Saturday, 4 January 2014

A brand new year: Yay!

If how you spend the second day in January is a reference of what to expect the rest of the year, we're in for a very (very!) grumpy 2014. A year in which we'll struggle to get out of bed, we'll struggle to do any grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, reading, or work, to have a single interesting conversation, to fulfil any potential, or even to be awake for more than three hours at a time.

Seldom have the 10 and 12yo been so devoid of all energy as this morning. The fact that I set my alarm for 8.30, but nonetheless woke up at 11.15 surely doesn't help matters. By the time I make it downstairs, the children have been playing minecraft on the computer for roughly 2 hours, 23 minutes and 41 seconds. They haven't made themselves any breakfast, haven't changed out of their pyjamas and certainly don't intend to so for the rest of the day.
As soon as I order them to make us a cup of tea, they start arguing. The 12yo accusing the 10yo of not answering when he asked her a simple question. The 10yo adamant that she hasn't heard her brother asking her something and so on and so forth. Within minutes they're both crying, which in the case of the 12yo is highly unusual these days.
Calm is temporarily  restored when I declare this day a pyjama-day and let the children stuff themselves with white toast, butter and chocolate sprinkles. Within minutes they're happily playing on the computer again. Which is great, because it means I can check all the social media sites that I am addicted to without any interruption whatsoever.
It isn't until it's almost lunchtime that I start to feel slightly restless and - dare I say it - guilty about not doing anything useful now that we have all the time in the world. So I order the 12yo to tidy his room and the 10yo to tidy her craft cupboard. Both children just sit and glare at me. But I stick to my guns this time. While the 12yo is stomping upstairs, probably sneaking his i-pod and phone with him, I find myself  'helping' the 10yo downstairs with the said cupboard.
We (well no, I) decide to take everything out and look at each item to see whether she'll want to keep it and if so, where she is going to keep it. We find: three feathers, six sticks varying in length, the Greek alphabet that my daughter wrote down several months ago, a piece of sandpaper, a variety of hair bobbles, several tattoo designs, some rock hard paint brushes and mostly empty paint bottles, three bowls filled with pieces of candle wax that she saved up and a plastic tub containing 'home-made' perfume. None of which she is ready to part with. To kid ourselves that we're making  progress, we're redistributing the priced possessions around the house, leaving the cupboard that we originally started working on, looking immaculate. Brilliant.
When I finally make it to the top floor around four in the afternoon, I find that the 12yo has transferred every item lying around on his bedroom floor to the laundry basket, just outside his room. I am too tired to argue with him, so instead, I just stuff everything into the washing machine.
Time for a long and well deserved shower. I decide that I can't be bothered to properly dry my hair, so instead I wait for an hour and a half, in which I check the aforementioned social media sites again, until I deem my hair dry enough to make my way to the supermarket.
There, it turns out, that my timing is awful. Not only is the supermarket heaving and are most of the necessities sold out, the place is filled with people that obviously went to work today and therefore have spend their time well, or at least much better than I did.
At least the guilt I feel now makes me hurry home, where I unpack the groceries, unload both the washing machine and the dishwasher in record time and start making some dinner. Not five minutes later  Mr. S. comes home from work. In a pathetic bid to account for my day I show him the tidied cupboard and well stocked fridge. He isn't fooled one bit (may be the still not quite dry hair gives me away, or the fact that the children are still in pyjamas glued to various screens, who knows), but to his credit he doesn't say anything.
That night we watch telly till way past our bedtime, allow ourselves chocolate as well as crisps and even some wine, although not even 24 hours earlier we did commit ourselves to a healthier lifestyle.
It isn't till the next morning that I know exactly what needs to be done. I will cook a nice meal tonight and open a bottle of champagne. We will toast the New Year once again and make a fresh start on the 4th of January. This way, if we fail again, we'll just need to buy some more champagne and repeat the process on a regular basis. At some point we'll surely get our tails in gear again. (And if we don't we'll always have champagne...)