#61: Spend a day with the children without shouting

I wish I could report an unmitigated success story here. It was a worthy effort, but as Eva reported earlier this evening, ‘I think you did do 4 shoutings’. But that is a triumph compared to most days.

I had told them the challenge was coming. ‘Mummy is going to try not to shout, at all, tomorrow’, I explained last night at dinner. 6 eyes widened with incomprehension. The scene was beyond their imaginings.

‘So I am going to need your help’ I went on. ‘Will you try extra hard to be good, so that I don’t shout at you?’ Touchingly they are still young enough and sweet enough to try and support my efforts, rather than deliberately sabotage them for their own amusement. Though I did see a glint in one pair of eyes that betrayed it had crossed her mind. Innocence is not long for this household, I fear.

I can account for the ‘4 shoutings’. Driving around Swindon, slightly lost, with the signposts and sat nav arguing between themselves, and 3 people in the back singing all the songs from the Lion King, out of time with one another, all shrieking that it was their turn to be the loudest… Mummy forgot herself.

In a crowded playground, trying to monitor 6 children at once, and discovering that 3 of them had ‘left’, without explanation… Shouting number 2 occurred on their return.

Then there were a couple more which were only very mildly provoked. Bad mummy. But it does get harder to be tolerant after the first 10 hours of childcare.

Broadly though, it was one of our better days. We fed chickens. We bought new school shoes. We met friends in a large park and played and walked and mixed up a cauldron of dead flowers in a puddle. We made playdoh in 3 colours and created ladybirds on a leaf. We all ate our tea. We went to another park and played football and everyone kind of cooperated. (I realise that sounds like a week’s worth of activities. Tomorrow will be less ambitious!)

But achieving all that with only 4 shoutings goes down as a success in my book!

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