Friday, December 6, 2013
The December Ambush
You know, some months are just a little too much, and December is that month for me. End of the school year, exams, graduations, ballet concerts, plus Christmas concerts, carol services and the rest of Christmas, the trappings! The trimmings! That may possibly be a paraphrase of The Grinch, or I may be making it up. The Man is away, The Boy gone of course, which means it is girls' night in, every night, except when it is girls' night out, for ballet rehearsals, choir practice etc.
Because it is the end of the school year, exams are over, there is no homework, and it is very tempting to slump on the couch in front of the telly every night. I have attempted to circumvent this reprehensible sloth by instigating epic Upwords battles, played over days, before and after school. We got out the hammock, and in the brief three days of warm weather last week, the girls were to be seen gently rocking with a book, only feet visible over the edge. Then they discovered what a marvellous swing it made, and started playing games with names like, 'who can swing high enough to kick a cherry plum?', and then, 'who can swing high enough to pluck a cherry plum with their teeth?' at which point the hammock and the tree had had enough, and down they all came, hammock and all. I have promised to buy some new rope. Eventually.
I must admit to being in a bit of a slump. We made the Christmas cake a couple of weeks ago, doused it in brandy for days, but it is still sitting on the kitchen bench in its tin, under a tea towel. I am wondering if there is any actual point in wrapping it up, this close to Christmas. Maybe it could just stay on the bench? I was making fried rice for Posy's school lunch the other morning at eight o'clock, which is really way to early for cooking, and I dropped the bottle of fish sauce, which started leaking. I put it on its side on the bench, and it is still there, waiting for an efficient person to come along and decant it into something else. There are no efficient persons noticeably rushing to do this.
I have decided that delegation will be my new 'thing'. I have appointed Rosy Captain of Fruit. She goes to a school where there are Captains for everything. Not only School Captains and House Captains, but Captains of all the sports, Hockey, Rowing, Cricket... Badminton for all I know. There is an Art Captain, and possibly even a Chess Captain. Rosy can hone her future leadership skills by keeping an eagle eye on all the fruit over the summer, making sure that slightly squishy pears and dodgy bananas get used up. She will be extra good at this because she creates giant salads and fruit salads for herself on a regular basis, and gets very cross when we run out of key ingredients. She is also now in charge of the fruit and veg shopping list. She has also been heard enquiring if she will get more pocket money if she cooks three meals a week over the summer? I am thinking we could come to some arrangement.
Last week when the hammock was still intact and Posy and I were swinging on it before school she said, 'What is as gentle as a butterfly and can make the whole world disappear?'
The answer, of course, is your eyelids.
I will be going to make the world disappear now.
Please do tell me about your December. Are you swanning through it gracefully, or are you hitting that December wall along with me? If the former, please share secrets, or maybe pop over and help me with the fish sauce?