The early warning systems for a visit from the three little flowers and their parents are pretty good. Usually this involves an extensive email exchange and numerous phone calls as the visitees embark on a frantic scramble for safety amidst a busy diary trying to avert the calamity. We have heard them all before “Not free until next year”, “The house is being rebuilt that year” and “We are emigrating that week”. We will not be put off that easily!
We don’t so much arrive, more explode into your beautiful house. One of our most memorable detonations involved a vomiting child being held out over the threshold followed by men on the drive up to their arms in child fluids hosing down the car with face masks on. Like a scene from Breaking Bad.
As we pull up outside the house I am imagine the family in a group huddle getting ready for the onslaught in the same way a rugby team get ready to receive a kick off! The speed of the invasion takes most by surprise. It only takes a moment for a hoard of toddlers to run through your door, make their way to the kitchen and to start stripping your house of juice and crisps.
Feeding time is the next major event. Like all toddlers the three little flowers either eat like ravenous lions or they just DON’T. We either stand back and watch from a safe distance or have to get involved in an escalating conflict involving spoons with car noises, songs and bribery as our children show their consummate skills at countering all of their parents increasingly desperate tactics.
As bed time approaches and the team reach the end of their 100 lap sprint around your kitchen table a tangible feeling of hope enters the house. News has reached camp that the three little flowers love sleep. Bath time is never dull and hair washing generates the usual howling screams. But 7pm arrives and as if by magic all is calm. Pinot Grigio is out of the fridge and monitors are on and the flowers are asleep.
Dinner may have the feel of the night before battle commences, like the famous scene from Henry V with a slightly nervous edge but at least the monitors stay quiet…..usually. But the knowledge is ever present. It all begins again tomorrow.
As we depart its hugs and smiles all round and when our car drives off, all remaining collapse or reach for their treasured toys and breath a sigh of relief.
Until next time!
“Lily do you know where we are?”
“We are ….. here”
We went out for dinner the other night with the next door neighbours. Apparently they get home at 6ish most evenings and are royally entertained by the sounds of bedlam that waft through the bathroom window. Parents of three girls themselves (although all in their 20′s now) they confessed they do have a chuckle when they can hear “all hell is breaking loose’!! I know I would!
The fun now starts with the fireman’s lift all three demand to be taken up stairs (Mrs B: “Your fault”). As soon as we are at the top of the stairs and our wriggling load is put down they all then flee instantly as far and as fast as they can to their hiding spots in the bedrooms. In side the wardrobes is a daily favorite. They are getting quite good now but the noise of giggling, screeching or crying gives the game away pretty quickly!
The bath is run and the hunt is on to find the first one willing to jump in. I & E love bath time and usually are more than happy to be thrown into the bubbles. Our Leader is of course more often than not more reluctant. All about control! (Mrs B “Yes I know, I know, my fault!). After persuasion and diplomacy fail threats and bribery follow!
Once all in the bath they can all play quite happily together. And then again they are equally capable of recreating the battle of Trafalgar as everyone grabs the same toy, toothbrush,cup, sponge, pot . . . . you get the idea. If you placate one with a new item you just get “and me, and me, and me, and me, and me, and me . . . . until something else is thrown into boiling pot! We have singing, splashing, bubbles, tears, fights, pushing, pulling and lots of laughing for the next 30 minutes.
By the time we get to hair wash time the neighbours 3 doors down are able to hear the fun!
Extraction has to be a speedy affair. Out, dry, nappies, bed for the twins in about as much time as it takes to read this sentence. Our Leader of course gets out on her own terms but after completing negotiations on the number of books she has is usually happy to head up stairs after giving I & E a kiss good night.
Then its time to hit the wine!
Today we said goodbye to James Duncan. The lovely baby son of friends who lived a short bright life of just nine days. We only met him briefly but he touched our hearts and the hearts of everyone fortunate enough to meet him.
You will long in our memories.
Amazing what you can achieve in a day! Even with the team having a lie in until 7am!
Out the house at 8,45 for a walk through the woods. Took a longer route than usual with Our Leader requiring some convincing before agreeing to have a go. “Change is never good” as they used to say on the Yorkshire News on Soccer AM. With the proclamation “I want to be the teacher at the front” we were off. It turned out she was probably right as we ended up a bit off piste and on a longer walk than was comfortable for the team.
Back to the house for 10.00 for a run round the garden a quick good bye to Mrs B (Heading off to London Village to see a very good friend) then on to drawing, reading and sandcastle building.
Lunch for the team and the twins are off to bed by 11.45. Our Leader instructed she can only stay up if she lets Daddy watch the Rugby its time to watch a great Lions match while Our Leader combs, brushes, cuts (“Just pretend Daddy”) and puts clips in my hair.
Rugby finished its time for a picnic in the garden with Our Leader with just enough time to get the paddling pool out before the twins are up. A good hour of paddling pool, watering the plants, watering each other, a few tears and quick change is followed by fun on the bouncy castle! After a few snacks, couple of ice pops and bags of quavers there is just enough time for a play in the tent before tea and Postman Pat.
Back into the garden for more playing on the trampoline and in the tent, pretend sleep overs and even the three of them managing to roll the tent over, repeatedly, before its more Postman Pat, an eventful bath time and off to bed.
All followed by Daddy collapsing onto the sun lounger for 2 hours before moving again!
We have just had a great weekend in the sun and the team have been out and about on the rampage! We took the girls for a walk in the woods on the hill behind the house and told “Our Leader” we were going on a bear hunt. This caused much excitement and OL announced to the girls following her behind “Come on everyone. We are bear humping”.
OL likes talking and she seems to use most of large vocabulary getting me to do what she wants. I appear powerless to object!
I think I & E are less talkative at the same age than OL was but that may be because we spend much less time schooling them to do so. We now treasure the fleeting moments between the increasingly despotic orders from Our Leader. I fully expect her first writing, whenever it comes, to be a comprehensive “5 year plan for the proletariat”. K and I that is!
Being the only boy the thought of all four girls in the house issuing regular orders has lessened my enthusiasm for vocabulary training!
“E” seems to be able to get most things she wants with her favorite all purpose word “mmmgghhhhheeaaagghhh” and “I” chatters away quite happily throwing in the odd “cat”, “hat” and “boots”.
No doubt it will only be a matter of time before the words “you get it daddy” turn up in surround sound but for now I am busy enough following the pronouncements of Our Great and Glorious Leader.
Just as I pressed “Publish” on the previous post about turning the corner the vomiting began. It was inevitable! That will teach me to be ever so slightly smug and self congratulatory.
The bug hit the twins at speed. ”I” started first followed a couple of days later by E. As we contemplated a busy weekend with 3 pit stops, a party and a night away from home the projectile puke launched itself from her mouth all over the floor. By the next morning the little bug had hidden itself away out of view for just long enough for us to think all is well again so we set off. Theses bugs are clever little gits!
As we set off from the party with an hours drive ahead I started to fade. As we pulled away from the traffic lights the interior of the car received an nice new covering. A car brochure would have to call it “phlegmy beige”. Stood in her nappy by the side of a busy A road “I” was stoic as we wiped her down with wet wipes and tipped the contents of the car seat onto the grass.
We literally exploded into the house of the poor people who were kindly putting us up for the night and within 5 minutes had filled up their dishwasher, washing machine and tumble drier (Oh and introduced a new aroma into their house). Never a dull moment when we come to stay!
The next day the little git of a bug had hidden itself away again and we had an afternoon in the garden and prepared the BBQ. Just as the sausages landed on the table the bug lept to life again. No descriptions I promise!
Like all racing drivers who come off at a tricky corner and redecorates the armco barriers:
“iI all happened so fast…I lost the front end and then span off at the corner.”