It was the perfect summer’s day. The sun was shining and the world seemed a kinder place. When I dreamed of having children, I imagined the children giggling in the garden, running in and out the paddling pool and playing for hours building dens, collecting sticks and lining up their toy cars. In fact, look on Instagram and all my friend’s families seem to be doing exactly that. Endless happy faces, making wonderful memories that they will cherish forever.
At 9:00am this morning, I was optimistic. The kids had got up a little too early and there had already been the normal trail of noise and devastation but as I threw open my back doors and gently shoved the children into the garden, I envisaged them playing happily together whilst I got on with my jobs.
First up, they decide to build a den.
OK, good start. Building dens are a well-loved childhood pastime. A secret hideout for them to share and enjoy. After dragging all 6 dining room chairs into the garden, I then had to withstand a series of commands on exactly where they should be placed on the grass. I left with them sheets and scuttled off. Of course, both boys wanted the same sheet and neither could get them to fix to the chair in the exact way they wanted. Boy 2 blamed Boy 1 for ruining it and Boy 1 hit Boy 2 for accusing him. After many tears and a few tantrums, both boys settled into their dens. It took a further 5 minutes before the whole thing collapsed and the boys wandered off. There was probably a 10 second moment where both boys were in the den and smiling – damn it, I missed my Instagram moment.
Next up, some fun splashing in the paddling pool.
After spending 30 minutes blowing the thing up, I then positioned the hose and started filling it up. An hour later, the pool was still not at the required depth and the water was freezing cold. Both boys had largely lost interest by this point and were demanding snacks. Boy 1 splashed Boy 2 in the face and Boy 2 didn’t want to play Boy 1’s game. After a total of 10 minutes, they wanted to get out. There was probably a 10 second moment where both boys were splashing and smiling – damn it, another missed Instagram moment.
Although they had the whole garden, indeed the whole bloody house, to play, they decided their ideal place was in the kitchen, beneath my feet, near the hot oven. One pushed a bit too hard, the other cried, I shouted, they both got sent to their rooms. I still hadn’t managed to complete one single job.
It’s bedtime now and it never ceases to amaze me how brilliantly and imaginatively they play when they are meant to be going to sleep! Maybe now is my Instagram moment…? Shame I’m too frazzled to make it up the stairs.