Day 10 of the school summer holidays and the total injuries tally is growing: by Monday the minxes had used 4 plasters, 5 steri-strips and half a bottle of calpol.
We managed 2 wonderful days in Legoland without real incident: a plaster, bit of insect bite relief and poor Maxi’s tonsillitis kept in check with Strepsils and distraction. Pirate Falls fear was a pretty big distraction (she tried to climb out before the big drop. Luckily Grandma was ready and prevented catastrophe with a timely ‘tight hug’). For the rest of the visit to their grandparents’, Mini seemed hell-bent on gouging out most of the skin of her knees falling off bikes. I watched her: she tripped over fresh air!
Then yesterday (Monday) it was rainy, so I went for our usual favourite school holiday at-home day standby: a theme day. I decided on Pirate Day, inspired by the mountain of pirate dressing up clothes the kids had strewn over every vaguely flat surface in the living room on Sunday night.
They had a hoot! I made them seagull eggs and hacked-up pig (bacon and eggs), scunnered Midi by doing skull and crossbones for lunch (a plate with a face on it; baked beans at the head bit that I called brains; 2 fish fingers in a cross at the bottom; then a round bread roll that I said was the skull the brains came from), and let them craft daggers and swords and pirate bandannas with paper, card, tape and scissors. They called me Captain Mummy, I addressed them as Pirate, and we play-acted our way about the house and to the library. Midi swept the kitchen floor unbidden because I’d called her a scurvy swab. So she replied, “I’ll swab the decks then, Captain Mummy. Aye-aye!” What a girl! I started up batches of elderflower champagne and elderflower cordial with Maxi that we’d foraged for the day before, using the explanation that pirates made their own food and drink. Especially drink.
All 3 girls had been happily turning a huge cardboard box into a Viking longship (they think Vikings = cool pirates) and got distracted by something. I bet you can imagine the sheer level of mess in the living room. Well, little Mini trampled over that mess and trod on the sharp serrated edge of a sellotape dispenser and cut herself a deep flapper in the base of her big toe.
I don’t know who was more upset: Mini or a very distraught and guilty Midi who had left the tape dispenser out in the first place. They both needed one-armed Mummy Hugs and kisses while I pressed hard for maybe 10 minutes to stop the bleeding. Gosh, that child is a bleeder, just like her mammy and her grandad! Poor Maxi was very upset but kept away from the commotion and puddle of blood on the kitchen floor and instead whipped Mini up a beautiful, huge card with a cut-out loveheart and a very heartfelt get better soon message – the little love! I love how she’ll express her emotions in written words so quickly and lovingly when she feels she can’t say the right things aloud. Those girls don’t half needle each other, but they also adore one another with such a depth of love that it’s sometimes breathtaking.
Mini’s cut was maybe 5mm deep flap, and the entire way across below her toe pad. I swished with water, applied steri-strips and plasters, and we all snuggled and hugged for an hour on the settee over Back to the Future 2 for comfort.
I tried to rally them with a Pirate Dinner: rum (honey, water and a teeny bit of red food colouring in a washed-out Caorunn Gin bottle) – they hated it; raspberry jelly with chopped up dog (jelly made with fizzy water, and with leftover chopped up strawberry and apricots in it) – they hated that, too. I made cannons (tortilla wraps), cannon-balls (lamb mince kebabs), and cannon-shot (frozen peas, broccoli and yogurt and mint dressing) and that went down fairly ok. They were still a bit upset about their little sister.
Today (Tuesday), though, they definitely perked up when my own mood lightened: I soaked off Mini’s failing steri-strips, put 2 decent ones on and took her to see lovely Nurse Lynne for reassurance. She declared my cack-handed first aid job as very good (it wasn’t – she’s just very kind), she applied a ton more steri-strips and taught me some nifty techniques in plaster origami around toes. So Total Days In The Garrison Without Accident = 1, and the tallies are plasters 6, steri-strips 15, gauze bandage 1, calpol bottles 1 (Maxi’s tonsillitis is very painful, poor girl).
Today’s theme was France because (a) I had bought croissants as a huge treat in the online shop, and (b) it’s Bastille Day. So we had fruit, cheese, croissants and hot chocolate for breakfast; I taught the minxes some dodgy French in a Glaswegian accent; they decided to dress in red white and blue; they made girl figures and fashionable clothes (snigger!) out of Playdo, and they happily drew a thousand tricoleurs. Tonight’s dinner was my very first quiche lorraine made entirely from scratch, a french baton (not so great: I had to stop it proving in the fridge while we went to the nurse, then stick it in a warm oven to hurry it up) and some greenery. I think I’ll be making it again! Maxi complained that it was ‘quite eggy’. Ah…
And tomorrow’s theme? Oh me, I’m out of ideas. We’ll see. Staying Alive?