Smooth, with a few bumps along the way

It’s been a regular day.  Hands and feet all over the place, as usual.

11 am. I’m upstairs picking up Piglet after he’s awoken from only a 30-minute nap. Snack time for Puppy and Lamb is over.  The dryer’s still running the nappies, lunch is roasting in the oven. All I have to do is blanche the vegetables.

We’re halfway through morning school, both Puppy and Lamb having worked through memory verses, phonics, stories and colouring. Puppy’s finished her spelling, dictation, sentence structures and writing out irregular words.  After one year of teaching her basic phonics, I’m happy she can write and spell without much memory work. Using Jolly Phonics has been great. I still have to remind her about placing some tall and long letters properly. But I’m pretty happy about her progress. The best part of it is that she’s happy about it too. I hope this gig will last.

When I get downstairs, she and Lamb are in tears. She’s tried to file away her own work, but Lamb’s messed up her pages. I’m irritated, but I remember Lamb’s still two. I order them to stop crying, and then explain to Puppy that the littler one always wants to see what she’s doing. She feels better when I tell Lamb to help pick up the pages, and he does. But then he steps on the corner of the file that’s sticking upwards, and starts crying all over again… which makes Piglet start to cry.

I always break a sweat when all the Bunnies wail simultaneously. So I get Mozart in to calm everyone down, and start nursing Piglet. Lamb wants to nurse too. Thankfully, he’s content to wait for his turn. We get started on Malay vocabulary, which the two of them greet with gusto, but (alas!) fight as to who can say the words first.

By the time we’re finished, Piglet’s asleep. Lamb hasn’t forgotten he wanted to nurse earlier, so I nurse him while cradling Piglet in my other arm. He’ll probably wake up if I put him down in the infant seat. Meanwhile, Puppy wants to write more irregular words, so I think I have a breather. But then she finishes quickly and wants to do some written Math, so we get down to it while Lamb takes his time nursing under my free arm.

1 pm. We’re finished with lunch and clean-up. Puppy and Lamb have had a good time playing with Piglet while I wash the dishes. It’s blistering hot outside and I’ve started to smell of sweat and stale milk which I can’t stand. We head upstairs for an hour of reading Richard Scarry and Enid Blyton.

Piglet finally falls asleep. Everyone goes to the toilet before I put Lamb into a cloth diaper before his nap. By the time he’s asleep, Piglet wants to nurse again and Puppy’s begging me to read some more. I tell her to lie down while I nurse and rest a bit. She tries to, but pops up almost immediately. She doesn’t nap much anymore. After Piglet sleeps again, we do some Science, cutting and pasting. I make a mental note to get down to that experiment which I’ve been too lazy to set up. By the time we’re done, it’s 4 pm. Lamb and Piglet get up and it’s tea time. I wish I had more sleep.

Puppy and Lamb head out, whooping and shouting, for an hour of outdoor play. They always do that, even though they’ve done the same thing in the morning. While they’re busy cycling, zooming around on the scooter and organising their own obstacle race with hoola hoops, cones and brooms, I make yogurt and fold nappies while keeping an eye on the gate. Piglet takes it all in, sucking his fist in the infant seat. He lasts in there long enough for me to do a quick sweep of the porch and get everyone in to wash feet and hands.

630 pm. I’m frazzled. I’ve bathed all the Bunnies and started my own shower while Puppy and Lamb entertain Piglet. But Lamb’s rattled the cot too much and Piglet’s wailing. Very loudly. I’m still slightly soapy. Gotta.. Get out.. Fast. I rinse off like lightning and run to pick him up. I text my Sweet Man and ask him what’s his eta. Thankfully, he gets back in 5 minutes and peeks into the room to see if I’m still sane. Still in my towel, I wipe the thundercloud from my face. I’m…. ok. He looks doubtful. But then we start talking about the day, and everything’s alright. Lamb and Puppy beg for another reading session while he showers, and Piglet wants to nurse again. So I nurse him. And read James Herriot. Then we all go out for a quick dinner.

10 pm. The Bunnies are out cold, too late for my liking, after more bedtime reading and lots of toilet visits. Finally. Puppy always asks me, “Can I hug and kiss you whenever I want?” even though I smile and say “yes dear,” every night. Tonight, she’s popped out of her bed 3 times to give me bear hugs and wet, fervent kisses.

Lamb still wants me at his side before he drifts off to dreamland, so I sit there, stuffing cloth diapers and folding bedsheets. When I’m finished with them, he’s still awake. “Mama?” He smiles at me bashfully, as though he knows he’s got some convincing to do. “Can I drink some milk?” “What?” I say, “You’ve had milk a few times already today.” “But I like milk.” “Well, why? What does it taste like?” He grins, “Chocolate!” Who can believe that?? I lie down, enjoy the snuggling while he nurses, and wonder how long he’ll take. Puppy’s nursed until her 5th birthday and she hasn’t asked for more. Yet.

So here I am. The dryer’s running the family laundry which I put to wash during afternoon nap time. Our electricity bill’s climbed a lot more since we started baking our own bread and increased our laundry load. I’ve done some editing. We’re sharing this laptop, and it’ll my Sweet Man’s turn next. He’s glad it isn’t Diaper Night because his nose always stings when he puts the stuff in to wash, and he refuses to wear gloves. Yuck! The floors need a quick clean and the toilet a brief rinse, which I might do. Or might not.

A regular day. A good day.

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