And happy 100th entry to my diary. I never thought we'd make it this far.
Well. H rang twice yesterday but my phone had inexplicably switched itself off so I didn't notice until about 2.30pm. Switched it on and got my voicemails. Rang H back. Went to sleep for a few hours until Maddy rang to ask if I could, emergency-like, whip over to her place and watch the kids for a couple of hours while she accompanied her mother to hospital (a fall, possible broken bones, some hysteria), until such time as her father could be located and reeled in. Why, sure...
Got there about 7.30pm. Tara (6) was watching a video while Toby (4) was having a bath. Toby didn't want me to look at him in the bath. "Oh, you silly. I won't laugh." I said cheerfully. He let me soap his back and shampoo his hair but he wouldn't close his eyes so I could rinse his hair because: "You might look at what you're not supposed to look at." I promised him I'd be busy making sure the water didn't run into his ears and I absolutely would not peek at his private parts.
Then he didn't want me to hold the towel for him. He wanted to do it himself, except he wouldn't let me empty the bath first. "Look, dude, if you drape the towel in the bath it will get soaking wet, so why don't you just climb out and I won't look..."
Argumentative little sod refused to get out of the bath.
So I left him for all of ten seconds so I could consult his sister. She rolled her eyes in a most adult way and bellowed, "Tobeeeee! Nina's our mummy tonight so you just behave yourself or else!!" Unfortunately she did this while I was kneeling next to her on the floor. I think my ears popped. :
Went back to the bathroom to find Toby about half dry and trying to struggle into his pyjamas. "Don't look don't look don't look!!!" he shrieked, so I backed out with my hand over my eyes.
"Toby, you moron!!!" Tara bellowed again, barging past me into the bathroom. Then there was silence for about 30 seconds. I felt all inadequate and stupid. :(
The phone rang. I hadn't been given instructions re the phone so I let it ring. Eventually the answering machine picked up, except it was Maddy, so I went to wrest the call from the machine, but it wouldn't let me. Argh.
"Just wanted to say," she said breathlessly, "that if Toby gives you any crap about getting out of the bath, tell him I told you his secret word."
Knocked on the bathroom door. "Er, you guys, anything happening?"
Tara: Just a minute!
Toby: (fierce whispering)
Tara: (fierce whispering back)
Toby: Just a minute!
A bit later they both came out, Toby looking sheepish and Tara looking annoyed. I half-expected her to say "Boys!" and roll her eyes again, but she didn't. But at least Toby was in his PJ's, even if they were buttoned crooked.
Then I didn't know what to do with them. It's been ages since I've been at Maddy's in the evening so I had no idea of their routine.
Tara: Toby can have a glass of milk and a snack, then we brush our teeth.
So then Toby prevaricated about the snack. Tara had gone back to her video and I felt like I couldn't bother her for more details, and Toby was obviously "trying one on" (my sister assures me that mothers everywhere know what this means)... so we emptied an entire shelf of one of the cupboards before he finally decided to have peanut butter on crispbread.
Toby: (pulled a face)
me: When's your dad getting home, anyway?
Toby: Dunno. After I'm in bed.
me: And when do you usually go to bed?
Toby: After my snack.
Tara: (from the other room) A little bit after 8 o'clock is when he usually goes to bed!!
Toby: (to Tara) I hate you!!!
It was eleven after eight. I scooped Toby up as he tried to run past to do mortal damage to his sister and plonked him down in a chair.
Toby: (scowled like he was gonna cry)
me: So, peanut butter on crispbread. How much PB and how many slices?
Tara: (from the other room) A tablespoon-full on one slice made into two fingers!
Toby: I wanted to say that!
me: So, say it. Let's get on with this.
Toby: mumble mumble mumble
me: Coming right up.
Then Tara came in: "I forgot to tell you - mum put a note for you on the fridge." Then to Toby: "Hurry up, moron! I want to brush my teeth and go to bed!"
Tara: I do it all the time. Nobody cares.
me: Well, gee. Okay. But don't do it in front of me, okay?
Tara: Why not?
me: Because I don't like it.
Tara: Yeah, all right. Can I go brush my teeth without waiting for Toby?
me: Am I supposed to supervise you?
Tara: Are you s'posed to what?
me: Are you allowed to do it by yourself?
Tara: Yeah, I am. But Toby isn't. He eats the brush.
So she went off to the bathroom and I tried to clean up Toby, the table, the floor and the wall. I told him to go wash his face and hands and to wait for me to help him brush his teeth.
Maddy's note said to get Toby out of the bath by 7.50 then to feed him half a banana and a glass of milk and to have both kids brushing their teeth by 8.10, then Toby was to go to bed (bottom bunk) after having no more than two pages of the top-most comic read to him, whereas Tara could stay up til 8.45 if she was finishing something ("colouring or a puzzle"), otherwise she was into the top bunk and no story ("privelige withdrawn this week"). I was to ignore Toby if he had any kind of excuse for getting up again, but to check on them both after half an hour assuming her SO hadn't come home by then. If they were fighting they were to be told to "can it"; if Toby wheedled he was to be threatened with a loss of TV priveliges.
Went to see how the teeth-brushing was going. Tara bared hers at me so I could be blinded by their pearly whiteness. Toby revealed he was chewing the brush. Asked Tara to go get into her jim-jams and do something for ten minutes. Then had the unpleasure of trying to brush Toby's teeth.
I've brushed my nieces' teeth, but only when they were babies (pre-crawling), and that hasn't been for a while. First I had him swill out thoroughly with warm water to get rid of as much of the PB as possible. Then tried to get him to do the "flip-top head" thing so I could do the brushing, but he kept closing his mouth and giggling. I threatened to pinch his nose so he'd have to keep his mouth open, whereupon he pulled away violently and screamed, "My daddy will beat you up if you do that!!"
Toby: He will!!! He will!!!!!!
me: He won't. He'll be all sad that you weren't a good boy.
Toby: I'll tell him to beat you up!!
me: Dude, settle down.
Toby: (scowled, pouted, picked his nose)
me: Looky, I remember what it's like to be a kid and not want to brush my teeth. I was a very naughty girl when I was younger and because I didn't look after my teeth I don't have as many now as I should. Look.
And I opened my mouth and showed him. Hell, I don't even like to do that for my dentist!
me: No, I don't. Not as many as I should have.
Toby: How old are you? Are you as old as Granny?
me: I'm [real age], which is not even as old as your mummy.
Toby: I've got more teeth than you!
me: I know. Wanna keep 'em?
Toby: I won't let all my teeth fall out like you did.
me: The trick, dude, is to brush them after every meal.
Toby: Why do you keep calling me dude?
me: 'Cause I like you. Now, are we gonna brush your teeth or what?
Toby: Will you read to me after?
me: Sure. Two pages, that's what your mum said.
Toby: Okay, I guess...
It was so much easier when he cooperated. Really.
Tara was already in bed and asleep (as far as I could tell) so I read to Toby very quietly and tucked him in, but he didn't want me to kiss him.
Went back to cleaning up the kitchen til Tom came home from his evil shift job. He said I'd done pretty well with the kids and encouraged me to eat two slices of carrot cake and two slices of toast with his mother's wonderful home-made apricot jam.
Mmmmmmmmmm, yummy. =)
Then we just had to wait for Maddy to get back so Tom could drive me home, by which time I was falling asleep...