Weds 25th Apr 2018

The day didn’t start too well. Ben’s latest Minecraft crazy house burned down while his back was turned, some lava wasn’t contained sufficiently well and he wasn’t able to get to his water fast enough. He climbed back into bed devastated. Erika saw him and climbed up to give him a love, then got distracted by all his drawings on the wall!

And then Erika struggled. She had a meltdown because Charley was cuddling me. Then another because I wouldn’t let her have the tin of pens. Then when I caved (because seriously, what’s the worst that could happen? She draws on stuff?) she had another because she wasn’t allowed to draw all over Charley’s elephant drawing. Oh the tears.

In between meltdowns I did get round to making bread (I did get breakfast sorted and all that) and then forgot to add the salt. I was actually upset about that. (And then it was still trying its best to rise for its second time when I went to bed.)

And then I discovered why it was so quiet after all that drama. She was so happy though… didn’t really have the heart to stop her…

Tried to escape outdoors but a combination of boys and plasters and scabs and broken nails stopped me and while I was dealing with all that the colouring-in had continued merrily. I walked out again. Decided I’d clean whatever I could up later. She was enjoying it too much. Call it “experimentation” and “research” and have another cup of coffee…

So I escaped outside and Charley followed me and we hunted down and numbered (with red pencil crayon) all the burgundy snails we could find near the house and patio, making notes of where we found them. Numbers 23-28 were “found” in the treasure basket in the porch. I had to explain that live snails are not to be kept as treasure in a basket. Plus these are a protected species of snail so we just can’t do that!

Beautiful tulips

Delicious looking rhubarb

Painted the basket planter instead, potted some seeds, hoped I’d get trapped out under the remains of the coldframe roof by a rainstorm that never came. Discovered, while I was painting the basket planter, one of the kindling sticks I’d brought in a month or so ago was actually very much green and was sprouting!!! So it got relocated to the edge of the swamp in the hope that maybe if it’s so determined to not be dead it can become a living part of the barrier to the swamp. Who knows. I’m no gardener, what I lack in knowledge I make up for in have-a-go enthusiasm, but I couldn’t just add it to the pile to season for next year after that, could I?!

Gave in and came indoors at Charley’s request and tried not to hide.

Lesser-spotted Smudge spotted sunning herself under cloud cover in the yard

And a piece of firewood proper stabbed my thumb while I was loading the furnace!!

It’s not often I actually cook something for dinner these days either, it seems to be Steve who deals with that, so when he’s out like tonight I’m often stumped so it was a bit of a miracle that I even managed baked beans and scrambled eggs (Ben’s request). Erika glared at me every time I came back into the room once the kids were sat eating. It was Not Acceptable, apparently. She opted for frozen raspberries. Charley ate bean sauce and a few mouthfuls of egg, asked for more, didn’t finish his egg. Ben’s food barely touched the sides. I’m a little amazed that my fussiest eater is currently the least problematic of my children when it comes to food!! But Charley’s request for more egg meant in the end that I had a hot dinner, which I wouldn’t have got round to otherwise. I said thank you to him. I get the impression he knew what he was doing. Erika saw me loading my beans and egg onto crackers and thought that was a fantastic idea so she prodded some of her egg with a cracker too, licked the cracker and put it back in the tub, took another cracker and went off to watch tv with her raspberries. Gahh.

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