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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Cabin Fever

Our house is becoming like The Shining. School was cancelled again, although perhaps more to do with, “ah, let them go sledge,” than the worry of three-foot icicles landing on / in their heads. It is lovely in theory to have the little ones at home for a few extra days, but of course the practice can be a little different at times.
In the days before we swapped our television for a sofa, child care was easy – “Hey, kids, CBEEBIES is on this channel: I’ll call you when lunch is ready.” Now it requires a little more effort.
When the baby sleeps, it is time for me to take the two girls out. We spend the first hour finding gloves and getting into waterproofs and then it’s time to find the sledge which has been buried under the snow again. By the time we’ve found it, we’ve lost another glove and Maude has a welly full of snow. We head off round the village calling in at the shop for essential supplies. It’s a quick whip round the rest of the loop and, again, it’s just that little too far as both have cold hands and I have done my back in.
So, Home Time.
They do colouring. We wrap presents. We play Jenga. We do fuzzy felt. They make the baby a den. Every time it goes a bit wrong, I get drafted back into the game. When they are playing along nicely, I sneak off and do a few interesting adult things like washing-up and pairing socks. Must be nearly bed time, I think: it’s 11.30 a.m.
By the time baby goes for another sleep, tension has risen and things have nearly popped and so I do my, “RIGHT, OUTSIDE!” cry. Luckily we find some good icicles and I remember to not tell them that an icicle is a perfect murder weapon in case one wants revenge on the other for nicking their best fuzzy felt piece.
Every now and then I take heart when I think that for thousands of years parents have been getting nothing done in the quest to occupy their kids and all over the world, parents are shouting, “RIGHT, OUTSIDE!” when people have been found to be cheating at Jenga.
It’s at times like this that I look at the sofa and think, is it really as useful as a tv? But then I see that they are playing their “Leap off the sofa and land on each other” game, I think that, yes, perhaps it is…