I have a friend in the village who has five children, and makes it look easy - and yesterday came my chance to find out how that would feel when I looked after three of them for the day. Five little girls, ranging from 4 to 12, mercifully past the screaming-with-excitement stage but still! They were undoubtedly the easiest group of children you could hope for but I ended up more tired than I thought I was and overslept this morning!
But the thing that stunned me most was the quantity of food demolished over the course of the day - one and a half loaves, an entire bunch of grapes, a batch of fairy cakes and another of dottycookies, and so on - these are little people, remember, so what on earth will it be like when they're teenagers?!
Now admittedly it was an unusual situation in that I wanted to find fun and special activities for them to do; they were more than able to self organise games of hide and seek, and musical statues, and wrapping each other up in quilts. I asked them all to draw a picture to put onto a T-shirt, and then we rifled through my scrap basket to applique a range of pretty new summery tops:
I realise this is nothing new, but we had lots of fun.
And then we got out the grown up beads - usually at parties we use cheap plasticky ones but with fewer children I decided to do it properly. They chose their beads, threaded them and then asked me to attach clasps or crimps or turn them into rings for them. Their colour choices were beautiful and we had long and interesting chats about how difficult it is to be truly random vs imposing some order on the arrangement.
I think they had a fun day. I know I did. But, those of you with more than two children, and that includes my own mum - somehow you do this every day, and my hat is off to you!
PS Those of you who are wondering about Stephen?! - if you're in the UK tune into 6 music on Saturday mornings, or download the Adam & Joe podcast and all will be revealed. I'm listening to it now and chuckling away. I think it might be a love it or hate it thing though - and apparently there are a few of you out there who love it too!