My partner went to Spain on Friday so I was in sole charge of the girls all weekend. Not the perfect time to watch "Stepmom", a cheerful story about a mum who is dying of cancer saying goodbye to her kids and handing them over to their stepmother. Big girl daughter shuffled down in the middle of the film after having a bad dream. She nodded off into blissful slumber, while Susan Sarandon told her daughter "you have made my life wonderful". At which point I was a total wreck. I had spent the day in the park having a picnic with the girls, thinking much the same thing, after we got lost trying to find a local park to the strains of Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits. I am contemplating whether my resistance to buying a sat nav is wise. My usual method of finding places is to follow the person who looks like they are going the same way. Unfortunately, no-one looked like they were going to this particular park.
The tranquillity of the picnic in the park was rapidly broken after I was informed that an urgent need for the toilet had developed. We hot-tailed it to McDonalds. McDonalds is near the pet shop so, on the way back, we decided to pop in to have a look at the guinea pigs and ask about introducing new guinea pigs to older ones, which is apparently a very complex art almost inevitably destined for failure. I am feeling guilty that Speedy, our guinea pig, is lonely. He practically knocks rebel daughter down with his enthusiasm to see her every morning and burrow into her neck. We emerged about 20 minutes later with Caramel, after feeling a bit like we were going through some sort of stringent vetting procedure by the pet shop. We had to sign a form saying we had "refused" a guinea pig care leaflet [because we have a guinea pig and hence several guinea pig care leaflets...]. I bet you will soon need a police check to own a pet.
We spent the afternoon armed with carrots and other vegetables on the grass trying to get Speedy and Caramel to acknowledge each other's existence. Speedy was only interested in the grass. Caramel was mainly interested in escaping. We put them in the hutch and Speedy suddenly got territorial about his nest. We decided to add Caramel's cardboard carrier at the other end of the hutch. Twenty minutes later the two were cuddled up in Caramel's carrier purring away like soulmates.
The weekend had not begun promisingly. on Friday night, I discovered bonkers daughter merrily painting away after I put big girl daughter to bed. "What's all this funny writing on the back of the paper, Mommy?" she asked. She had somehow managed to get hold of my work notebook and painted all over the last few pages of it. The paint was still wet. I looked around desperately for scraping tools. Luckily, she had only painted on one side and the paint had only come through on two pages. They were great pictures too. Maybe I should get my interviews illustrated on a regular basis.