Monday, August 29, 2011

a barrel of monkeys

The children have been away since Saturday morning.  The house was quiet, calm, ordered for a whole 48 hours.
I ate what I felt like, slept in, listened to my own music.

Today I worked. Well, a little!  And then at 3 o-clock I walked down to school to pick them up.
We wandered home slowly and discussed the merits of eating ice cream for afternoon tea (several) and doing homework (few).

Within five minutes the order was shattered.  Bags, coats, drink bottles, homework books, lunch boxes - how can two kids create so much chaos in such a short time!?

We trundled through homework, afternoon tea and so on, and I surveying the mess.

My first thought was to banish them outside and get straight on with recreating order.  Until the little engineer walked up beside me and said 'will you play a game with me'?  Ordinarily I would respond, yes of course, as soon as I have tidied up.   But, something today made me stop.  I looked at him and said, sure! And sat right down before I had a chance to so much as empty a lunchbox.

Now this is no mean feat for me and I had to make a real effort not to look at the bench!

We played Barrel of Monkeys for about 10 minutes - undistracted and just enjoying each other's company.  by 15 minutes he had had enough, and as usual the phone rang and it was work and I was taken away by it.  But he was absolutely delighted with that window of undivided Mum time, and quite content by then to continue playing the game alone.

It was a good lesson for me.  I've heard it said that life is not a Barrel of Monkey's.  But sometimes I think maybe we need to make it so.

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