“Shall we get up Uncle Martin?”. I groan and ask Julie whose turn it is. “Yours” she replies sternly. I reach over and grope for my watch. Squinting, I can just about make out that it is 8:45AM which is actually very good for a Sunday morning. She woke up at 7AM last weekend when it was Julie’s turn.
As I struggle to pull on my dressing gown, Maisie grabs me by the hand and pulls insistently. “Come on Uncle Martin – Let’s go!” We hold hands down the stairs and she leads me into the front room. “Do you want to play in my house Uncle Martin?” as she points under the dining room table. “Yes Maisie, but can I have a cup of tea first?”
The first cup of tea of the day is something to be savoured. There is no drink like it in the world. “Can I help you make it Uncle Martin?” She offers to get the sugar and then the milk but as I tell her, I take my tea black with no added sweetness. “You can get my teabag out if you want to.” She runs enthusiastically to the cupboard and pulls out a box of Darjeeling. As soon as I sit down with the cup of tea, “Shall we go shopping Uncle Martin”. I ask her what we need and she lists off some random items.
Knowing I won’t get any peace until the shopping is done, I walk with her to the games room. “This is for dinner” she says as she hands me a plastic Peppa Pig car complete with occupants. “And this is for dessert”, a plastic giraffe this time. Each time she places an item into the bag she pretends to scan it and makes a beep noise.
Shopping done, we return to the lounge. I sink back into the sofa and reach for my tea. “Uncle Martin – we’ve forgotten the salt.” I raise my eyes to the sky, knowing that resistance is futile. Again, we go hand in hand to the games room and go shopping for salt this time. When Maisie asks a third time to go shopping, I am firm. I tell her I am drinking my tea which she grudgingly accepts.
“Can I have an ice pop Uncle Martin?” She knows she is not allowed treats until she at least has some breakfast. After the argument about the ice pop, we head to the fridge to find her some breakfast. There is yoghurt and a box of cheese dippers unless she wants some cereal. She chooses cheese dippers of which I have to eat half ‘aeroplane style’. Once all the bread sticks are gone, she asks for a spoon to eat the remaining cheese dip. She chooses one from the array I bring her from the drawer. She spends 5 minutes playing with the cheese and making a complete mess before saying “I don’t like it.” and handing me the spoon, cheese end first.
“Can I have an ice pop Uncle Martin?” According to the rules, she has now had some breakfast, so off we go to the freezer. She stands there agonising for 5 minutes over which ice pop to have before picking a coke flavoured one. The top is soon lopped off. “It’s cold!” she complains. As usual, I take her to the toilet to get some toilet roll which we diligently wrap around the ice pop.
As soon as she finishes the ice pop, “Uncle Martin – I need a wee!” There is no time to lose. We dash out to the toilet. When we get there, the toilet seat is up because I used it earlier. She berates me, telling me that the toilet seat should be down for the girls. I groan and put the seat down. Drama over, we return to the lounge. “Uncle Martin – shall we play in my house?” pointing under the dining room table. Under I go and we start to make a campfire out of some random stuff. “Do you want a sausage Uncle Martin?” as she piles Jenga blocks onto the campfire.
Eventually, I get a second cup of tea. As I sit there relaxing, the sudden realisation that I can neither see or hear Maisie (which normally means mischief is afoot). I jump to my feet and dash out to the hallway. Maisie has just shut the fridge. “It’s OK Uncle Martin – I have put the shopping away.” I open the fridge and sure enough there is a Peppa Pig car and a giraffe on the bottom shelf.
Smiling, I shut the fridge. Is there any better way to spend Sunday morning?
- Ice Pops! – Popsicle Maker – Bluebear Technologies Inc. (itunes.apple.com)
- A game theoretic approach to the toilet seat problem (home.tiac.net)
- The Rules of the TV (thatmakestwo.wordpress.com)