Sunday, 13 December 2009

More fun with the nieces

Last week saw the arrival of our sixth cleaner in a year. I don't know what we do to them, but we seem to be the kiss of death to a budding house-cleaning career. Anyway, I really hope this one stays, for two reasons - first, because she did the most amazing job of cleaning all the areas that some of the others have missed. And second, because I kind of dread the inevitable question when I show them round the house. You see, once they've seen this...

... and then this ...

... and this ...

... they start to look a bit confused, and ask things like, "And who's looking after your children today?" And then I have to explain that I don't have any children, and they look at me as if I'm the Child-Catcher or something, and go home to their families and tell them they're cleaning for some crazy woman.

Anyway, being all set up for the children does make things much easier when the nieces come to stay, and they've stayed often enough that they're totally at home here.

I could have wished for a slighter later start than 6:00 yesterday morning, but the children were content to play in our bedroom (while DH moved into Niece #1's bed to finish his night's sleep) until a slightly more respectable breakfast time. One thing I did discover is that having a 1-year-old sitting on your chest is a very good way of establishing whether or not you have sore boobs.

I gave #1 and #2 their morning apple juice in a doll's tea set, which they thought was very cool - #2 declared the breakfast "the best tea party ever". ("Why do you have a doll's tea set?", you may ask. Well, it's made by the maker of our wedding china, in exactly the same pattern, and a friend gave it to me for my birthday.)

After breakfast we made the dough for the biscuits* (note to self: next time, make the dough the night before, because it would have been twice as quick without 'help'. Oh, and forget trying to make mince pies at the same time - I lost the will to live way before they were ready to 'help' with making the pastry) and then left it in the fridge while we went to the Christmas tree farm on the pretext of getting a wreath for the front door.

Actually, it was so they could see the cool mechanical models of Santa's workshop, Father Christmas being pulled in a sleigh by a reindeer, and various woodland animals in the snow. As a bonus, there was a live horse at one end of the farm, and its feed was on our side of the fence, so that children who hadn't refused to put their wellies on could have gone through the mud to pick some up and feed the horse. So that taught #1 and #2 a lesson...

We got home and set ourselves up round the kitchen table, where #1 and #2 did a pretty good job of rolling out the dough and cutting out and decorating their biscuits, although the lurid red and green sprinkles didn't stick as well as I had hoped.

I did give #3 a little lump of dough and a cookie cutter as well, but as expected, she promptly ate the lump of dough and then just played with the cookie cutter for a while.

#1 was very insistent when her parents arrived that they shouldn't be allowed into the kitchen, because she wanted to surprise them with the biscuits after lunch. So when she was dancing around in excitement, barely able to contain herself, saying, "We've got a surprise for you" and #2 said, first to my sister and then to my BIL, "Yes - it's some biscuits that we made", a certain amount of smoothing of ruffled feathers was needed.

After lunch #1 and #2 decorated the tree - all by themselves except for a bit of help with stringing the lights. Not bad for a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old, I think:

All in all, a pretty action-packed 24 hours. If only every day of the 2WW could go that quickly...

* By which, of course, I mean 'cookies' if you're American.

1 comment:

  1. Those cookies are the most adorable things ever! I love hearing all the stories of you and your nieces -- they make me laugh out loud! Thanks for the youtube clip you sent me. It made me get teary eyed. I am just so overwhelmed and scared right now. It's like, yes, I'm pregnant, but this could end with no babies, which is horrifying. I wonder when I am going to move past this shocked/terrified stage ...

    I hope this last bit of your 2ww is going smoothly.