We leave for Europe in three days. Actually, less than three days. We have also just downloaded Game of Thrones 5. And, as of last Friday, the kids are on school holidays. So these alone should go some way towards explaining my absence. Added to this hellish mix (except for GOT, which is exceptionally hellish for the hundreds of people who get gratuitously slaughtered in every episode, but rather enjoyable for the rest of us), the Girl had her birthday party on Sunday, and the Baby has decided to grow herself up.
But first things first: Europe. I’m fairly sure that I was a bit more organised about this last year – bags out and clothes strewn and lists made and gifts bought; this year? Not so much. My “list” says things like “PACK” and “FIND HOME FOR HAMSTER” but no more detail than that. Also, I have created sub lists – Things to Buy, Packing for the Plane – which are distracting me. At some point – some imminent point – I am going to just have to start packing. Ugh. On the plus side, it will divert me from the forthcoming Flight of Horrors.
School Holidays. I was able to ignore this reality until yesterday morning when the Man headed off to work, leaving me with a full gaping day of parenting. By 9am I had made five different breakfasts to satiate the demands of my insatiably demanding offspring, had played a game of Monopoly, made play-doh sea creatures, and fought with my teenage-esque daughter (over the thorny issue of 4 year olds wearing make-up.) We managed to get out of the house by 11, drove across Singapore twice, collected a play date, went to a beach, got back in the car and went to another beach which wasn’t closed, walked for many miles under the searing sun, and then collapsed onto the industrial sand while my children swam in what must be toxic sea. (I very much doubt that the hundred or so container ships 500m from shore aren’t sitting out there cleaning the water.) But - Glory Be! – the Boy had a sleepover last night, which meant that the girls’ bedtime took 5 minutes, and we all slept until 8am this morning – no tornado of energy crashing into us at 650am – and I barely know myself today. More of those, please.
The Girl’s birthday party. Her actual birthday falls in the middle of July, and to date she has celebrated only with her nearest and dearest. Which is great for me, but not so wonderful for her, especially as she spends at least one afternoon every weekend watching her friends be the centre of attention (and, more importantly for a nearly-5 year old, receive a million presents.) So this year I decided to parent-up, flung money at the situation and invited 15 of her pals (actually, only 13 – her siblings had to be invited too) to one of the many indoor-play centres which litter Singapore. Apart from the eye-bleeding expense, it was great – and so easy. Until we got home, at which point the wrapping paper and packaging hit the fan, tempers frayed (the Boy literally negotiated his present-wrapping position for 45 minutes. NON STOP.) and tears were shed. However! Amongst the presents were some much-wanted Forbidden Fruits, leading to yesterday morning’s fight, and a new family rule: No Leaving The House Wearing Makeup. The Girl: “But you do, ALL THE TIME!” Me: “I truly hope I don’t do it looking like that”. “That” being this:
(What’s sweet about it is that she truly thinks that she is the most beautiful thing ever. What’s not so sweet is everything else.)
Into this mix, the Baby has decided that she is now way too mature for both her day-time nap, and her day-time nappies. The nappies I can live with – although I’d have liked either some notice, or some involvement in the cessation of use. As it was she announced one day last week that she needed a wee-wee, I checked that she was wearing a nappy and told her to go ahead, and in return she screamed at me for being a SILLY CRAZY CAT, and I DO WEE WEE AND POO POO IN TOILET. And that was that. The cancellation of the day-time nap, however, is a thing of horror, and frankly, I want compensation of sorts. You can’t just cancel something with no warning, surely?
I leave you with this picture I discovered in one of the Boy’s school work books – seems they were asked to draw a scene from their favourite movie (or possibly just asked to draw something which would make their parents laugh out loud.) This is from Jurassic Park 1*. Full marks to the Boy for his attention to scatological detail, and for perfectly capturing the look of glum defeat on the face of the dinosaur’s dinner.
(*If you’re not familiar with JP1, there’s a scene where a suit is eaten by a dinosaur while he** sits on a toilet, and two children watch from a nearby car.)
(**The suit, not the dinosaur. Dinosaurs, like nuns, don’t go to the toilet.)