Our girls treated us to a lie-in this morning. I say treated but I mean it in the loosest sense of the word – if you could see the result of an hour’s parent-free play, perhaps you would conclude that ‘treat’ may not be the best choice of words. And ‘lie-in’ has also taken on a slightly different meaning post children. It starts at around 6am when my littlest proudly taps me on my head to announce she has slept in her own bed all night. This is followed by rascal number two wanting an escort to the loo, which prompts number three to need the loo too, but only after we’ve snuggled back into bed. Full of love and morning cuddles, number three then comes to bring the first of my pillow presents; a plastic jewelled tiara that I was required to wear. With the sharp comb of the tiara firmly embedded in my scalp, I settled back to sleep. Fifteen minutes later and we’re onto round two of toilet trips and another pillow present; this time a My Little Pony. As I squinted open a bleary eye for pillow present number three, I noticed a rather more colourful child looking back at me. She assured me she was now a beautiful princess, and that apparently accounted for the garish face paints.
I decided that my lie-in had probably come to an end and sleepily ventured downstairs to survey the destruction. I swept aside the curtain at the bottom of the stairs and immediately sneezed a cloud of golden sparkles – unusual but as I’d not had my first coffee, this did not strike me as odd at the time. With relief, I noted my cushions on the floor, a random collection of small toys and the paints out on the table – phew! – this was mild compared to the creative destruction my children are capable of. I mentally connected the paints with the colourful child and went to put the kettle on; I would need a strong cup of coffee before I tackled the paint clear up. Coffee in hand, I paused to throw my cushions back on the sofa and created many mini mushroom clouds of sparkliness which gently floated back down to coat every surface with a golden shimmer.
It was at this point, half way through my sparkly coffee and viewing the scene of destruction through gold tinted eyelashes, that rascal number two made her entrance. Naked, hair awry, glittered and painted black from head to toe, it was quite an entrance as she advanced on me for morning cuddles. I slurped the last of my coffee, leaving a golden residue, in preparation for the mucky cuddle. A shout from upstairs saved me from further black painted kisses and I ran up my glittered stairs, following a sparkly trail to find rascal number one.
The caffeine by now was doing its job on my sleep addled brain and it finally registered that I should query the reason for the glitter explosions and rainbow sparkled carpets. I began to suspect that little fingers had raided my face painting box, something they know to be forbidden without my supervision.
“Now be honest, where did you get the paint and glitter from?”
She pondered for a minute calculating the risk of being caught out in a lie.
“Your pink box. But… Mummy the little ones wanted their faces painted and your paints are for faces. The other paints are not and would make our faces itch or sore and should only be used on paper. So you see I was only being good really.”
Hmmm, can’t really argue with that logic. “And my glitter?”
“Well we used the glitter pot up so I thought I’d save you a job by filling it up from the big bag.”
“OK but can you explain why the whole house is sparkling?”
“Ah yes, I discovered that I’m not very good at pouring glitter.”
There’s no use crying over spilt sparkles. I sent the glitter fairy and the painted pixies up for a bath and settled down with a second coffee. The morning sunlight shimmering rainbows off the glittered cobwebs reminded me I really should dust more often – or maybe I should just enjoy my coffee in peace before the golden glitter cloud settles.