The boy and I had the day to ourselves yesterday. Jason was scamping and the girls were with their dad.
We had been on a sleepover at our friend Nicki and Rob’s house on Friday night, so breakfast was ticked off our list of things to do without me having to lift a finger. Oscar was very happy as Rob is a master of making waffles and there was a great deal of chocolate spread involved. I was quite pleased myself.
I asked Oscar what he wanted to do for the rest of the day. What would make him happy?
I was expecting to have to embrace technology, possibly to have to go to the cinema, and maybe a trip to Game or Build A Bear.
I could not have been more wrong. Instead he wanted to play in the sink with lots of bubbles and cups and bowls, have a bath with his Mr. Men bubble bath while I read him a story, and eat prawn and pea risotto.
I was amazed and delighted. It was entirely possible to fulfil all these wishes, and what’s more they were rather lovely.
So, in the morning while I was cleaning, he filled the sink and duly splashed about, making me glasses of bubbly wine (it’s very popular, mama) and lots of soup. Once he got bored of soup making he dried off and helped me with the cleaning. His forte is mopping the kitchen floor. It always swims rather, but he is enthusiastic and all enthusiasm for cleaning is to be encouraged. He also likes cleaning windows.
His friend came round while I did some tutoring in the afternoon. The boys played on X Box, so this was an added bonus for Oscar. He much prefers games he can play with other people but he never even asks me to join in. My reputation precedes me.
After our visitors had gone, Oscar read me a story in exchange for a biscuit (I will risk it for a biscuit mama), which was wonderful. I am absolutely in favour of bribery when it comes to boosting literacy. I am getting him to read me all my old and very best favourite books from when I was a child. We are currently in the middle of Mary Mary by Joan G. Robinson (who wrote the Teddy Robinson stories), we are enjoying the story hugely. And the biscuits.
Then we had risotto during which he said: ‘I am like a coal miner but instead of coal I am hunting for prawns. I am a prawn miner.’ Which made me snort with laughter and nearly choke on a prawn.
Once our risotto had been despatched (two helpings each), we filled the bath with Mr. Bump bubbles and I read to him until the water went cold and his fingers went wrinkly. (We have just finished Spirit Walker by Michele Paver – very good indeed).
During our day we had decided we would invite granny and granddad round for tea and cakes on Sunday. We didn’t have any cakes, and I didn’t want to bake, as when Oscar was in bed I had a marathon EBay parcel wrapping session to keep me busy, so once Oscar was fully kitted out in his dinosaur onesie we set off in the dark to the supermarket, even though it was half past nine at night. We sauntered the aisles in peace and quiet and dinosaur unity, choosing cakes for our tea party. It was all very exciting.
On the way home I told Oscar how much I had enjoyed spending the day with him, and he concurred (his ego is nothing if not enormous). I said that we had a whole week to spend together during the Easter holidays when Jason will be in Germany and the girls will be with their dad. What would we do then?
He looked at me thoughtfully and said: ‘I’m not sure how I feel about spending a whole week with a girl. I’m just not used to it.’