Saturday, 22 February 2014

We survived the first wave

of the invasion yesterday. My nephew, his wife and two small children arrived about 11:30. My brother and his wife arrived a few minutes later. Chaos ensued.
It is easy to forget how much work small children are when you only see them for a short time at irregular intervals. Most of the children we now know are five plus - school going age. These two are still pre-schoolers. One is "almost" four and the other is "almost" two. (Their birthdays are both next month.) They are "modern" children, used to non-stop adult attention. The idea that they might play on their own while adults do something else is quite foreign to them.
I was also trying to sort out a rather complex submission to a government agency, deal with the peaches that had fallen on the ground and were useful but too damaged to give away, cook some corned beef, cook some chicken, hard boil some eggs, make a very large pot of tea and hold three different conversations (two with the children) all at the same time.  I still wonder that nothing boiled dry, that the children seemed satisfied with the answers I gave them (and no, I could not remember all the names of Santa's reindeer), and that the tea was properly made. (I discovered that my nephew did not know how to make tea. He seemed to think that it was with a tea bag. The Senior Cat would be appalled by that.)
Sandwiches were made for the small fry a little later. The four year old managed to peel one hard boiled egg after the first small piece of shell was taken away. (Intense concentration required.) The adults made their own sandwiches - the corned beef was warm and so was the chicken...the children opted for cheese and Vegemite in theirs. They ate bananas.  I suppose it was a reasonably balanced lunch.
I like small children - there are, inevitably, some totally spoilt children who irritate me but I find it hard to dislike them. I like conversation with them. The about to be two year old is full of chatter. He can count to six - and even seems to have a vague notion of what it means. He spent a long time counting peaches into the bowl - and out again.
You forget all this if you don't see them every day. And then you are reminded of all the glories of childhood and how everything is new and interesting and different and there to be explored.
I wouldn't want to be a child growing up into the world as it is now but I love to watch others doing it.

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