The first re-emergence of familiar routine was a game of 'who to pay back first' - with other kids wanting to arrange a playdate with my daughter.
Before Christmas it was easy to excuse myself from this inevitable part of being a mother. I had a whole ream of plausible explanations (aka excuses) as to why we may have to postpone little so and so's impending visit: quite simply, Christmas was coming.
This has now come back to bite me on the backside.
Putting off playdates... now means 3 weeks of playdates!
Why, when I could have just got it all over and done with before Christmas, did I set myself up for three consecutive weeks of trying to be 'calm, creative, home cooking mum' whilst watching mud being walked in, sofa's leapt on, bedrooms wrecked, the family cat terrorised and being eaten out of house and home?
It's been never ending! I struggle at the best of times to keep my own kids entertained, and I only have two! How on earth do people cope with four or five kids? I'm full of admiration.
Hosting a successful playdate
Perhaps a belated new year's resolution is in order - research how to be a perfect playdate hostess....?
Seriously though, in small doses I do enjoy the company of my kids' friends and I'm quite fond of a few of them.
It amuses me how different they all are and I'm sure most parents find their own kids have a similar 'set'. You have the giggly ones, the quiet shy ones, the over confident ones, the sensible ones and the naughty or mischievous ones. The latter I experienced only last week. Hmmm.
Sensible friend and our rascal cat
I did have to laugh yesterday when 'sensible friend' came over.
My daughter (who falls somewhere in between giggly and mischievous with a soupçon of sensible thrown in) had suggested playing fairies...
This worked well until our guest caught sight of the family cat through the window, dragging a large dead bird around the garden. With a look of both distaste and fascination on her face she walked straight to the window and declared 'oooh, it's got no head!' (meaning the bird, not the cat). Better still, once our delightful cat had tired of chewing and throwing the poor feathered wretch about, the girls insisted on accompanying me into the garden for the 'funeral'. I dug the hole and lowered the bird in while the girls solemnly filled in the hole and decorated the grave with foliage. Hilarious!
I can just hear the conversation between mum and daughter going home:
'Did you have a good time darling? What did you do?'
'Yes mum. We buried a dead bird!'
Perfect... Oh well, with any luck perhaps my reputation as worst playdate host will now precede me and I'll achieve the outcome I wanted all along.
No little visitors for a while...
Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor