Saturday 3 December 2016 – Tidy House
Hubby is away on business. He’ll be away for four days. That means four days of tidy house, with sides free from coins, keys, receipts, earphones and phones. I won’t have to play hopscotch on the lounge floor to avoid the laptop, cables and iPad and I don’t have to walk around the house closing cupboard doors and shutting drawers. It also means that I’ll live on cereal and M & S readymade food and I’ll probably have to do a bit of ironing.
We enjoy a festive afternoon with Little Sis decorating the Christmas tree, singing along to Michael Buble.
We start well by actually finding the garage key and fighting our way through the mountain of crap in the garage, but having found what we thought to the be box of Christmas delights, we discovered the old mismatched decorations and an empty Christmas tree box.
M:”Cod, cod, cod, cod, cod”
Little Sis: “Bollocks”
We venture into the loft space, whilst H sits on her bed shouting out instructions.
H:”Don’t forget the Christmas tree Mummy”
H:”Don’t forget the sparkly decorations Mummy”
H: “Don’t forget the chocolates Mummy”
Little Sis: “Bollocks!”
With the Christmas tree finally in lounge with the box of sparkly new, coordinated decorations, we start.
I always insisted on having a real tree until H was born. Since then I haven’t bothered. Life is (literally) too short to be vacuuming fallen pines twice a day. By the time we have assembled the tree, H has emptied the box of decorations onto the living room floor. She insists on putting the decorations onto the tree on her own. Whilst she’s up in the air sorting out the top, I rearrange the bottom.
H: “Lift me up Aunty A, pleeeeeeease. No, not that side, over there!”
When we have displayed every decoration and repacked the wrappings we enjoy mulled wine and mince pies and change the music to Nat King Cole. H enjoys hot milk and a ‘grannie biscuit’ (her name for rich tea biscuits).
Whenever I hear Nat King Cole I am transported back to childhood Christmas parties at my grandparents’ house. I can almost smell the cigar smoke and the sherry. My Grandad would sit the grandchildren around the table and thrash us all at Gin rummy, Kings and Sevens, whilst singing along to the music, in his soft Scottish accent. Little Sis has similar memories but hers start 12 years later. We toast our mince pies to our late Grandad.
We sing along and to our surprise H joins in. She’s funny. She munches her last mouthful of grannie biscuit and shouts “Ooooooooh, Oh… Aunty A, Aunty A, swing me, swing me”, suddenly remembering that it is an option.
H: “Higher, higher…higher!”
[Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look!]
Tuesday, 6 December 2016 – “Can I have a chocolate?”
Hubby arrives home tonight. It’s been a long four days. I can tell H has missed him. She saw a photo of him on my phone last night and said “Look, it’s Daddy, he’s my best friend” I would be lying if I said I wasn’t the tiniest bit miffed at that.
I wake to a text message telling me he has boarded the plane. I smiled. A few weeks ago I would have panicked that I wasn’t there too, that something would go wrong and that there was nothing I could do about it (I know that there is little I can do to prevent a disaster on a plane but it wouldn’t have stopped me worrying) Now, I just look forward to seeing him.
H is up. I plonk her down on the settee and turn on the TV and the Christmas tree lights.
H: “Oh, Mummy, the lights are beautiful”
M: “I’m glad you like them. Do you feel cosy?”
H: “Yes, can I have a chocolate?”
[I now have 12 chocolates hanging form the Christmas tree courtesy of Grannie]
M: “No, sweetie, you can’t have chocolate for breakfast. I’ll get you warm milk and toast instead”
H: “Hot milk please”
[She has to have the last word. I think that’s my legacy there]
The milk is in the microwave and the toast is in the toaster and I’m taking the podhaler when she walks into the kitchen…
“Mummy, can I have my hot milk now please? I’m getting sick and tired of waiting”
Oh dear, I have created a monster. She marches back into the living room.
I (quickly) walk back into the living room with hot milk to find her walking away from the tree with her hand covering her mouth.
M: “What are you eating?”
H: “Nothing” (from behind her hand, pronounced “moffing”)
As I move her hand away the chocolate drool spills down her chin. She tries to eat it quickly.
H: “It’s just chocolate Mummy”
Two empty wrappers hang from the tree. Well, at least she’ll be lively for the nursery staff.
The day at the office is productive. It’s nice having Sarah back even if it’s only one day a week. Limited availability focuses the mind and decisions are made without the usual pontification. Business planning meetings are to the point, based on figures and forward thinking. It’s great. The only improvement that could be made to our meetings would be to hold them in Starbucks. Perhaps I’ll suggest that next week. We have two more working weeks until Christmas, I think that warrants a short trip once a week.
Hubby arrives home late afternoon and we collect H from nursery together. She is so happy to see him “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, it’s good to see you” She cuddles him most of the evening by the Christmas tree.
I leave Hubby with a glass of wine and deal with bath and bed duty. After a cuddle and a story I leave H reading to Nemo, Dory, Hank and Rabbit. She now accepts that I have to leave her in bed so that I can take my meds.
M:”Night night sweetie, I’m going downstairs now to take my medicine”
H “to keep you big and strong?”
M:”Yes” [I love her]
I am pleased to say that I am still on track with all meds, nebulisers, inhalers and physiotherapy too. I am mightily pleased with myself. I am becoming slightly obsessed with antibacterial hand gel but hey, if it does the job, I’m happy with that for now.