Auld Lang Syne
Do you hear that sound???
Or should I say the absence of sound in the Pamplemousse household?
You can hear a pin drop. The reason being that my 2 nieces and 1 nephew who have been staying here since Thursday have noisily departed.
It is such a shock to the childless system looking after a rambunctious 5, 6 and 9 year old that I fear that my voice will never come down to its normal lower register. I find myself saying things that my mother uttered 30 years ago and I laughed at then. Oh, the hoisting of my own petard.
Friday was the day that it was just me and them. Mr P abandoned me, laughing as he went off to the refuge of his gainful employment. I pleaded for him to phone in sick and stay with me and help me barricade myself in my boudoir but to no avail. The redheaded children were waiting, rubbing their little hands in glee at the prospect of auntie-baiting.
The first casualty was during the battle royale between the apple and blackcurrant juice in the blue corner and the mushroom coloured carpet in the red corner. The carpet lost but luckily the plucky figure of Vanish carpet cleaning spray zoomed to the rescue. I cursed the fashionable plain carpets of the Noughties and thought longingly of the 70's psychedelic brown swirls of my childhood which hid a multitude of multi-coloured sins and assorted stains. Aaah, memories.
Saturday found me still alive although a tad sleep-deprived. First on the agenda was a visit to my great-aunt of 93, long since widowed and childless. My selfish thoughts were to spread the pain and divert some of the aforementioned baiting. It partially worked but I also had to endure the tuneless singing of assorted nursery rhymes and seasonal festive numbers trotted out as party pieces for the edification of the elderly. My ears are still ringing and I cursed Mr P for his lack of forethought in the cotton wool dept. It was alright for my great-aunt as she is already stone deaf.
Next was the obligatory visit to the local play centre. You know, pay the money at the door, slump at the cafe with a bacon roll and wave to the little darlings as they plummet with homicidal glee down the slides, fireman's pole, nets and various rope swings.
Of course, this also means being surrounded by assorted weekend warrior parents vying for supremacy in "Most Expensive Pushchair 2006" competition. The men are the worst and I swear if I was not on mind-altering medication, you would have had to tie me to my chair to prevent me rushing out of the Land Infertility Forgot. However as I am on the above drugs, I smiled beatifically and pretended to be a Stepford mother.
With my child accessories though, I passed for normal....for once. I reckon it was the baggy eyes, lack of make-up, hastily pony-tailed hair and muddy trainers that really swung it. The mark of a mother. Us infertiles have just too much time normally on our hands for personal grooming, ya know?
Finally, the final day of their stay dawned today, at the usual crack of o'dark thirty. It is amazing how quickly you can resort to shoving in a DVD and locking the little darlings in the sitting room whilst staggering back to the duvet.
Mind you, I have seen Garfield: Tale of Two Kitties 4 times since Thursday and it is still hilarious. I just cannot get enough of Odie.
One last yomp round the fields in their wellies and it was time to go home! Hurrah!
Funny how my house is now so clean, neat and tidy yet strangely quiet. I have never noticed how loud the tick of that clock is. Oh well, they will be back in the Easter holidays to torture me some more.
As I finally have time to draw breath, wash my hair and blog, I would like to wish you all a Happy Hogmanay and a guid New Year. Here's to 2007! As my granny used to say, lang may yer lum reek!