Mon 9th Apr 2018

Today is definitely Spring. I started the fire and the thought did cross my mind that maybe I didn’t need to today because it was over 10C outside and brightish and not windy….. sure enough before I’d even really started making any headway heating up the boiler water it was already too warm inside the house. No more wood on the fire, then!

Instead of fire-watching, I did some tidying up. The boys also did some tidying of their lego room, so that they could actually enjoy playing up there rather than constantly watching their step. I tidied up The Cupboard. I’ve no idea what to call that room. It used to be the under-stairs space but the staircase has been moved and it’s no longer an under-stairs space, but it still feels like one. It’s a dumping ground, utility room, toilet access, and extra pantry shelves for stuff that I can’t really store in the stable.

Now, it’s tidy, and there’s a box ready for a blanket to become (hopefully) a tempting bed for at least one of the cats if not both to have their litters in. Safely the other side of Erika-proof bars. Just won’t be able to do any laundry for a while. Didn’t quite think that one through… hmm. Anyway hopefully we’ll get a catflap installed in the front door so they can choose to come and go.

Charley is quite taken with Tiger, and has started going out to see if she’ll come over for company. It’s a bit beautiful watching them.

School was fun as ever, I still can’t process chit-chat and general talking unless it contain specific words and then it fills in the gaps and hopes for the best but at least I’m learning when we do the various exercises set us.

This next bit should be entitled “While I Was At School.”

As far as I can gather, it was quite the evening back at the ranch.

Half the climbing frame fell on Charley’s head, and then he fell off the swing;

Ben did three bits of coding on his resurrected Kano;

And Erika got bounced as high as Ben’s head on the trampoline.

Once the kids had stopped jabbering at me (Steve noticed the overwhelm was taking hold as I’d shut my eyes, and shoo’d them away) Steve was able to elaborate a little more.

He’d managed to sort my computer out so now my laptop is only used as a processor, and I have a separate keyboard, mouse and monitor – my laptop is a very old lady really and only the keyboard still worked properly, really. The monitor I had been using has been returned to the Kano and I have one that works better for me; and the new keyboard and mouse that we got for the computer can be used on both the tv-computer and the Kano so everyone’s happy!

There were toilet incidents and telephone calls and not realising how important toilet incidents were (and therefore which warranted interrupting said telephone call) and tears and much-needed group hugs.

Half the climbing frame was actually only a bolt holding the swing seat steady. It had rusted/rotted away and fell onto Charley’s head, painfully! But Charley only told Steve after he’d fallen off the swing (in an unrelated incident). And while Steve, Charley and Erika were outside, Ben got reacquainted with his Kano and read instructions by himself to work through three coding challenges on Minecraft Hack. It’s awesome to see his progress in reading.

Eventually Ben came outside too, and while he was bouncing on the trampoline he didn’t notice Erika climbing on behind him and did a particularly big bounce which sent Erika flying, and she bumped her head when she landed. She only wanted Daddy cuddles to be carried back to the house, but snuggled into Ben’s chest on the sofa while Steve got the wrap ready for a wrap-nap. She slept on Steve for a while, and when she woke up and was unwrapped she grumped and burrowed into Steve’s chest until she’d come round more fully.

At some point during the evening, Charley took himself off to the kitchen (nothing untowards there, he often hunts for food) and helped himself to the kitchen scissors and snip snip snipped his way through a birthday card from his grandparents and an empty biscuit box. Kudos for his efforts to be fair but arrrgh….!!

And when I got home, Tiger came running to say hello, and then Smudge appeared as well when I put food out (cupboard tolerance from her still I think) but as one by one the children appeared trying to say hello to the cats (who were hungry and rather desperate to eat) I gave up trying to befriend Smudge and headed inside to be mobbed by the kids.

And somehow they got through all of that and were ALL smiling when I got home.

I’ll confess I snuck a shot of whisky after hearing all that. (Haven’t done that in a loooong time.)

Bedtime rolled around after Steve and I hid (sort of) in the kitchen chatting for a while, and as Erika actually went to sleep earlyish and happily I got some hooky time! Finished off one of the aran cakes mum sent me, and headed up into the attic to find my basket of aran scraps for the next section of cardigan. I’m enjoying making this again finally, especially now the sleeves are done!

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