Saturday, May 29, 2010

The power of the "If/After/When" clause

Matt turns 35 tomorrow and has gone away for the weekend to climb Mt Snowdon in Wales, with his brother, Tom, and good friend, Matt Johnson. I got through Day 1 of having both the boys just fine, and in fact at any point when I was feeling like I had it bad, I encountered someone who made me realize that actually, my job was easy!

The weather today wasn't great, so by about 10:00 we headed over to the Horniman Museum and aquarium in Forest Hill. Anyone in Southeast London who has children has no doubt been to this fantastic place - it's the perfect destination when it's raining (as it often is), since it's not only great for kids, but it's inexpensive and dry. While we were admiring the crabs in the aquarium and wondering whether the blue lobster was going to make an appearance, I saw a colleague who has 3 boys under the age of 3 and a half, including one who was born about a month before Noah. She was there on her own while her husband studied for an exam, and man, if I thought looking after two was hard, well, what she was doing was incredible! It was really great to see her and we got to chat in that way I have to do now which is to talk while not looking at the person I'm talking to since I'll have both eyes on that little rascal Blake.

We then came home for some lunch and a nap. All of us napped which was wonderful, and Blake woke up with the statement which he loves: "I did great napping, Mommy." You can tell what earns my praise!

After a bit of tv (unavoidable), we went off to the local Bel Air Park, and while there I got chatting to a Dad who was on his own for the weekend with his nearly 3-year-old son. He said he was already exhausted, and although he only had the one kid to look after, I think if you're not in the habit of looking after a little one, it surely feels hard. Yet another instance where I thought that my job was a breeze.

Blake did need some cajoling to get into his buggy, and I started to realize how often I had started sentences today with clauses beginning with "If", "When" or "After". "If you get in the buggy, you can have a biscuit." "When you get dressed, we can go out." "After you give Noah back his dummy, you can watch Chuggington." Thank goodness for that powerful language tool, the dependent clause.

Blake and I had some dinner and I managed to get him to sleep about 9:00. Noah was pretty soon after by about 9:30, and I did the dishes and tried to get a few things organized for tomorrow. I enjoyed a cup of decaf coffee and a cup of decaf tea (wine was tempting, but I decided not to bother - the thought of doing what I did today with a hangover made me shudder, not that I've had that much to drink in so long I could even remember what it feels like).

And now, bring on Day 2, after some sleep of course...

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