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kids are exhausting


Half an hour on Diaryland, half an hour taking my February entries off the Psion. Barely look at JTW which I am keen to correct and print off.

The Getting Dressed Game

It terms of getting them out to school already that we are getting behind. Use timer on Zozo. Dressed in 63 seconds – a record. Prep for Pevensey.

At the front door

TBT won’t get his shoes on just as he wouldn’t get his clothes on earlier. Back and forth from the car for this and that, he trips and slams his forehead against the banister post. Bruised he stays.

Make up a story about Zozo making friends with the Pompom head at the bottom of the garden, then making friends with a magic tyre.

On time to school, but Pevensey is tomorrow. Zozo is distraught, I bring her home (Via Tescos).

I feel like drinking, feel lie doing to sort out my mood, sensitivity, negativity. What’s the expression? A bare with a sore head? With the children in front of CITV I retire to bed and sleep for an hour.

TBT winds me up over wanting Smarties. I give up and get Darlingest to take over.

The rest of the day?

I struggle against craving for alcohol or coffee but resist both. With both at home I’m happy for them to sit in front of kids TV. I sleep for an hour. When I get up I’m unable to handle the children fighting and beg Darlingest to take over while I clear my head. I walk up and down the shoreline admiring the angry waves, there is a sharp wind, the sun is crisp. I let myself beach comb for items that might be used in an Art Attack. A couple of stones attract my eye. I pick those up too. This is what Alfie in the Time Telescope would do …. wander the beach looking for things.

The afternoon is spent in their bedroom

TBT does ‘The Solider Game’ while Zozo dresses up. I say no to face paints so she does them on her own. The effect is stunning, the Princess from Star Wars Episode 1 is the look. Plain white with purple highlights, a stripe on each cheek and a dab in the centre of the forehead.

I crane my neck out of the window to watch the waves. There are no takers for a trip out.

Zozo takes herself off to bed. She is tired

She is under the weather. TBT is less easy. He just won’t settle, he’s not even tired. I escape for an hour around 7.00 p.m. only to be presented with him at 8.00 p.m. as Darlingest wants to finish her report.

TBT and I watch ‘Battle Stations’ on Channel 4

It is about Sherman Tanks, I read him a few books. I retire to bed and read ‘Charlie and Tyler’. I nod off and he shoves me back into consciousness.

I make up some Photobooth stories

As has become the case the intro bores them, they want to get to the story. I offer TBT choices from ‘Age of Empires’. He can have a ‘Castle, a ‘Galleon’ or an ‘Elephant’. We go for the galleon. TBT helps fend off and attack and is given his own boat to captain. He has to have the elephant ride too. I fade out as I make it up. He gives me a shove with both feet. I stir from a deep sleep and shout my complaint. He is inconsolable. I fall back to sleep as he goes off to find Darlingest. It is 9.45 p.m.

I am caffeine depleted and exhausted

I stir three hours later as Darlingest comes to bed.

Darlingest works into the night


The school run

We race through. There is new decor, I’m sure of it. The kids are less certain. There is an expert mural and plaster work to take us in at the beginning. There are far fewer residents in the mouse house. Zozo picks up on some mother’s chat to her daughter and wants to join in, taking and asking questions. I move us along, TBT has already run right the way through, passed the lemurs and primates, passed the farmyard and (marmots) to the Volcano slide. A tree has been taken out. This disguised slide was once hidden beneath the skirt like drapes of a huge tree. Gone.

I now have Zozo somewhere in the farmyard stroking donkeys, goats and Shetland ponies, while TBT helps himself to a matt and goes up and down the slide-like chute. Once I’ve got them together I challenge them to Zoo-Olympics.

Zoo Olympics

They take it in turns seeing for how long they can dangle from a suspended bar. I time them:

Zozo 20 Seconds

TBT 45 Seconds

Zozo 23 Seconds

In which a four-year old finds a secret door between the aisles

Lewes Leisure Centre

Sunday 24th September 2000

Slow to get out, but at 12.30 I’m taking the children for a swim while Wanda gets a few tasks in the house sorted out.

We’re in the pool from 1 to 2. Squeeze into a single cubicle to undress. Go for a pee in the disabled person’s loo.

Zoe can swim, she has short moments. It is hard work keeping your eyes on both of them, either both want you attention or they drift off alone. Toby settles into pulling himself up and down the steps into the baby-pool. Zoe takes to chasing me, doggy-style, or clinging onto a float and kicking. She also shows me how she can put her head under water and wave.

The little Tupperware box of pizza pieces and a bag of crisps each is the perfect incentive to keep little one and not so little one perched on the bench in the family cubicle while I get them and I dried and dressed. They are treated to a Cornetto each.

Family trip to Tescos

We take two trolleys in an attempt to split the trouble. It begins as we set off over arguments over who would sit in which trolley.

At the check out we first keep loosing Zoe, only to find her sitting in the Photo Me Booth. Loosing Toby is more scary and has Wanda running off with the shop assistant to make an announcement. I keep checking in and around the Photo-Me booth knowing that he used to like walking between the back of the soft drinks displays and the window. As Wanda returns with a shop assistant the little man appears, unfazed from behind a ‘secret’ door behind the displays.


Sunday 7th November 1999

Zozo spotted a pattern having written ‘book’ on the blackboard in the kitchen. She changes this to ‘hook’ and to ‘look’ and rubbed out the ‘b’ to make ‘cook’. Then she changed the ‘c’ to ‘g’ and I suggested she change the ‘k’ to ‘d’ to make ‘good’. 3 yrs 5 months.

TBT’s vocabulary grows. He understands a huge amount, or rather can respond intuatively to the requests we make. Seeing an apple at Barton he said “popple.”

Yesterday at a party Darlingest asked him if he wanted some Hula-Hoops and he asked for “crisps.”

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