One side benefit of the house being cleaner (well, less cluttered – it wasn’t ever dirty) is that I don’t stress so much about having people – especially Other People’s Children – over.
Today was a case in point.
I had arranged to mind my 2 year old niece for a few hours in the morning. Then Otto was invited to a friend’s house last Saturday, and wanted to reciprocate. Ha – I can double up, I thought. Jill knows Niece from childcare, so she can come on Thursday as well.
Then, I thought, but the Bigster deserves to invite friends over too. And of her two best friends, one is away at the beach and the other has just moved 3 hours away. But I could invite my friend J (of games night) and her two daughters – the elder is Biggie’s age, the other about 18 months younger.
And so we were 2 adults and 6 children for much of the day – which worked well (mostly). The extra cleared space near the back door meant we had 2 quite distinct play areas for the older and younger kids, and the three older girls eventually decamped to the cubbyhouse anyway, while J and I chatted. Rang my sister-in-law when Niece started to look like she was about to doze off – then spent the next fifteen minutes or so making sure that she didn’t go to sleep. Didn’t want to deprive my sister-in-law of that crucial 2 hour sleep window!
- The big girls just wanted to play games! Pickomino, a Connect 4 tournament, Sorts for Kids, Apples to Apples Junior. Yay!
- Otto and Jill made papercraft. While she was naughty to take scissors to her bedroom (note to self: Check the sheets for ‘accidental’ holes), they made amazing fans and paper lanterns, as well as a pirate hat for Otto.
- “Auntie Lissa” – it’s almost as good as those early “Mummy” words.
- J: Wow, you’ve really done a lot here! (I am such a sucker for external recognition)
- Otto and Jill using Otto’s play table (which I cleared off last night)
- ALL the kids eating (!) the corn bread I had (optimistically) bought instead of the ultra-dull white sliced sandwich loaf.
I do like people, rather a lot.
And now? I’m about to put Otto to bed. Then it’s back to cleaning – I’ve already cleared out the dolls house (which had become a haven for paperwork and junk mail) and a small shelving unit, and have about 100 litres of cardboard and paper recycling (measured by capacity of recycling bin and amount that sticks out over the top of it). Cleared out a magazine rack which had “interesting” reading matter that I’d put aside to read – in 2000-2001. Guess that was the last time I had time to read – or possibly the articles weren’t as interesting as I thought they might be. (Magazine rack is now in the pile for the Op shop (thrift store) and magazines are in the 100-litre pile.)
Now I just need to work out what to do with the pile of “keeps” on the floor. Want to bet how much of it ends up back in the “rubbish” piles?