I started doing these roundups of my weekend last year, to remind myself that it's the small everyday moments that matter. Gentle domesticity and humble family adventures. A far cry from the weekends of bars, social catch ups and (Heavens!) nightclubs of my pre-family days. But I wouldn't swap them for the world! (Perhaps one night out would be nice…)
As a working mum, by lunchtime on Monday the last weekend seems an eon away and the next one isn't even a dot on the horizon. Weekday evenings are a rush of getting home, eating supper (as a family), hanging out a bit, brushing teeth, reading books and trying (but mostly failing) to get Chiswick Boy to bed in time or check his bag for the next day.
I'm a bit addicted to other people's write ups of their gentle domestic routines. I love hearing how people get through their week – the little bits and pieces that make up a week, a month, a year and ultimately a life. So in the same vein, here's a little bit of my life!
Friday – the best word in the English Language
I work condensed hours solely so I can get Fridays off. This means I work a full week but in just four days. It's worth the longer Mondays to Thursdays, just to have a day of being at home. I like it because I can feel a little bit of how I felt when I was a stay at home mother (for the first three years of Chiswick Boy's life).
I love doing the school run – to feel a bit of that stress at getting out the door in time (rarely achieved!), of the ceaseless chatter from Chiswick Boy on the way to school and his stream of increasingly difficult to answer questions (Does God have a belly button? How do we know that you get stretched when you enter a Black Hole if we've never been in one?)
After drop off I had my usual hesitation about whether I should head straight home (sensible) and do some tidying and more importantly some writing (procrastinating on the second draft of my novel) or whether I should head into Chiswick High Rd.
I had a few boring bits and bobs to pick up – yet another charger for the ipad (why do they break so often?), a paper diary (I do everything on the ipad apart from keep my appointments – I just need to have a paper diary for some reason). So Chiswick High Rd won.
I can't visit the high street without popping into Waitrose and utilising the free coffee and free newspaper (latter with a fiver minimum purchase, and both offers for waitrose card holders only. Do get your card – they're the only loyalty card I bother with. Well that and the John Lewis one.)
Never enough hours between drop off and pick up
Well you don't get much time in between a mooch on Chiswick High Rd and school pick up do you? So by the time I got home I felt that it was almost time to leave again.
Because I only do it once a week, picking Chiswick Boy up from school is an utter delight. It's fun to treat him to a drink on the way home and this time we tried the Strand on the Green cafe at Kew Bridge. Really lovely vibe and friendly manager – and Chiswick Boy really enjoyed his banana milkshake. We'll be back for some thai food soon.
Chiswick Dad was due back late from work and so the house saw what is now sadly a rare event – mummy cooking! Well I didn't cook. I heated up some of that nice fresh ravioli and grated some strong cheddar on top.
The funny thing is that when I was a stay at home mum I cooked everything – and really enjoyed it. I'd meal plan, try out different recipe books and even whip up puddings. But since I went back to work Chiswick Dad has taken over the cooking. He cooks amazing meals – lovely old fashioned stuff. Shepards pie, tacos, lasagne. We believe in good quality ingredients, and we all eat together every night. We see meal times as a chance to be together and chat about our days. They are the highlight of my day!
I don't usually get home until 7:30pm, so this means Chiswick Boy goes to bed later than most seven year olds I suppose. We normally finish eating around 8:15pm and then start getting ready for bed and the story reading marathon.
But I'm digressing, as Friday was an exception to this routine. Chiswick Dad – who has only just recently returned to part time work following his stint as the stay at home parent – was working late.
Board games and reindeer onesies – the answer to January blues!
After my make-do supper, we sat and played Disney Trivial Pursuit on the living room carpet. Then Chiswick Boy brushed his teeth, got into his PJs (or reindeer onesie) and chose his books for the night. We have one story on the sofa. Then two stories read to him in bed. After which he reads a chapter book to himself until he falls asleep.
This is a new routine. Until a week or so ago we were reading him stories until he fell asleep. But this new routine is working well.
When Chiswick Dad got back we searched through Netflix for a film and I chose Locke. This fantastic British film, set entirely in a car as the protaganist drives down the motorway, is the most compelling hour and a half of film that I've watched for a while.
Chiswick Dad was working for the rest of the weekend too, and Chiswick Boy and I had already promised ourselves that we'd declare Saturday a pyjama day and film marathon. First up was Chiswick Boy's choice – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, an old fave on DVD. Cadburys Mini Eggs may have featured too.
My follow up choice was a bit more boxsetting of the Famous Five 1970s series. Growing up in the 70s and 80s you either did Blyton or you didn't. Frowned on my teachers and some parents (not mine luckily), Enid Blyton suffered at the throes of a well meaning witch hunt. They were banned from many libraries. But I cut my reading teeth on Blyton and was reared on the famous five.
I'm really enjoying revisiting the 70s take on the books, with this series of adaptations of each of the books.
We're lucky enough to have a real fire. And while London may be a smokeless zone, the smokeless fuels available are really great – and give a lovely long glow. I think there are few better pleasures then to be tucked up on a cosy sofa, with Chiswick Boy – both of us reading our books, in front of a glowing fire, the cat between us.
No weekend is complete without a trip to the swings, and some time feeding the ducks. Our favourite park is Boston Manor Park – a little known gem which has a fab play bit, including a zip wire.
A dramatic weekend? No. A lovely potter-y one? Yes. Grand adventures? No. Simple pleasures? Yes.
What did you get up to? And what do you think of pyjama days, Enid Blyton and cosleeping?