A quick post to apologise for lack of (hopefully) inspiring posts: we are metaphorically and literally running around like headless chickens trying to regain some sense of control over our living space so that we are prepared for a lovely surprise visit from the two family smalls tomorrow. We weren’t expecting them until Christmas Eve and have unwittingly turned their bedroom into something resembling a packing warehouse and their play room into Santa’s grotto, and so we have to try to clear it all away before they discover their presents a little on the early side!
Their bedroom is full of boxes, big and small, from all the parcels that have contrived to arrive all at once this week – some as part of a project we’re working on (can’t say more than that, walls have ears and all that), some awaiting returns labels, and some containing presents. The playroom has rolls of Christmas paper, cards in various stages of completion, wrapped up gifts strewn around and half-completed projects.
We are also in a quandary: is it too soon to put up the Christmas decorations for them, should we wait until Christmas so they get the full effect for their special visit (we don’t usually see them at Christmas and this year my mum will be meeting the youngest small for the first time too).
Then there’s food to prepare. Always a head-scratcher, this one. Littlest small won’t eat anything resembling a vegetable but will eat fruit and porridge till it comes out of his ears (sometimes literally!), older small will eat most things on her day but on others may decide she’s not in the mood and would rather be playing.
We spend a lot of time discussing what to have, trying to make sure we have their favourites only to discover those have moved over to the detested list and they’ve moved on to something else. Last time we were sure we were on to a winner with pizza, older small’s favourite, but neither of them ate any – older small actually preferred the salad! And younger small doesn’t like chips (fries)!! What child doesn’t like chips?? Husband makes them from scratch and is very proud of his oven chips, the older bigger ones gobble them up. Nope, smallest small only wants cheese and grapes, banana if you’re lucky – but he does love the Aduna Baobab bars* (and I happen to have just had a delivery), and they like my raw treats, so not all is lost.
It’s so hard fitting in two meals into such a short 6 hour visit, we end up spending most of the time preparing food, eating food, clearing away food, washing up and then there’s just enough time to read a story or two and we’re onto the next meal and then they have a bath and it’s into the car and off they go!
We spend such a lot of time and energy trying to get it right, but never really succeed. The teenage ones much prefer takeaway and so that is what we usually do for them and I cringe at what my followers would think of me, a vegan health and well-being blogger paying money for some of the most disgusting ‘food’ on this earth, which they wolf down with big grins on their faces while all I can think about is how many chemicals and processed unmentionables are being stored up for future health catastrophes! They, of course, think it’s hilarious and enjoy watching me squirm. (They eat healthily at home but regard visits here as opportunities to cut loose and have ‘treats’!)
Anyway, that’s our week so far. I am so tempted to put up all the lights etc. because I love to see the little ones’ faces, but I think HB will put his foot down and since he is the one who has to do it all, I have to acquiesce. Besides, there are only so many hours left before their visit and the grotto still isn’t sorted, we don’t yet know what food to prepare, the house needs cleaning and toddlerising, my back is shouting for mercy, oh, and I’m in the middle of a soup and juice plan!
I can’t wait to see them.
Wish us luck!
PS Here’s a link to a Guardian newspaper article on Aduna and the impact on local African economies of their market for baobab fruit, traditionally picked by women.
Copyright: Chris McGowan