On Thursday morning, I woke up in the spare bed. I've been unwell and my cold had turned into a cough. Now, J and I hardly fight but one thing that brings out the worst in both of us is me being sick. I want him to cosset me, and he wants me to shut up and stop whining. The less sympathetic he is, the more I whine, the more I whine, the more he wants me to shut up and the less sympathetic he is. It's not pretty. It's worst of all at night time because he takes each cough as a personal insult, specifically planned by me to keep him from sleeping. And I take each martyr-like sigh (from him, when I cough) as a message that he doesn't love me at all. Lose-lose.
So on Wednesday night I decided to spare both of us this trauma and slept in the spare room. It was the perfect solution. I didn't stay awake suppressing coughs; he didn't stay awake grinding his teeth at me. We both slept well; he brought me coffee in the morning to wake me up. Win-win. Because sometimes marriage means loving each other enough not to share a bed.
All that to say: I don't have a picture of the coffee. You know what coffee looks like. He goes to work. I drink my coffee in bed.
The babies gave their unwell mother the best present ever and slept in - their latest ever, I think. Don't hate me when I say that they woke up at eight o'clock. It's not normal, I promise. First thing, milk at 8:01:
Does anybody else take an INSANELY long time to get their children ready in the mornings? I swear it took us the first hour of the day just to get downstairs. I whipped out the video camera, just in case anybody wanted to see Blue go NUTS about his current favourite song (he can do the actions properly, by the way, he just gets so excited sometimes that he forgets):
(It's been bugging me for weeks - what does he look like in that outfit? I finally remembered as I was typing this - a vintage penguin book. See what I mean?
We go downstairs, eat breakfast and then it's time for a morning dance before going out.
Morning dance time is my cynical daily attempt to keep them in a good mood. Our best morning (or indeed anytime) dance CD is unquestionably Sharon, Bram and Lois' Great Big Hits vol 1. It was a present from my sister. She has a degree in music and one in early childhood education so I take her kids' music suggestions very seriously. So should you.
Right. So they woke up at 8, and all we have done is get them dressed, had a dance or two and eaten breakfast, it must be what, 8.30? Nope. Time to leave the house: it's 10:00.
Every Thursday we go to singing time at the library. I love it. They love it. We love it. It's at 10:30 and we walk there - we are nearly always late. Not this week! This week we were on time because I was meeting a new friend there - she's only around town for 2 weeks and we met in the park on Tuesday. She is stuck in a hotel room with her baby while her husband works here for two weeks (they're from Australia) and she seemed nice so... I invited her to come singing with us. This is fairly out of character for me. Usually I try to avoid eye contact with strangers. Who knows what happened? Anyway, she is nice so that's a relief.
11am: Singing has just finished. Here is the usual post-singing scene of library carnage:
After the library, three of us (including my new friend) went to Starbucks for coffee / babies' lunch. This is a standard part of my Thursday routine and I really really like it - we go to Starbucks because they are the only cafe that tends to have enough highchairs for three or four children (This drives me CRAZY, by the way. Lots of places only have one or two, which means they are off-limits if I want to meet a friend who also has a kid. I couldn't understand why local businesses would shoot themselves in the foot like this until I realised that hey, they don't actually want my custom until my kids are older, less messy and eat food bought on the premises rather than the endless parade of jam sandwiches that is all my children will allow to pass their lips at the moment. Okay, digression over). I catch up with my friend H, usually, and we try to entice our children to eat by getting the other mother to offer them the food. It doesn't really work. It worked even less well than usual this week because Blue decided that what he really wanted to be doing was running around, pulling packs of coffee off the shelf. I didn't get any pictures. Here we all are afterwards:
Believe me, crying on the inside. And in case anybody isn't sure, the well-groomed, made-up person on the left is not me.
Then we went on to Marks and Spencer to buy a few groceries. M&S is popular with the over-sixties crowd, and it's more expensive, but usually quieter than the other central option so that's where I chose to get the bread and milk we needed. But in one of those strange statistical flukes, it was heaving - heaving - with people. (I bet the place next door was empty). This fact is relevant only because Blue was pushing all of my buttons in there and we ended up having a big time face-off in front of pretty much every senior citizen in town. I nearly cried. I'm chalking it up to the continued efforts to teach just-because-we-are-not-in-our-house-that-doesn't-mean-you-can-be-naughty. We have a way to go.
It was mortifying. But I won.
Back home, time for naps. You can't tell here, but this travel cot is in our spare room. It's a tiiiiiny room, so the only place for the cot to go is on top of the double bed in there. So, when I slept in there on Wednesday night I first had to manoeuvre the cot over so it was sort of leaning against the wall and there was enough room for me to cram my body alongside. I hauled it back to the middle of the bed and put Blue inside. We separate them for naps because they don't always need the same amount of sleep.
Oh yeah, Mummy, I am TOTALLY ready for my nap.
Then I cleaned up a bit, then 2pm: Lunchtime for me! I ate it in the pocket-handkerchief-sized-garden that is attached to our pocket-sized-house, and if we didn't have so much washing up you could see that the clematises were blooming. But I guess if you cared about clematises, you'd be reading a different sort of blog.
The worst thing about sharing childcare with J is the fact that we often sniff the children, look at each other and say: "I thought YOU were bathing them!" The problem is that they are both big-time bathtime poopers, so bathing them is not for the faint of heart. Straight after their nap seems to be their best chance for a bath with no untoward incidents. Recently they have both been doing a bit of bathtime-refusenik-ing, and this day I had so much trouble getting Blue in that I decided to stick with just one. Once he'd been in for about 5 minutes, he was having a great time. Obviously.
See what I mean by happy? I would thank morning dance time, but we do that every day and it doesn't usually work. Usually this kind of approach from him would send her into a frenzy of screaming and fingernails. But they are actually kissing. These two fight so much - so much - I'd say it's by far the hardest thing about parenting them. This gives me some hope that one day they will be glad to have each other around.
Now here they are, practising for bedtime. This is the 'you can't brush my teeth if you can't get at my head' position.
Downstairs, dressed. Blue is turning his headstands into some form of upside down ballet while I make their pasta.
Here are my two geniuses eating. They love cutlery. They wouldn't be without it. They like to hold it in one hand, while they shovel food into their mouths with the other. And by food, I guess I mean 'pasta' since that is the only thing they really like to eat.
We're both exhausted. We watch some episodes of the office and go to bed. Before that we check on the kidlets :