Monday 25 February 2013

Booting up

Psst! Anybody there? I'm not even sure that this still works. I don't know why I'm whispering - the Lattes have been back at school for, oooh, 3 minutes - but I'm still paranoid that they can hear me: the tap of the keys, the little Windows start-up tune - and in a split second they'll be behind me. Even now.

"Is that the computer? Is it on? Can I go on Bin Weevils? It's my turn! She's had AAAGGGEESS! It's my 20 minutes! It's my 20 minutes! Can I have my 20 minutes? Can I just reeeaaaally quickly go on Moshi Monsters to see if there's a Moshling in my garden? It won't take long. Please. Please. Please! Please!

"Are you on your phone? Mum, she's on her phone! Mum, you're on YOUR phone! That's a screen! You said no more screeeeeeens!"

Guilty as charged. Staring into my phone, in the kitchen, just trying to interact with another human being.  Because it's been half term, and with Mr Coffee conspicuous by his work-related absence, there's been eight days straight of mother-and-daughters time. Don't ask me how many times they brushed their teeth. Don't ask me if they had a healthy breakfast. Don't ask me if they hit one another with sticks in a craft gallery. Just congratulate me for keeping them alive, and pour me another glass of wine.

I'm not saying it hasn't been fun.  There's been claymation.

Curly haired blob from Coffee Lady on Vimeo.

There have been little bike rides, racing up and down a nearby street in one-minute races. There have been board games, of varying emotional pitch, dependant on whether or not Littlest wins. Littlest does not take losing well. If a game of Junior Monopoly ends badly, with Littlest owning no ticket booths on the circus attractions, Littlest responds by angrily setting up an actual ticket booth on the staircase, and charging people to get past to use the loo. Sometimes during the actual game.

There have been fights.

There has been cinema.

There has been frantic Wii-playing, with lots of shouting. "Go there! GO THERE! NOOOOOOO!" There's been reading - we got to the end of the utterly wonderful Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Frozen Hearts, and even made the recipe for Corn Crumbles at the end of it. (I love a book with a recipe at the end of it.)

If there's one thing I'm proud of as a parent, it's reading aloud. I love reading with my children, tearing through books at bedtime. Wilma Tenderfoot is a ten-year-old would-be detective - we pretended to be her on a walk, poking through the undergrowth. The Lattes took the camera, to photograph their clues.

Eldest's view of our walk

Some undergrowth
There was a sleepover. There was nail varnish. We finally found out the purpose of the strange set of tools Eldest had received last birthday - for creating coloured spots on fingernails. We were all treated to coloured varnish spots.

There has been the utter life-saving wonder of Direct Payments, allowing Littlest the chance to run around a play area whilst Eldest did physiotherapy and a film with her lovely Personal Assistant. There has been maths tuition. The beginnings of silk painting.

And after bed, there has been me, practicing the A minor scale on my mandolin, or paper piecing in front of bad television with numerous glasses wine. Very probably staying up far too late. 

Today, the house is quiet and it should be a relief, to not be on call all the time. I've drunk two cups of coffee already and didn't once have to warm them up in the microwave. But I miss them. I want to finish the silk painting. I wouldn't even mind so much breaking up a fight.


  1. Phew, what a busy week! Love the animation, how clever.

    Now, just take a deep breath and go for a walk then you can start all over when they get home.

  2. Have almost hurt myself laughing. So recognisable. Apart from the 20 minutes each which for some mysterious reason has transformed into 30 minutes overhere (Groan. That's 1 1/2 hours. How did that happen? Oh wait, I know, let me guess.. "Just a minute more mummy, I am in the middle of something REALLY important, only one more minute, ONLY ONE MORE, please please PLEASE I have almost reached the next level and they've just sent me a present PLEEAASSSSSEEE!").
    Very very quiet here too, apart from eldest who is on one of her at-home-afternoons. And husband, who has just declared to have reached a new low of trying to clean the oven racks in the dishwasher on an extensive wash. (We've never used that one yet, the extensive wash. Very exciting.)
    Back to non-microwaved coffee.

  3. Least your half term was better than mine, tapped inside for 5 days straight with poorly kids is NOT my idea of a good time. Terrible mother that I am was rather glad they were able to go back to school today

  4. oh my. you need a week to recover. my children don't like to be read to. it is too slow apparently, they can read the book quicker themselves......

  5. I could have written your first paragraph almost word for word! Except we now have 2 laptops and a (new) all singing and dancing PC in our house - there should be no arguments but there is! I'm glad there was fun too - ours was mostly lots of planned physical activities - they're so much nicer after some exercise. :-)

  6. Your week sounds familiar! Hope you are able to enjoy some time to yourself and then enjoy when they come home from school even more. By the way, I love the quilt you made for littlest latte. X

  7. Your week sounds familiar! Hope you are able to enjoy some time to yourself and then enjoy when they come home from school even more. By the way, I love the quilt you made for littlest latte. X

  8. We have timers set so we can say 'Computer says no.' It worked really well until they discovered that I could type a password in to override it.

  9. Awwww, your house sounds a bit like ours, but I am useless at enforcing screen limits because sometimes, for at least part of the day, I relish the chance to do something other than entertain. What a terrible thing to confess.

    We haven't come across Wilma Tenderfoot. I think we need to.

  10. Time off for them, full time for you!

  11. The battle cry of no more screeeeeeeeeen. We have that here too. But hey, on Saturday it's not our problem!!

  12. Great claymation :)

    Mine are too young to have twigged about phones yet, but I doubt it'll be long before they're Dad & I are in trouble!

  13. I love your Littlest's Ticket Booth for the loo, that made me laugh

  14. I've just found your blog through Twitter. This post first made me laugh out loud (the description of 'are you on your phone? Mum, she's on her phone!' and then brought a lump to my throat at the very end. You couldn't have described half term much better. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.


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