Whenever G goes away I’m struck by the utter saintitude of single parents. The last bank holiday weekend wore me to a stump and that was nothing more than three days in sole custody of a microbe. Being at home with mummy is not like nursery. At nursery he gets 10 hours per day of structured, high octane, developmental activity. If I seek to simulate this at home I quickly discover that every activity fills a horrifyingly short amount of time.
“Hey! Lets ‘Pollock’ our entire kitchen with cake mixture!” (Hooray! That filled an hour, thank you.)
“Ooh – lets plant some seeds” (Yay for another 20 minutes.)
“Um, what about some drawing and cutting out?” (40 mins, max.)
Suffice to say I’ve begun to make hefty use of the term “quiet time” this week. (This refers to an enforced break for parental coffee/wine/staring-into-space in which Monsieur Crobe is required to play alone for a little while).
On the Saturday I decided to lug him up town to museumland. According to people on Mumsnet, the Science Museum is WAY better for little kids than the Natural History Museum. The Science museum has things that light up and a fab play area in the basement with water play and interactive toys and things that go “doinnnng”.
The Natural History Museum, on the other hand, has creepy glass cases full of stuffed animals and dino bones and a butterfly tent. (Guess which museum made the Microbe squeal with glee?)
The museum shops were of a similar ilk. His reaction to the Science Museum shop was to ask “where are the animal toys?” (I bought him a slinky anyway)
His reaction to the Natural History museum shop – which is practically a zoo – was a meltdown of excitement followed by heinous amounts of touching. I defy anyone to commandeer a toddler around a museum without turning into MC Hammer. Anyway I bought him elephant ears and made him wear them home.
On Sunday afternoon we mooched about in the grounds of Orleans House before being saved by the kindness of friends, who invited us over and let the microbe run amok for hours in their garden, with dinosaurs and bugs and bats, while I flopped about drinking wine and eating cake. Auntie Jane even made him a special caterpillar-shaped loaf of black bread, which he adored. (His appetite is amazing lately!)
In birthday-related news, it turns out that late June is a truly rubbish time of year to try and plan a party for pre-schoolers, as everyone with sense goes on holiday before the schools break up. As a result we’re getting an alarming number of declined invitations from little nursery pals who are away on holiday that week… including the beloved Samcrobe. Poor Jimmy – I’m afraid this issue is going to plague him every year until school age. But luckily we’ve had a few acceptances and his NCT pals are coming and Ben and Helena-the-Adored are also coming, so he won’t be entirely on his lonesome.
In other birthday-themed news news, I’ve been busy updating his Amazon wishlist. I realise I’m ridiculously far ahead of time but I have to fill my lonely evenings one way or another when I’m banned from watching Game of Thrones. It’s either that or quilting.
Lately the boylet has started declaring to anyone who will listen that he wants to be a vet when he grows up. In his romantic vision, this means that he will work “at the zoo and the farm and make all of the animals better!” (unlike Uncle Andrew’s more realistic interpretation, in which he will spend most of his time “killing beloved pets“).
Anyway, in honour of this newfound life goal I’ve added a toy doctor’s set to his wishlist. I went for a nice, compact generic one, rather than a toy vet’s kit, largely because those seem to cost 4 times as much and come with giant plastic cases containing toy dogs and other unnecessary tat. (I’ve also added a little tool kit, so he can practice some medieval style doctoring too – goretastic!)