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Yesterday was a bit of a day. First, it was an inset day. How thoughtful of the school to put it just after the summer holidays and the two weeks of big girl daughter finishing at 11.45am. Second, I had a press release to distribute and my email was playing up. Third, somebody has done yet more research showing working mums are bad for your health and the press, as ever, has picked up on it since some people don’t seem to be able to come to terms with the fact that women have to work these days and that it might even be good for them [and their families]. Fourth, I was rung by a journalist wanting to know about my family’s breakfasting habits. I would have loved at this point to lie and say that they skip down in the morning to yoghurt and muesli and a good round of brown bread and polyunsaturated fats. The researcher asked what rationale there was behind my decisions in the supermarket over which cereal to buy. “The one that gets us out of there quickest,” sprang to mind. I hinted that I may have toyed with Frosties [my brother was raised entirely on Frosties] and we had gone through a phase of variety packs before realising that no-one ever ate the Ricicles so it was a waste of money. He asked if there was a reason my daughters seemed to go on and off things in phases, eg, strawberry Frubes [at one point I had a whole fridge full of the things as bonkers and rebel daughters only liked the other ones]. I think he meant a logical reason. Bonkers daughter usually has the same thing she had the day before for about four days and then gets bored. Currently she is on crackers and cheese or tuna melts. Rebel daughter sticks quite doggedly to Cheerios and occasionally flirts with Ready Brek. Big girl daughter actually eats a very healthy breakfast of porridge or Cheerios. However, this is the only healthy meal she willingly eats all day.
Our mealtimes are rather noisy affairs. Big girl daughter gets up and down all the time. Rebel daughter keeps asking me to quiz her about the Second World War and bonkers daughter does squinty eyes all through the meal. Yesterday she showed me her new picture which doubles as a musical instrument. It is quite ingenious. She has tied elastic bands to the paper so it works as a guitar as well as a painting. I asked everyone to put their hand up if they knew who the Prime Minister was during most of the Second World War. “Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat,” said big girl daughter. “George Bush,” piped up the bonkers one. Of course, rebel daughter got it right. She knows more about the Second World War, and probably everything else, than I do already.
The good news is that my partner is back bearing gifts. I feel as if the cavalry has arrived. He was only in the door five minutes when he defrosted the freezer and then checked the Martin Gore website. It’s not been the same without him, plus I have really missed those Masterchef semi-finals.