big pink unicorn.

Victory is mine! Now to move on to the rest of the room.

4. Assuaging Of Christmas Doubts

At 6, I would have said Big Girl was too young to start questioning the existence of the big red dude. But I guess the older kids at school are talking about it, because she DSC_0703is full of questions.

Suddenly, I’m hearing stuff like, “How do the reindeer fly?” and “Do we have a chimney?” And the other day, “Is Santa really real?” (N.B. The answer is, “What do you think?” Never fails.)

So I guess I’m going to be spending December answering her questions and assuaging her doubts. Because she is only small, and it makes me feel sad that we have such a short time of believing left.

She did make me giggle this morning, though. As she sat eating breakfast, she turned to me with a perplexed expression. She said, “How does Santa… everybody else… why doesn’t he ever die???” Hehe.

“Magic,” I replied. And that was enough for her. Wonderful.

5. Locating The Christmas Tree

I begin every year with the best of intentions. The house is going to stay clean and clutter-free. Every day. All of the Christmas paraphernalia will be carefully boxed up and put in a safe place, ready for next year.

Ha.

As an optimistic estimate, I would say that this lasts for about three days. Therefore once the day for Christmas tree dismantlement comes, good intentions are gone.

I have no idea where the Christmas tree is. Again.

I know it’s in my room. Because my room is the place where I put things that have nowhere else to go. And that means that there are a lot of places for it to be lurking in.

Dammit.

I swear, next year is definitely going to be different.

Yeah, right.

So there you go. Busy busy busy. And that’s all before I even start to work out how to pipe snowman faces onto marshmallows so they don’t look like serial killers. It seems I lean towards evil when crafting.

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What preparations are you making for Christmas?