Much as I’d like to, I really can’t pretend to be much of a baker. Despite my best efforts (and hours spent watching The Great British Bake Off), I always end up with dry sponges and soggy bottoms. But after spending a rainy Sunday afternoon in the kitchen with a cookbook, my peanut butter and chocolate chunk cookies turned out rather well (by my standards at least). So, there may be hope for me yet. I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a Bree Van de Kamp, without the twin sets and pearls.
Contrary to the impression I like to give my kids, I am not iPad-adverse. I fully appreciate it’s beautiful design, simplicity and convenience and I’ll admit to wasting many hours in front of it. But it frustrates, infuriates and even saddens me to see how addicted my children have become to their “screen time”. So on Day 41 when Leo spontaneously turned off Minecraft and picked up a reading book, I applauded him (before snatching up the device myself to check out Achica’s daily deal).
I like to fantasise that when my children leave home and I become a lady of leisure (ha!) I’ll fill my days with manicures, massages and me time….oh, and working with the needy too of course. Until then, I get the opportunity to top up my highlights about once every six months and Day 42 included my bi-annual trip to the hairdressers. Hurrah!
They bicker, they wrestle and they trash the place together. They can be the best of friends one minute and arch enemies the next but when they find a common interest, share an idea or join forces, everything is easier. On Day 43 Reece and Leo bonded over their appreciation of pretend spectacles and I enjoyed a sibling amnesty.
An out of the blue phone call from an old friend qualified as my happy moment on Day 44. The voice message she left was so warm and lovely that I was almost glad I’d missed her call and heard it. No doubt I would otherwise have had to cut our conversation short due to the general chaos of my day. It now shames me that I’ve still not called her back yet!
My job with Birth Companions is very important to me and I’m proud to be part of such an impactful and inspiring charity. On Day 45 I spent the afternoon at an NCT Nearly New Sale collecting donations for the mums and babies Birth Companions supports. So it felt good to do something worthwhile on the weekend.
Day 46 was a Sunday, a supposed day of rest designed for relaxing and rejuvenating, right? Not for those of us with kids though. With an objective of spending quality time together ringing in our ears, Dave and I regularly (and rather bravely) attempt group board games, coffee shop trips and family outings on Sundays with varying degrees of success. Happily Day 46’s family bike ride went surprisingly well with just two minor injuries, one semi-serious meltdown, minimal arguing and a flat tyre we were able to repair. Result!
Lunch with two of my girlfriends on Day 47 motivated me to try a new recipe…three onion pissaladière. And it was not only edible but rather tasty too (a rare achievement for someone like me who usually needs 2-3 attempts at a new recipe to get it right). Happy tummies, happy days!
I took my role as a parent helper on Leo’s reception class trip to the zoo very seriously on Day 48. Being responsible for a group of 4 and 5 year olds in a public place actually seemed more daunting than my weekly visit to Holloway Prison. But Leo was clearly proud to have his mummy there and kept introducing me to his friends. And I was pleased to get a fly-on-the-wall peek at the children my little boy will spend his next six years at school with.
After a winter of relentless rain and chilblains, the sight of blossom on the trees on Day 49 made me smile. What’s more, my dad calls me Blossom as a nickname so floral displays like this usually make me think of him.
On Day 50 I was pleased the boys’ school had finally embraced World Book Day (after years of what I’d concluded must be idol ignorance). I was proud of myself for finding time to rummage through my local charity shop for an old shirt and tie for Seb’s costume. And I was relieved that Leo’s Gingerbread Man outfit, ordered online at the last minute, had arrived in time (Amazon Prime is worthy of it’s very own happyday dedication!). I was however less than impressed when Seb had a meltdown just before the school run and decided he didn’t want to be Mr Stink after all in case his school friends thought he actually smelled. Pfffffft!