Sunday, 7 June 2009

Friday cupcakes and a picnic

I feel like I spend all day everyday at work (although it's the only place I have any peace and quiet to arrange childcare and think about food shopping), but on Fridays I quite often stay at home with Child B. And even on days when I don't, I come home early to pick up Child A from school.

Like many parents (well, mums) I've found the transition to school traumatic. Nursery used to run from 8am to pretty much 6pm, with snacks and naps all round. Even though it bled us dry, financially, it was a source of emotional succour as the pastoral care was provided as much for the parents as for the kids. School, in terms of weekly budgetting, is a godsend, but in terms of hours per day it's a nightmare. I mean who on earth can fit a working day between 9 and 3? Especially once the guilt laden 15 minutes extra in the class room are accounted for. Even when I work from home, 9.20 to 2.55 hardly constitutes a working day. But in a way, the worst thing is what to do with all that extra time with your child! Much as I love them, I can't be the first mum to think that the less time she spends with her children, the harder the time left becomes. Firstly I don't know what they like to do. Secondly I forget how to play, or how to let them play. Thirdly, there's a lot of pressure to make all the time together precious, when inevitably some of it will be fractious, or involve wiping noses, administering vegetables and shouting.

When it's sunny, we often go straight to the park after school. When it's not we bake a cake. Sometimes from first principles. Often from a packet. The boys mostly eat porridge for breakfast, but porridge augmented (secretly with fruit) with hundreds and thousands, chocolate sprinkles, food colouring, whatever. I think it's still more nutritious than Krusty Flakes, or (insert generic sugar laden cereal here). I means though, that we're at the top of our game when it comes to icing cakes.

Lucy from Attic 24 always takes such beautiful pictures of her little people's works in progress, and manages to even make her housework look lovely and colourful. I'm not quite as adept, but in the spirit of at least trying, here are our little bowls of icing. Oh no, darned computer won't move them. They're at the bottom.
Here we all are at Chepstow Castle. In the sun. Glorious!