Michael’s parents decided to pay us a visit for the weekend. They rarely ever make the drive down, so the kids do get excited when they come. In preparation for the visit I was going to give the house a really good once-over on Thursday. Mind you—it was not messy—just not completely spic-and-span! Well, I managed to get all the laundry done, but the actual cleaning was put off. I always put things off. I’ll find anything else to do other than the task at hand. The excuse on Thursday in the daytime was to bake cookies with the kids. They made Martha Stewarts Oatmeal & Raisin cookies—absolutely delicious. They prepared the dough the night before, and we baked them on Thursday. As only 6 fit on a tray at a time, yes they’re huge; it takes them awhile to get it all done. I even found an excuse in the evening as well (while Michael went out); I called my mom and had a nice long chat. Oh well, there’s always the morning!
So first thing Friday Michael and I gave the whole house a good once over. It only takes a couple of hours to get everything as spotless as we can make it—so not bad. It’s not like his parents care—I’m just very anal about having a tidy house. After our cleaning marathon we went to the grocery store for a few things for lunch and dinner for the weekend. We can spend a lot of money in such a short time! Home to quickly put things away, while still not telling the kids why we were rushing around a bit.
I’m a very crafty mom every now and then. Maybe dishonest is the better word for it, but I told the kids his parents were coming on Saturday. Now, this may seem wrong to an outsider, but my mom used this ‘trick’ and I so now know why. If Hazel and Kieran knew they were coming Friday afternoon, I would have been besieged by the following questions all day: ‘How much longer? What time will they be here? Where are they now?’ To add to this, Hazel would not have done anything all day. She would have sat at the front window all day, waiting. This drives me a bit batty, especially as she can tell time. So I mislead them a tad—but isn’t it worth it to have a sane mommy by the time the guest come?
Needless to say, we had two shocked and happy kids twenty minutes after we got back from the shop. They arrived about 2:15pm in the afternoon. They stay at one of the local hotels near us, so had checked in and then came till they wanted to go back for dinner. Yes, they drive down here and wouldn’t have dinner with their grand-kids because it was free with the room. Ok—so that’s not a terrible thing. But what are we to do? I’m not having my dinner while some guests, even if it is family, are sitting there. As Hazel had ballet about 4:30pm, I gave the kids a snack before that and then made them some pasta when she got back. His parents left about 7:15. Not too late, but by then it was time to give the kids their baths and put them to bed. I so dislike having to prepare dinner after 8pm. Problem solved easily though—Michael went and got us a Chinese.
Saturday had its usual start with ballet for Kieran—who had to be reminded before he left home to pay attention as it was ballet class, not Irish. He’s been doing his Irish skip in ballet class. His teacher isn’t too thrilled with that as she wants him to do another exam in June. He came home glowing that he did all the right moves. After they came home we made quick scrambled eggs and toast so we could leave and meet his parents at Milestones—a historical museum. The kids had a really good time, and his dad was very interested in everything—so a good choice for an outing. He’s not into playing with kids—but passing on info to two eager listeners was right up his alley! We hadn’t been there for about a year and a half—it was fun to see how much more info the kids took in, and how much they remembered from other visits. Kieran didn’t get scared when the mannequins ‘spoke’, so that was definitely progress.
After the museum we came home to have lunch, which was Kieran’s choice—‘food selection’. That basically means a selection of food to make open sandwiches. Hazel chose the selections: smoked salmon with cream cheese and mini bagels, soda bread with cheddar cheese, and ham for either bread. It’s not what his parents tend to have for lunch—but H & K absolutely love having a ‘smorgash board’ to choose from. Michael made dough for pizza after lunch. As it was raining by then, we just spent the rest of the day at home. The kids read and did lots of puzzles with their Grandparents. We had pizza for dinner and let the kids go to bed at almost 9pm.
Sunday was raining, so Michael made a quick dash to the market for us. His parents came round at about 11am and we had a snack of scones and jam from the market. Michael made a beef casserole as soon as he came home, so we just spent the morning visiting, and watching one of the funniest things of late. There was a chaffinch at the front windows—and he was there for about 5 hours. He kept tapping at them, sitting on the ledge, flapping his wings at it—it was so funny, yet so bizarre. We put the lights on to diminish his reflection, but he kept coming back for more. His poor beak must have hurt by the end of that! He’s made a complete mess of my window, but Hazel and I enjoyed it, and definitely know the sound of his chirp!
Michael’s parents left at about 2pm, and then Michael lit the fire and we all just relaxed and finally watched March of the Penquins. Hazel was very reluctant at first, but she seemed to enjoy it. Kieran got upset when a chick was taken and killed, but did manage to not get too distraught. They do understand that we eat animals, but to them (and me!) a baby is a baby. I still don’t like watching scenes like that.
I had a special treat late in the afternoon. I love old films of the 1940’s and rarely get to see them anymore. Our library doesn’t stock them and they are rarely on TV here. I know you can probably get them from a film club—but I want to watch them when I want to—not when they are sent. I need to be in a mood for one. Anyway—A Brief Encounter was on at 5:10pm. Michael was wonderful and took the kids upstairs so I could watch it in peace. The kids had a long bath and he did the ironing. The movie ended just as Michael finished the bedtime stories. Bliss!