Thursday, 6 March 2008

The storm after the calm

Well I added a few photos to yesterday's blog entry and then realised how pathetically sad my life must be if I actually use my time and effort to take photos of the insides of our loft and balls of wool. Perhaps I would have made better use of my time supervising the children...

I suppose I only have myself to blame having spent yesterday morning hiding in the loft (see previous blog entry). I knew that when I finally came down I would have to face the carnage of those few hours' unsupervised play.


It was like a scene out of Lord of the Flies, but with fewer boys, more split peas and no blood (well as far as I could see).

The first thing I noticed was that there was a saucepan of water mixed with dried split peas, which had swelled to a sodden mass, on my bathroom floor. Apparently (as I was later informed) this was dinosaur food. Clumps of wet toilet roll adorned the bath, sink and toilet lid. Perhaps the dinosaurs had used the toilet after eating their dinosaur food? [note for future reference: need to train the dinosaurs to tidy up after themselves]

All - and I mean ALL - the soft toys were having a 'tea party' on the floor of dd1's bedroom, a room where even if I wanted to swing a cat I would have great difficulty doing so. I could barely open the door so I had no idea how we were going to get her into her bed that evening.

The trail of split peas (most, thankfully still in their original dried form) led across the landing and down the stairs through the hall and into to the lounge where there were further piles of them on the rug. In the middle of the floor the boys had set up a train track using all the wooden Brio trains. The carriages were loaded up with split pea 'cargos'. I was pleased that my 9-year-old felt comfortable playing with toys most people would consider only for younger children, but the lounge looked like a firework had been thrown into a lentil factory.[And when will my children realise that the reason I put cushions ON my sofa is because I like them ON my sofa, NOT all over the floor. If I wanted cushions on the floor then I would have bought floor cushions...obvious really.]

And then to the conservatory where every possible item of scrap had been emptied on to the table and floor and several half-finished creative masterpieces - i.e. some scrap that had been glued together - were precariously balanced on top. The dog had made some effort to tidy up judging by the chewed remains of plastic straws and something I can only assume was once a cork.

Continuing back through the house the available evidence indicated that several small elephants had tried to make themselves strawberry milkshake in the kitchen: there were showers of milkshake powder across the surfaces, splodges of milk on the floor and a trail of footprints, none of which looked human, from the fridge to the cupboard and back again. A half-eaten banana, 6 used cups, an empty packet of Jacobs Cream Crackers and a pile of satsuma peelings confirmed my elephant suspicions. If there's one thing that home education has taught me it is that unsupervised small elephants just can't resist Jacobs Cream Crackers and strawberry milkshake.

The dog had peed in the hall. Well to be precise he had peed along the hall. He'd probably peed on the lounge rug as well judging by the smell, but amongst the split pea carnage it would have been difficult to tell. While on the 'dog' theme, my clean pile of washing looked suspiciously like it had been home to a small lazy Spaniel for several hours. Tell-tale white hairs and a dog shaped crater in the middle was a dead givaway. A half-chewed lego tree and a sprinkling of dog-slobbered cardboard (possibly once containing dd1's pack of playing cards) was further indication of dog rebellion. I shouted at the dog and tried to put him out in the garden. He was clearly bemused by my feeble effort at discipline.

As I went back into the lounge I noticed all the children had moved to the sofa and were glued to the tv.

Ds1 turned to greet me as I entered the lounge.

'Oh hi mummy. Where've you been?'

A friend once warned me about the changes in children's behaviour when there was a power vacuum in the house. At the time I probably thought she was talking about hoovers, but now I understand exactly what she means.

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