Saturday, 18 April 2009

I don't know how she does it

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!

25 comments:

  1. That looks like a fun - but tiring - day. The tshirt making looks like especially good fun :D

    I nearly thought about emailing A&J about the new move into Stephen land, but it would seem that they've already cornered that when they were chatting about youtube. Gosh darnnit!

    xxx

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  2. oo i love the t shirts i may have to have a go at that myself (with my daughter of course not for myself ;-)
    must download that podcast to see what its all about !
    lesley x

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  3. I always found that the more children were in my care the less input was required from me. Unless it was three girls of a similar age and then there is always the need for impartial refereeing ;-)

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  4. What lovely projects you kept them busy with ...but as a mother of the four monkeys, they do eat A LOT!!!!

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  5. Wow! I'm sure they're still talking about what an amazing day they had. And the T-shirt idea is fab.

    K x

    PS I think we might be driving by you on Tuesday on our way up to Norfolk!

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  6. Wow -- it looks like you had a really fun day. Love those t-shirts!

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  7. What a lovely day. Can I come and play?

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  8. The T shirts are fabulous. It looks like they've had a brilliant time. Can you imagine what it was like feeding four teenage boys... and quite often a houseful of friends too!

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  9. Sounds like you did a sterling job. Love the t-shirts and beads. After looking after my two today I could never imagine that doubled and adding another agghhh!! I really admire those that do it everyday and could do with some advice on coping strategies

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  10. The tees are great, what a good idea! x

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  11. what a great day. I'd love to come and play at your home! Will be downloading the podcast to have a listen, hope your enjoying the lovely sunshine this weekend.

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  12. Looks like you all had fun. I like having a house full, but only if they all get along and don't need too much entertaining! I couldn't do it every day though, although I guess you don't know any different if you have gradually accumulated 5 children, rather than obtained several new ones in a day!
    Cathy XX

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  13. Hello Cathy - I think that's the key; I do love having them all to play, but if I had to do getting them all up and ready for school, and then all ready for bed I think it would be a very different ballgame!


    Hello Liz - Sure, come on round, I'll pop the kettle on!

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  14. Like Trashy, I find that the more children that are here, the less I'm 'needed'. However, that does depend on the character of the children present! You did lovely activities with 'your' 5 ... no wonder you were tired! As for the food thing ... boys have hollow insides. They eat and eat and eat and eat and eat. It never ceases to amaze me! x

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  15. What lucky girls to have such a fab day with you! Lucy xxx

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  16. Hi Val. Sounds like a fun day! I often wonder how people cope with more than ONE!!! Those t-shirts are absolutely fabulous!! xx

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  17. I know what you mean! My mum had four of us in five years - NUTS! I love all your projects, your visiting trio must of had a whale of a time and probably are begging for another visit.

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  18. Oh, man -- I want to go to YOUR house for a play date!!

    I do agree with Trashy -- when I have a heap of kids over, things are almost easier than usual. Of course, those groups usually include a couple of preteen girls who fawn over my four-year-old and basically do all the mothering!

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  19. Oh! Their shirts are just lovely.

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  20. well i bet they had a lovely day and can't wait to come to see you again! the food thing does get a whole lot worse when they are teenagers - they have hollow legs!

    xx

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  21. What fun...what a great day! I wish I'd been there! ;o) The t-shirts and jewelry are lovely...making pretties for summer wear--what could be better?! And a day for all to remember... Happy Days ((HUGS))

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  22. I love the beads.

    and, i don't think i could do 5 either!

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  23. I'm wondering how you do it: it would have taken ages around here to applique sweet shirts like that.

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  24. the t shirts look great..and i have to agree about the food consumption. we have 3 kids..10, 8 and 3..and their 'daily' shop needs a loaf, 3 pints of milk, 3 carrots, 3 bananas, 3 yogurts, 3 bagels and 3 apples. That's just breakfast and snack! They are so active..and lean that i'm not worried about overfeeding them or them getting obese...just worried that the new local shopkeeper thinks i'm feeding starving goats!

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  25. Ooh very nice tees, I should think they had a whale of a time.

    The food thing made me chuckle, we holidayed with friends making a total of 8 children and the food consumption was tremendous.

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