Every few months I do something stupid. I think it’s over-confidence. Nobody has had a tantrum for a couple of days. Nobody has thrown their dinner on the floor. I decide I’m obviously the best parent who ever lived, and it’s time to branch out a bit.
Today we decided we would have a No TV Day. Now, everyone knows that No TV Days only start properly after everyone is dressed, so we had a bit of TV first thing whilst TheBloke (TM) got ready for work. YoungestGirl was allowed an extra Paw Patrol whilst EldestGirl did her reading practice with me, but after that, the TV remote was put out of reach (otherwise YoungestGirl follows me around the house with it, wailing, “Paw Pol, Paw Pol”, plaintively).
I had a whole day of wholesome activities planned. First up, feeding the ducks. Yes, I know you aren’t really supposed to feed ducks bread, but I was not going to shell out a vast amount of money for poncey “duck food” sold at the poncey shops around the lake. So a couple of the crusts of wholemeal bread it was.
Happily we drove to the lake, got the buggy out of the car, got both children out of the car, walked towards the lake, at which point EldestGirl thought it was her duty to mention, “Mummy, I hate ducks. I’m scared of them.”
“Sweetie,” I said, through only-slightly gritted teeth, “one week ago, you went on every single ride at Legoland and said that none of them was scary enough. What do you think these little feathered things are going to do to you?”
“Peck me,” she said, to be honest, quite reasonably. To be fair, at one point, it was a bit like Hitchcock’s The Birds, as they did gather around us in a circle, and even when I did my very best chasing face, they only budged very slightly. Never mind! Next activity!
Home we went, and we all made tuna pasta for lunch, as a family. This was a mistake. My children are shit cooks. I wiped white sauce off the hob for the third time in five minutes. “Paw Pol?” asked YoungestGirl, hopefully.
Lunch over, YoungestGirl went for her two-hour nap. This mostly involves 30 minutes of shouting at her own feet, 15 minutes of snoozing, and the final 1 hour and 15 minutes shouting, “MUMMY… MU…MMMMYY!” at increasing levels of volume until I can no longer reasonably pretend I can’t hear her, and cave and bring her downstairs.
Whilst YoungestGirl napped (or didn’t), EldestGirl and I did a fun activity involving paint and swearing.
Then it was off to EldestGirl’s gym class, so YoungestGirl and I did a supermarket run, where YoungestGirl aggressively shouted, “HI!! at pretty much anyone within a 10 foot vicinity. When they stopped, smiled and said hi back, she ducked her head down, looked forlorn and cried as if they had tried to snatch her from my trolley.
Home again, home again, and time for tea already. Fish fingers with purple sweet potato chips and broccoli. YoungestGirl refused to eat any of it, and in the three minutes my back was turned, managed to dump the lot of it on the floor. Monty Cat couldn’t believe his luck and managed to munch at least one and a half fish fingers.
Half an hour of sorting laundry later, with two small children “helping”, I was so, so ready for some television.
YoungestGirl’s reaction to a day of no TV was so severe that she seems to have developed a literal fever.
You heard it here first. TV keeps you well. Watch more!