I don’t know about you, but we’re allowing ourselves to feel hopeful in a ‘dipping your toe in the freezing water’ kind of way. Yes, every day still feels like thirty-five years long, and yes, we still have a way to go, but it feels like the end is in sight. The girls go back to school on 8th and 10th March and I am already planning how I will celebrate my new freedom.
I can’t go back to work yet, so I will have to settle for wandering from room to room, enjoying the fact that not only is there no Maths I have to pretend to understand, I’m not being asked for food every twenty seconds (by people who are literally still eating the last snack I gave them), nobody is complaining about exactly how many centimetres into their room their sister has put her toe, or whinging that she is breathing too loudly, and generally just existing incorrectly. And of course, nobody is threatening to phone Childline just because I pointed out mildly that after four days of not washing, it might be time to wave some soap in the general direction of the hideous stench.
I can’t wait to hear all their tales of school again. Although to be fair, when I ask about their days, they usually just reply that they did ‘Stuff’. Yet whenever I do press for more information, I often live to regret it. Like the time my then five-year-old daughter said, ‘at school today, Simon showed me his willy’. I gave a pretend dramatic gasp and asked, ‘what did you do?’ She replied, ‘I really laughed a lot’. And the time when my youngest was asked to list items that might be in a Mummy’s handbag, and she answered ‘handcuffs’. I hasten to add that this was entirely made up. I’m not a police officer and I’m not whatever else you’re thinking as well.
Although it’s not always their imagination that leads to trouble. I still vividly remember the time my daughter came up to me in the morning and whispered secretly ‘Mummy, I went through the back of the wardrobe’. I smiled indulgently and said, ‘how exciting’. I spent the rest of the day smiling to myself and thinking about how books fuel kids’ imaginations. Then I remembered that she hadn’t read any of the Narnia books or seen the films, and sure enough upon inspection, the back of the bloody wardrobe had fallen apart.
DIY aside, the other thing I’m looking forward to is getting back to healthier eating. I say that from the position of someone who has barely been able to move since Pancake Day. Although that might be because on that day, I learned the hard way not to put your water bottle down next to the bottle of oil, and then drink thirstily from the wrong one. It took a lot of pancakes to get over that trauma. Still, it was better than the time that I was baking with the girls and trying to make dinner at the same time. It wasn’t until the children were struggling to spread a flour and water paste onto their fairy cakes, that I realised that bubbling away in the oven, was a delicious broccoli pasta bake with cheese sauce made from icing sugar. It was predictably disgusting. Equally predictably, my husband asked for a second helping.
So that’s home schooling, DIY and cookery that I can add to my list of things I’m no good at. Best to stick to what you know, I think. Someone pass me the gin.
Bring on Bedtime!