I am living a life of chronic delusion. I realise this, looking at my list of things-to-do. It’s one of the biggest jokes of the universe. Near the top I have written “practise flute”, then “stretch” and “hula-hoop” (post-partum tummy muscle exercise without the boredom of lying on the floor). These things used to be at the bottom, after “sand and oil garden table” and “sort stuff for car boot sale”. I then shifted them to the top as I believed the fact I wasn’t doing them was somehow related to their position on my list. Has this changed a thing? No. Have I even looked at the flute? No. Do I know where my hula-hoop is? No. It is probably in the garden beneath a pile of plastic tractors and a cat poo. But this is not the point. The problem is not the position of items on my things-to-do list influencing what I do of a day. It’s the absolute farce of even writing a things-to-do list that is ridiculous. Sand and oil garden table? Erm, yeah. Sort stuff for car boot sale? In my wildest dreams. And practising a musical instrument or doing anything that might do some good to my body is about as realistic as meeting Brad Pitt as I take the bins out to the front of the village and him inviting me to jump in his private jet (parked a bit further down from the bins) to go and play gin rummy in Las Vegas. Or as likely as Prince William wearing a tracksuit and flip-flops to his wedding tomorrow (this is about as topical as I get). There is no point in me writing a things-to-do list, unless it looked like this : laundry, unload dishwasher, pick up various items of clothing/toys/small bits of pasta from floor, change nappy, make lunch for small persons, clean up kitchen, bins out, make a phone call while juggling smallest person on hip, bath small persons and put them to bed, water garden, feed dog.” And I don’t need a list to tell me to do those things. They are engrained in my brain and I buzz about our home from one wee task to another until the kids are in bed, the kitchen is cleared and I fall into a heap wondering why I’m not being paid £300 a day for all this work.
Today my brain went on a bender (it might have been the shock of baby Léonie sleeping in until 10:30 am) and I invited not one but two of Tommy’s mates round to play. So I had a 6 year old, a 4 year old, a 3 year old and a 4 month old to look after, feed, wipe bums and make sure they didn’t die from poisoning as they made (and ate) pies in the sandpit. It was mad. It was great fun. Mostly for them, but partly for me, I have to secretly admit. The friends left, Tommy had a nap, Léonie had a nap, more friends came round. My brain, still malfunctioning, suggested a suicide hike down through the valley, Léonie strapped to my belly. To make things more difficult I wore my flip-flops. We walked, we climbed, we scrambled, we slipped and slid and slithered on bums. It was a real adventure. Some of us cut open knees and scraped palms of hands. But no-one cared, we were having too much fun. When we got back we did death by Haagen Daz and chocolate biscuits and then played darts. The boys’ father plays the flute so he gave me a mini lesson. Tommy, along with the boys, pulled our pedal tractor up to the top of the hill and did hurtling death rides back down again. Amazingly, no one got hurt. Despite Tommy having lost his shoes and doing all this in socks. By the time our friends left it was time to cook dinner, eat it, have baths and brush teeth and read books and go to bed. Of course, today I have done nothing whatsoever on my Things-to-do list and I don’t care. It seems like the fuller the day is, the less I’m bothered about getting things done. And I have a far greater sense of achievement at the end of the day. So I shall now rip up my list and instead just get on with tomorrow as it comes. Maybe I should write the list at the end of the day which will ensure I can tick tons of things off. Todays looks like this : flute lesson – tick, ensure nobody dies despite numerous dangerous activities- tick, go for a walk with kids and dog – tick, see friends – tick, practise darts – tick, open up a free village daycare centre – tick. Sense of achievement – gold star. And I’ve even written something on my blog. Double gold star. And used the phrase “flip-flops” twice. Triple gold star and another serving of Haagen Daz.