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  • Looking After Children:

    I was back to babysitting on Tuesday.
    A 12 hour stint with the 3 girls.
    I suggested they come to my house as I could provide more options of things to do.
    They live in the middle of nowhere and newly moved, meaning they are still mainly living out of boxes.
    The Tuesday fell on the day of the Mother and Stepdad's 2 year wedding anniversary,
    hence a lovely 2 hours of relaxed craft work on creating this amazing poster,
    and handmade anniversary cards.
    I then took them to town and we bought pick-a-mix sweets.
    We sat in the sun on the town green, swapping fizzy cola bottles with bubblegum lollipops,
    giggling at the boys they fancy at school.
    Back at home, we made fairycakes.
    They had never made them before. I couldn't believe it. They are 9 and 11, and had never covered the kitchen in icing sugar and dolloped cake mixture into papercases.
    I was barely walking when I was plonked on the kitchen worktop and told to stir in the eggs.

    Cases filled, I did the "adult" job of putting the trays in the oven.
    I scraped the remaining mixture around the bowls.
    They were watching me intently.
    "Do you know what we do now?" I said..
    "hmmm wait until they are cooked and then decorate them?" they asked.
    "Well yes," I say, "but now, most importantly, we lick the spoons!"
    Their eyes filled with glee.

    Acting Like Children:

    I said the large bag of organic oats would cause friction.
    The brother and I were having words. Heated words.
    We haven't been getting on for a very long time.
    The mother and stepdad went out to dinner for their anniversary.
    So the brother and I had to house to ourselves.
    The brother and I cooked seperately, ate seprately and spent the evening seperately.
    Until midnight when he banged on my bedroom door, "you have to do your washing up!"
    It was an order, not a request.
    I was in my pyjamas, reading in bed.
    I had made an omelette so the washing up consisted of a pan. It was hardly cluttering up in the kitchen. I had left it to soak in the sink.
    It was the chopping board which we both had used, that seemed to create the argument.
    We were children about it.
    Neither of us talking to each other.
    Both shouting at each other through the doors of our bedrooms. It was so petty.
    "You used it last" he shouted.
    "I only chopped a few chives, you chopped lots of peppers and stuff on it"
    "Its your washing up, you're so selfish."

    It was ridiculous. He then went downstairs and preceeded to carry the 25kg bag of oats upstairs
    and dumped it outside my bedroom door.
    I have inherited weak arms from all the women in the family, we can barely open doors and hanging curtains are a nightmare. There is no way I can move this.
    I could only shuffle the sack on its heavy bottom, a few inches into the middle of the landing.
    Ironically, the brother has now moved it more in the way than where it sat before.
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