Husband stumbled out of bed at 9.30am yesterday and announced he wanted a “quiet day”. Who the hell has a “quiet day” when there’s a five-year-old and a seven-year-old running around? My idea of a quiet day is to curl up on the sofa with the papers and a cup of tea, have an afternoon nap, watch a movie maybe … The Sprogs’ idea of a quiet day is “boring”. By 9.30am, I’d already fed Sprog 2, played “Pluck It” with her, made ice-blocks, baked cookies, and sent her to wake up Daddy. The idea of continuing to entertain her – at home – for the next 10 hours until bedtime was, quite frankly, terrifying. Sprog 1 had considerately chosen to sleep until 9.30am, like Daddy, until I finally decided I’d better roust her out of bed too. Husband thought I was faintly mad wanting to go out for lunch then make sandcastles on the beach. He reckons I need to relax more. He demonstrated how it’s done by spending (what remained) of the morning playing a fractious game of Monopoly with the Sprogs. I took the opportunity to wash up, do two loads of washing, chase the wayward chickens into their enclosure, and marinate some chook pieces for dinner. Not technically relaxing, but productive and accomplished without a soundtrack of Sprog bickering (well, at least not one that was my problem). The Sprog bickering resumed, however, at full-pace when I took them to the beach (Husband stayed at home nursing his interminable flu). I lost my patience in the end, suggesting they might want to stop fighting and avoid Mummy “screaming and screaming and screaming at them”. I went on to explain that the trip to the beach was done for their benefit, not mine, and that I’d have preferred to stay home and read a book. That did the trick, affording me a bicker-free ride home to the soundtrack of my sad ’80s radio station of choice. My enjoyment of The Police, early U2 and Martha and the Muffins was marred by me internally berating myself for not using the opportunity of a car ride to entertain the Sprogs with a game of “I Spy” or “20 Questions” or at least chatting to them, the way Husband does. When we got back, Sprog 1 repeated my threats verbatim to Husband. He tactfully chose not to disparage my parenting skills and instead took the Sprogs into the living room to watch Merlin. And so peace descended, giving me a chance to bring the washing in, make the school lunches, chase the chickens a few more times and cook dinner.
TONIGHT’S MENU: Leftover devilled chicken.