I had a wonderful day with the kids!
They are like different creatures, on 'home' days. As I had mentioned, after a day at nursery they seem so pooped, and are accordingly grouchy. When we are at home on very pleasant Friday Saturday Sunday days, they are sweet and funny and laughing and charming and clever, and they are really genuinely so much easier to care for. A whole 12 hour day with them is less exhausting than the summed 2-3 hours of morning before nursery and pick up after nursery.
Staying at home for breakfast is a 3 course affair: cereals of your choice, sir, with an ice-cold straw cup of milk, followed by toast or crumpet with marmite/jam/peanut butter, and some fresh fruit sliced or diced as you prefer. Afterwards a dip into mummy's cereal bowl, if you fancy. No wonder I am always asked 'Can we have breakfast at home today?!'. Then while I wipe up the kitchen the two newly-energized creatures race around the front hall and kitchen with the push along walker and the ride-on car, laughing and shoving and tickling each other, having a great old time. Then they decide to Play In The Family Room (their favourite place and activity of all time) and I shoo them both up there, patting their bums up the steps; and I shut the gate, locking them into the domain of fun. I can then mosey back downstairs, finish my own cereal, make myself a pot of tea, and finish cleaning up. All to the sound of laughing, or the pleasant silence of reading concentration.
Then I bring my pot of tea up to the family room, and my older son says, without fail "Can you play with us?" and I say "Yes, I am here now, I can play.", and we all play in our pajamas and housecoats while I have my tea and they make wooden breakfasts for me - although today it was jam tarts - 'Careful mummy, they're hot!'. When I have decided I have had enough tea, I announce "Time to get dressed and brush our teeth, let's get ready for the day!" and like little miracles, they both come, no trouble at all. The obedience on 'home days' is incredible, such a difference to the cajoling necessary in the am's and pm's of nursery days. We take turns getting ready, and they take turns stepping up to the sink to have their teeth brushed, and that's that. It's only about 8:30-9 am and everyone is happy and ready and there has been none to minimal fuss and whining...amazing.
Contrast to the rush rush when I am trying to get to the office, I am stabbing myself in the eye with a mascara wand and a child or two is hanging off my leg, shaking me, wanting my brush, wanting a cuddle, wanting a wee, "Can we have breakfast at HOOOOOOOOOOOOME?????!!"...it makes me frantic! As I am in my bathroom trying to get dressed or brush my own teeth, somebody is emptying all the drawers and I can't get my knee in the right place to hold the right door/drawer closed, I'd need to be an octopus (!), and then meanwhile the other is dumping the cereal puffs out all over the upstairs hall floor. I have to just leave it all as-is, no time to clean up, and I try to get them to drink some milk "Come on, chug as much as you can, get this last bit, CHUG-A-LUG!" and even getting a coat on my older son becomes challenging, as he doesn't want that coat, I'll have this but no jumper, no, no, yes, this one, no that one, "NOOOO, THIS coat mummy..." AAARGH, and I just think 'Whatever! Get in the car!!'...
Again, really, it's no wonder I am always asked 'Can we have breakfast at home today?!'.
So we played at home this morning, until it was time to walk to the Dr's to get my poor little one's injections - and that was even pleasant. They really like the Dr's play area, and even ask to go there sometimes, randomly! He gets his shots, one in each arm, and cries of course but then my older son came over and gave him a big cuddle and said "You were very brave, good boy" - how incredibly charming! And even though it was raining on the walk home, I just speed-pushed the buggy and we chatted on the way "Mummy, why are we going so fast?" "Because it's raining, and mummy's getting wet!" and that was all fine, everyone had recovered from the injection event. Scrambled eggs, steamed parsnips and green beans, and corn on the cob were eaten well by all, with funny lunch conversation "Mummy's shirt goes in the toaster!! That's silly...ha ha ha ha! Mummy's socks in the kettle! haha ahahaha!!" My eldest truly is a comedian of the highest order!
Naps for everyone, including me, who got an hour (bonus!). Then off to the Garden Centre to look at the animals and Christmas gear that's out already, "Mummy, LOOK, LOADS of Santa's!!!!!!". We bought a toy for my older son's birthday that he chose, with great comparison, "Yes mummy, definitely THIS one, yes, the digger, not the dumper truck or the harvester...this one for my birthday present". Then off to Pizza Express for dinner, their first real time eating in a restaurant that's not a Morrison's grocery shop cafe, "WOW mummy, look at this, look at the flowers! Can you hear the music!? Look at the men cooking! Wow!". It made a big impression! And I am sure it wasn't even needed to impress further, but dinner came with an ice cream sundae after, he nearly toppled out of his seat, he was in heaven! "WOW, Thank you mummy, wow, that's special, this is a special place!" (I am not exaggerating he literally said that...). Meanwhile my tiny charmer was set free from his seat between courses, and he smiled and smiled at everyone, the servers, the chefs, the other tables, he danced for them, he laughed, and ran about in a little circle laughing - absolutely charming to the maximum.
Then on the way home we watched fireworks! It was a great game of spotting fireworks, left or right, out of mummy's window....and then we skipped the bath tonight (it was really a bit late anyway) and all perched on the windowsill in my dark room, watching more fireworks in the village. No grouchy children, no crying, no fuss about getting cream on, no fuss about which bit of pajamas go on first, top or bottom (which is usually, certainly, an issue point). Into bed. We had a 'little chat' before bed as we always do (thank you, my friend who introduced the concept, I am sure it has changed my son's life for the better!) and off to sleep. Done.
What a nice day. Quite a wonderful day indeed. Oooo! And we get to have breakfast at home again tomorrow, too!