I think that I have stumbled upon a miracle.
In fact, I know I have.
A miracle parenting key.
I am so excited.
It’s revolutionary. It happened like this:
The New Year had come and gone. As it does. With its fireworks and its clouded sky; that no matter how much you squinted your eyes towards or how often you staggered backwards and forwards, forwards and backwards, or even sidey ways; you couldn’t see those damned far-reaching rockets in. The bottles had clinked their last whole clink into the recycling bank and complete meals had been ungratefully by some, regurgitated into the once-white water closet.
I stood in the kitchen. Alone. Bleary-eyed. Waiting for the notifying beep of the oven. Ready to drag out, another, exhaustedly yet still, lovingly cooked meal.
The table wasn’t laid.
Drinks were not prepared.
Despite mouth-watering smells meandering the halls.
The beep beeped its rapturous beep. But no feet thumped heavily on the stairs.
I had an epiphany.
I shouted, loud and clear, “The dinner has made itself!”
Doors miraculously opened. Steps thundered. But as they entered the room, eyes widened curiously.
Suddenly, the table was laid and we all sat down and ate dinner.
The following day, I stood in the kitchen. Alone. Bleary-eyed. I jabbed at vegetables in a pan.
“Dinner has made itself!” I yelled. Perhaps, I admit, slightly less graciously than the day before.
This time, the race on the stairs seemed somewhat slower, and those eyes that met mine were somewhat less curious, and somewhat more sceptical.
“Mum!” I heard a slightly indignant voice say.
I asked, calmly and rather sweetly, “Should the dinner eat itself too?”
The table suddenly found itself laid. And after dinner, the dirty dishes were magically gone.
I continued with my new catchphrase throughout the week in varying circumstances. I occasionally saw the odd eye roll and I smiled, sweetly, of course. As is my nature.
Then, last week, I got sick. Yet again. The dog was the first to notice. She kept standing on two feet instead of four and peering at me intently. She wouldn’t leave my side.
If I’m honest, my pooch did manage to freak me out slightly with her intense bobbing in my face.
Though, I could also lay fault on my fever. My husband said to me the next day, that I kept complaining, “Everything was too 3D!”
Apparently, I’m quite entertaining with a fever!
Anyway, the following day, I didn’t just have a fever, but also a very unhappy stomach and the first sparks of a sinus headache.
I won’t lie. I did feel a little bit sorry for myself.
There was none of that ‘stand up and soldier on’ routine. Because, if I stood up, I was in serious danger of falling right back down again.
So I lolled around. Arguing with the telly. Or sat on the loo, with a bowl in my lap as a precaution.
The dog left my side at that point. She lay sullenly in the hall, trying to cover her nose with her ears.
Children brought me water. Children brought me peppermint tea. One child made me a delicious lunch. Which I very ungraciously, quite soon after, dumped again. But I swear, it was so tasty I really, really, really did not want to let go of it…
My husband returned home early and gave me much needed pain relief in the form of a hot water bottle. Unfortunately for him though, there was no more in-house entertainment of the 3D variety, despite his valiant efforts of keeping me warm and cosy.
The whole weekend the dinner didn’t make itself. Reini cooked on Saturday and on Sunday Aden slipped on his dashing new pinny and rustled up a jolly lovely cottage pie.
I ate and I retained it.
It was a proud moment for both of us.
On the Monday, I discovered the washing had indeed been washing itself. There were nicely folded towels in the bathroom and clean underwear on my shelf. Which all things considered, was more than an added bonus.
Akasha returned home from school and despite being only eight years old, insisted on making lunch.
Aden arrived home with a bunch of flowers. Then Akasha went shopping with her daddy. She’s not one to miss out on some competition: she returned with flourishing tulips.
Dinner appeared on the table thanks to my man. Who’d already done a full days work, been shopping and forked out for blooms.
I “oohed” and I “aahed” a lot and I do admit, the odd tear did attempt to escape.
On Tuesday, I thought, things will be back to normal, but a present arrived in the post.
From my man.
And Joni cooked her very first, and coincidently, very tasty, roast dinner. True, we didn’t eat until half past nine but it was delicious.
As dessert my husband informed me that several parcels would be arriving in his name and that they were all for me and I was allowed to open each one of them as they arrived.
A little tear did escape at that moment.
True to his word, one parcel after another has arrived. Generally, they’re Eastern ingredients for a cake he’s keen
for me to attempt to bake for him to try. It’s very exciting.
Today another little parcel arrived. It’s a lovely yellow notebook.
I am thankful for many things.
I am thankful for chicken dinners and freshly washed washing, that I didn’t have to freeze my butt off in the washroom doing.
I am thankful for flowers and email.
Akasha finally has email and keeps emailing me words such as: “I love you so much more than enything [anything] in the world mum” and “I like your haere [hair] you look very nice you are looking beautiful today I hope you have a lovely day” (actually, this seems to be a running theme: “Hi mum you look beautiful today and all the time you awis [always] look beautiful” or “Hi mom you are looking beautiful today I hope you are having a good time a proper good time”) and “Hi mum it is my pleger [pleasure] to help you”.
Though to be honest I’m still pretty sceptical about this one: “mum i’m really love you very much if you knew who much i love you eerie indiana knew how much i love you properly love you important thing to me i love you very much more than anything”. One could think her English is getting worse, but I err on the side of optimism, I’m pleased that she finally spelt ‘anything’ correctly.
I am thankful for sugar and spice and puppy dog tails.
But above all: I am well and truly thankful that there’s one less month ’til Christmas, because, to be frank: I’m getting used to this.