Trulove often asks us what we have done that day, and often we have a good answer like ‘went to nursery,’ ‘did singing at Playgroup’ or ‘Went to the Park with Daffodil and her mummy’. The truth is that usually covers about half of the day. As for the rest… well, what do we do all day?
There’s the cooking, eating, and clearing up, which I may have mentioned. There’s the watching telly, which I’m ashamed to say we do a lot of. I had to pretend to Trulove (who turns the sound off during the ad breaks) that Ziggler was singing a traditional Irish song we’d learned at playgroup the other day when in fact she was warbling the ‘Lelli Kelli’ advert. We got into the TV habit when I was breastfeeding Pickle every single second of every single day and it has been a tricky one to break. Anyway I’m not going to bother being all defensive about it. We watch a lot of telly.
Occasionally we might make a brief foray into baking together, because Ziggler really likes breaking eggs and mixing them up. We don’t do this very often because Ziggler only really likes the egg breaking bit and gets very annoyed when she has to stop at, say, 6. This leaves me to make the biggest, eggiest cake in Christendom while Ziggler shouts her demands for juice, biscuits and telly having retreated to her prime TV- watching sofa spot and Pickle either sobs because she’s baby-gated out of the kitchen or, if she’s allowed in, munches tidbits from her personal snack bowl (known to everyone else as the cat food).
We play with Play Doh. This is a good one because you can while away quite a lot of time doing it. Ziggler likes making cakes and singing Happy Birthday. I like making snails. Pickle likes being unharassed by her big sister for 20 minutes or so.
If Ziggler really, really insists, we Play A Game. You know what? I would like to track down the CEO of Orchard chew-your-own-fingers-off Games and sellotape him or her to the floor, with a two and a half year old opposite him insisting on playing ‘Ladybirds’ or – no – ‘A Trip To The Shops’ but not having any concept of turn-taking, being wrong about anything, or in fact why you would want to win a game at all, and a nearly one year old marauding around attempting to eat the million and a half little cards that make up the game and causing her sister to scream with apoplectic rage every time she gets to within 3 cms of one. For an hour and a half, because THAT’S HOW LONG THEY TAKE, CEO of Orchard Games! Sorry. But now you know. Worse than this is Tree Top Tumble, which is actually not a bad game (basically KerPlunk) but whose tiny plastic balls are both a hypnotic draw and a potentially deathly hazard to Pickle. At least the Orchard Games cards just get a bit soggy round the edges. We don’t play that one during the hours Pickle is awake these days.
Ziggler’s got a new, particularly monotonous but sort of compelling game which is a proper pretending game, and is played in the bath, where the orange Early Learning Centre Spaceman (‘daddy’) and the blue Early Learning Centre Spaceman (‘Little Girl’) get up to all sorts of adventures. They go to the shops. The go to nursery. They come home. They need a wee. They go to the park with Daffodil. ‘Little Girl’ falls into the bath every ten minutes and gets rescued by ‘daddy’ who takes her to hospital (don’t know when Social Services plan to get involved). I like to think I’m getting a bit of an insight into Ziggler’s thoughts when she plays this game and wonder if I ought to worry about the frequency of Little Girl’s splashy accidents.
So I suppose we do a lot. I’m finding listing it quite useful in showing I’m not quite as rubbish as I feel sometimes.
At the river in the park recently, Pickle asleep in the pushchair, Ziggler and I threw sycamore seed after sycamore seed off the bridge, and watched them as they fell, twizzling, into the water. We were there for half an hour or so. That’s my favourite so far.