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Thursday 21 July 2016

What I Really Do All Day

It is morning and the boys are awake, therefore I am awake. I suffer from some sort of cave-woman instinct that means if I can hear them, I can't go to sleep. I think its purpose is to make sure they don't run out of the cave unobserved and get mowed down by a Stegasaurus.

My first task is to get them both dressed. Then, after breakfast, I help Little O build a tunnel for his Grandpa Pig train. I'm just placing - err, I mean, helping Little O place the last brick, when I realise I'm still in pyjamas, I smell like Cheerios, and we need to leave for his class in twenty minutes. So with superhuman speed I get washed, dressed, slap some blush on, and change two lots of nappies.

I pack Baby R's emergency milk and Little O's drink into the changing bag. Upon my suggestion that shoes should be donned, Little O decides wellies are a suitable alternative and conducts a fire-fighting rescue mission around his chair in the kitchen, spreading breadcrumbs of mud in his wake. I bundle Baby R into his car seat, pressing his musical toy to distract him from straining to watch his big brother. Some brief toddler-wrangling ensues and somehow I manage to get everyone and everything into the car.

Class burns off some of Little O's energy. His best friend turns up so they spend most of the class ignoring the leader and running round in circles holding hands. Her mum and I take turns in attempting, and failing, to rein them in.

Baby R wakes up from his car-seat nap just in time for bubbles. His face lights up, like mine does at the sight of an alcoholic tombola. I find a moment spare to gaze at his delighted face before the craft activity begins and I have to stop him from the eating the plastic, stick-on jewels.

After class, we head home. I feed Baby R, brush up the mud in the kitchen, put a load of washing on, stick the steriliser in the microwave and tidy the dining table ready for lunch. As I'm doing this, I notice a funny smell in the air and, upon investigation, find a bruised, half-eaten pear under the dresser. Niiice.

Entering the living room, I notice another, more familiar smell, so I change Little O's nappy. Explosive noises from the play mat tell me Baby R is following suit. I can already see the yellow stain spreading down his leg. Fantastic.

I prepare a bowl of stain remover ready for Baby R's clothes and get started. However, he kindly waits until he's naked on the change mat to perform a little manoeuvre I like to call the 'poop and spew'. I'm sure you don't need any further explanation but I can be pretty certain that, a) Mummy did not allow enough time after feeding for the gymnastics of a nappy change, and b) she also didn't figure on the Tardis bowel of her baby waiting till the nappy was off to perform an encore. Little O, meanwhile, has thrown all the cushions on the floor and is practising roly-polys.

Lunch is jacket potatoes with cheese and beans. I discover the half cup of cold tea I didn't finish at breakfast and heat it up in the microwave to save time. As expected, it tastes like English seawater. Little O has wiped his face but he must have missed a spot as, when I help him down from the table, I'm thanked with a beautifully sloppy, bean-juice kiss.

I try to walk the dirty plates over to the sink but he has wrapped his arms and legs around my ankle and I've having to drag him, Quasimodo-style, across the floor. I abandon the dishes and join him on the laminate for a squeezy cuddle. I realise, in that second, that these moments are sacred. In a handful of years, neither of them will want my cuddles any more, so I remind myself how lucky I am that I can have my fill right now.

The washing machine is spinning, so I next take the opportunity to read the boys a story on the sofa, Baby R on my lap and Little O at my side. Baby R tries to eat the pop-up pictures but I think they both enjoy it. Little O is fidgety though, so I suggest going out to play in the garden. He rushes off to put his wellies on and I empty the washing into the basket ready for hanging outside. Baby R is already asleep in his chair.

I have to admit, garden time is fun. After several games of hide and seek, ("1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 3, 5, 6, ready not, HERE I COME!"), some sand and water play, trike rides, hole digging, slide sliding, puddle making, some (very brief) stick wielding ("Eyes! EYES!") and some butterfly chasing, it's back indoors for hand-washing and drinks.

Before long, it's also time to feed Baby R again but, as I'm encouraging the final burp, my maternal antennae pick up silence in the kitchen, so I pop my youngest in his bouncy chair and go to investigate. Little O is standing with the empty fruit bowl in one hand amidst a puddle of apples, with an unpeeled satsuma in his mouth. I'm tempted to believe he gets this ridiculousness from his Dad, but I'm kidding myself. It's me to a T.

One more double nappy change later and Baby R is still on the change mat and making one of my favourite noises in the whole world - he's giggling. I tickle under his arms again. Giggle, giggle, chortle... I love it. Leaning right over, I kiss his udgy, pudgy, liddle cheekie-weekies before I'm rudely interrupted by an  abrupt choke hold from Little O.

"Hello, Pest," I say, affectionately. "Want to watch elephants?"

I select Dumbo from the TV recordings list, figuring that it'll give me an hour of peace, until I realise it's on ITV and there'll be adverts every twenty minutes. Sod it, I'll take what I can get.

Making a cup of tea, I wonder if I'll get to finish this one. Not today, it seems. I get through half of it before I check my watch and do a double take. I'd better do dinner... ah crap. I forgot to get the chicken out of the freezer. Bird's Eye it is then.

I do a mad dash to put the dinner in the oven, pick up the fruit, wash up, lay out the boys bedtime gear and tidy up the toys, cushions and shoes before S arrives home from work.

"Did you have a good day? What did you do?" he asks.

I smile. "Oh, we went to class, played in the garden, not much really,"

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