I feel a bit fed up that I have no photos for you this month, but I haven't quite got round to connecting my camera to the laptop I'm using.
This Wednesday 14th January was a very normal sort of day, but I think that's what Jenny wants us to record; the average days of average women...what's the buzz-word?..."quotidian." So here's a quotidian glimpse into a January day.
My youngest and I wake up at 7:00 am. Her eczema is bad at the moment, so we're co-sleeping, this is so I can hold her hands whilst she sleeps in order to minimise the terrible scratching that accompanies the vicious itch. Needless to say, we're cutting out eggs and some dairy again. We pad downstairs, still in our pjs, and make tea and bacon sandwiches. I call my eldest at 7:30. She's getting to the stage where she needs more sleep in the mornings, it was only six months ago when she was getting up earlier that her sister. My big girl is in the final year of primary school, she's nearly eleven and she's growing up! Where does the time go? Does anybody know where I can retrieve that time and do those early years all over again?
After much chivvying and panicking ("where's my prefect badge?" "Coats on please!" ) we leave the house at 8:30 and get to school around twenty minutes later. I walk home with my chum and we discuss genetic predisposition to large thighs and cavities. She has five girls (four of whom are in their teens) and they are cursing their inheritance of large thighs, as do I!
I put the wheelie bin out, sort out the recycling, wash the breakfast dishes, clean the downstairs loo, cut my drooping hyacinths and pop them in a vase, vacuum the living room, get distracted by various blogs, make beds, give the bathrooms a lick and a prayer (doesn't that sound disgusting? But you know what I mean!) and then settle down to the true business of the day: doll making.
I listen to the radio and manage to make the head and body of the doll, as well as a little skirt for her when I realise I've been at this for hours, I'm hungry and I still need to prepare tonight's dinner. I make an omelet for myself and then cook a mild chilli. I scrub some spuds and pop them in the oven. But now it's close to three o' clock, I grab a banana for the little one and set off to pick her up from school.
We arrive home for about ten to four and she's still starving, so I dispense more snacks. The eldest arrives home ten minutes or so later (she walks home with her friends) and is also on the brink of collapse induced by lack of food. She has a slice of carrot cake leftover from Sunday and STILL UNEATEN ON WEDNESDAY! I capitalised that last phrase because having a cake last that long in our house is nothing less than miraculous, and is probably a sure sign that the DH is abroad, doing mysterious DH stuff. When he's at home no carrot cake is safe.
I just have time for a quick chat with the girls when my first pupil arrives at 4:15. My next two arrive at 5:00, and I see from the corner of my eye all manner of small and intricate toys being ferried from the playroom into the living room by the little one. Generally, when I teach, my DH acts as a kind of "toy bouncer"...not letting any toy in the living room he doesn't like the look of, refusing entry to toys if the living room is already full. So when I finish teaching at 6:00, we have a big tidy up (whoever invented "Littlest Pet Shop" needs shooting) and get dinner on the table for 6:20 or so. My girls have an argument about whose turn it is to say grace. I am amazed by this and tell them that only Rod and Todd Flanders would ever argue over such a thing. This makes them laugh and I feel secretly proud, both of their Christian zeal and my abilities as a stand up comedian.
After dinner we watch Extreme Dreams on the telly. We love Ben Fogle in our house, he's so nice, so patient, and seems to genuinely enjoy dragging poor, unsuspecting, rubes up frozen mountains. The children then beg me to let them watch Doctor Who on BBC3. I am unsure about them watching it before their bedtime, but cave in. I go and do the dishes, and can hear them in the living room..."if you're scared, just hide behind a cushion for a bit."
It seems that watching Dr Who so close to bedtime hasn't done the little one any harm, as she goes upstairs doing the Sontaran war chant, "Sont-ar-ah, Sont-ar-ah". She's asleep by 8 o' clock and I go into the big one's room and let her know she can read for half an hour before lights out. Sarah will be glad to know that she's reading Anne of Green Gables at the moment and enjoying it thoroughly.
The DH rings and tells me of a beautiful sea-food linguine he's just eaten at an Genoese restaurant and that he'll be glad to get home. I kiss my big girl goodnight and then settle down to find an episode of CSI to watch. There's some kind of cosmic rule that says there will always be an episode of CSI on any given channel on any given day. This is fine by me as I have a passion for CSI and all it's gory glory, particularly CSI Las Vegas. After scaring myself stupid for an hour I check that I've locked the back door and get to bed, it's about 10:30. I crawl into bed against my youngest girl and smell her damp curls. I sleep well.